Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that students will study under a new curriculum drawn from the National Education Policy when the country celebrates its 75th year of Independence in 2022, and asserted that the curriculum will be “forward-looking, future ready and scientific”.
Addressing a conclave on “School Education in 21st Century” under the NEP 2020, Modi also emphasised on the need for children to study in their mother tongue or local language at least till Class 5.
He, however, said that the NEP places no bar on learning any language and that children can study English or any international language which they find useful.
No one has any objection to this, he added, while noting that Indian languages should be promoted.
His comments come amid criticism of the NEP-2020 by some opposition-ruled states. A few opposition parties have accused the ruling BJP of working to promote Hindi, a charge rejected by it.
In his speech, the prime minister lamented that the world changed in the last three decades but our education policy remained the same.
In the current system, marksheet has become “pressure sheet” for students and “prestige sheet” for families, the prime minister said, adding that the new policy aims to remove this pressure.
Modi said the NEP will give a new direction to the country in the 21st century, sowing the seeds for a new era.
“The job is not finished yet. It (NEP) has to be implemented in an equally effective manner, and we have to do it together,” he said, noting that a nation-wide consultation process is going on over the policy.
People have many questions about the NEP, and they are legitimate, he said, noting that over 15 lakh suggestions have been received on MyGov portal from teachers within a week of the Ministry of Education seeking views on the policy’s implementation.
“When the country marks its 75th years of Independence, then every student should be studying under guidelines formulated by the NEP. This is our collective responsibility,” he said, referring to teachers, parents, states and NGOs.
The NEP places a lot of thrust on children’s education, he said, adding that the young generation is vital to the nation’s development.
It focuses on learning based on fun, activities and discovery, and seeks to develop mathematical thinking and scientific temperament, Modi said.
The NEP has been prepared in way that the syllabus can be reduced and focus should be shifted to fundamentals, he said.