New Delhi: Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday (September 5, 2020) said the National Education Policy 2020 is a revolutionary reform of the 21st century and that early childhood education, inquiry-based education, teacher training, foundational and numeric literacy, have all been laid emphasis on.

He said that the NEP 2020 will empower India's youth, which will take the nation forward in the 21st century and expressed that "the policy is such that it will make the teaching-learning experience enjoyable for both students and teachers".

The Union Minister was delivering the keynote address at the Centenary Year Teachers’ Day Celebration of the Parle Tilak Vidyalay Association of Mumbai through video link.

Javadekar opined that India would double the Gross Enrolment Ratio within the next 10 years from the current level of about 25%. He said students across the country have become aspirational and economic growth has pushed parental earnestness to provide a good education for their children.

"Wider geographical spread of higher education institutions, especially covering rural areas and increased demand would be the critical factors that will improve GER in India," he added.

The Minister began his address by invoking Lokmanya Tilak’s views on education as means of creating awareness, He said the new policy lays emphasis on foundational and numerical literacy and institutes like National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) would give access to education to all.  

The Minister underlined the importance of Early Childhood Education as the main characteristic of NEP. He said, 3 to 8 years of Age Group is to build Cognitive skills, curiosity and mental capacity. He also said that education with subject understanding is important rather than rote learning.

"While activity-based learning is emphasized at the early stages, 9th to 12th educatìon would focus on detailed, relevant and new knowledge, which will induce scientific temper among children."  

Javadekar opined research and innovation are key to enabling our education to mould globally competitive citizens. He said that 3,000 ‘Atal Tinkering Labs’ are running successfully to encourage research-based innovation, which is essential for building an Aatmanirbhar Bharat.

Speaking about the role of teachers in the society, the Minister said, "A teacher does not simply teach through books or blackboards. An ideal teacher is the one who instils values in students through his/her conduct."  

A four year integrated B.Ed degree is being introduced to provide a holistic training programme for teachers, which will include practical teaching skills. It will encourage teachers to become teachers by choice and not as a last resort, he added.

Javadekar said the National Education Policy has been formulated after extensive consultations.