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Virtual Schools to Alternative Academic Calendar: Education Minister Launches Key Initiatives of NEP 2020

Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan

Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan

The nationwide policy suggests a complete overhaul of the education system including that of the school and college education system.

The makeshift mode of taking offline learning online has been mainstreamed and now will be offered in form of a structured virtual school. The virtual school will be accessible through different mediums which are beyond the internet. This has been created by the National Institute of Open School (NIOS) and launched by Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today.

Pradhan launched five key initiatives under the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 today including a booklet on one-year achievement of NEP, virtual school, academic calendar for students studying in digital mode, Priya - a comic and learning book series, and NIPUN Bharat initiative to strengthen foundation learning among kids up to class 3.

The alternative academic calendar was released last year too to map learning outcomes in students. The calendar follows a weekly pattern to ensure similar education levels and outcomes are achieved across schools. The system has been expanded this year to include kids who do not have access to digital devices as well as include assessment criteria.

These are among the suggestions by NEP 2020. The nationwide policy suggests a complete overhaul of the education system including that of the school and college education system. NEP 2020 replaces a 34-year-old policy.

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On Monday at the launch of the implementation of NEP in Karnataka, the Union Minister of Education, said, “The NEP will catapult India into a new global world order. We all have to work collectively to fulfil our national ambition of making India a vibrant knowledge economy." Karnataka became the first state to implement NEP.

“The generation that is in the age group of 3-23 today will reap the benefits of NEP and will shape India’s destiny in the future. The challenge before us is to include India’s growing population under the ambit of New Education Policy as early as possible," he said.

Major changes suggested by NEP include education in the mother tongue, multiple entry and exit options for a degree programme, setting up of Academic Bank of Credit (ABC), setting up of National National Educational Technology Forum (NETF), allowing higher education institutes from India to set-up campuses abroad and those from abroad to set-up campuses in India, converting standalone colleges into multidiscipline universities. At the school level, it not only asks to make board exams low stake but also to make the existing 10+2 system into 5+3+3+4.

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first published:August 24, 2021, 09:39 IST