The K Kasturirangan committee put the Draft National Education Policy 2019 in the public domain last month. Among the various revolutionary steps it proposes, is the plan to do away with the established 10+2 pattern of school education, and introduce a new, reformed 5+3+3+4 structure.
The 5+3+3+4 design essentially splits school education in four stages. These stages, in chronological order of a student’s study life will be as follows.
5 years of Foundational stage, that will include 3 years of pre-primary school as well as grades 1, and 2.
3 years of Preparatory, or Latter Primary stage, which will include grades 3, 4, and 5.
3 years of Middle or Upper Primary stage, comprising of grades 6, 7, and 8.
4 years of High or Secondary stage. This last lap will include grades 9, 10, 11, and 12.
The first five years of foundational stage will focus on “flexible, multilevel, play-based, activity-based, and discovery-based learning”, says the policy.
Then the next three years will build on the play, discover, activity based learning style of foundational stage, and simultaneously introduce textbook learning in a formal classroom learning setup. In this preparatory stage, students will be taught by generalist teachers who will aim to build a good base in “reading, writing, speaking, physical education, art, languages, science, and mathematics”.
After that shall come the Middle stage to last three years, wherein, subject teachers will come into the picture to teach students learn and discuss more abstract concepts of subjects. Experiential learning and explorations will however still be encouraged.
The last four years will be focused on multidisciplinary study. The pedagogical and curricular style of the preceding stage will be built upon. Introduction at this stage will be of “greater depth, greater critical thinking, greater attention to life aspirations, and greater flexibility and student choice.”
In the Secondary stage of four years, each year will be divided into 2 semesters. Thus there will be a total of 8 semesters. Each student will take up 5 to 6 subjects in each semester.
While some subjects will be common for all, the Draft National Education Policy 2019 says that they will also get a lot of flexibility in choosing among elective courses.
What will happen to board exams? Is an important question that has been on the minds of many ever since the policy was discussed. As per the draft, there will be modular board examinations “restructured to test only core concepts, principles, critical thinking, and other higher-order skills in each subject”. Adding to the point, the policy says, “The notions of “higher secondary” or “junior college” will be eliminated; Grades 11 and 12 will be considered an integral part of the secondary stage.”
The new policy will cover children from age 3 to age 18, instead of the previous age 6 to age 14 under RTE act.
At present, MHRD is giving final shape to the new education policy. Saying that any policy is only as good as its implementation, the ministry has laid down a six point plan to implement the NEP.
What are your views on the plans to scrap the 10+2 pattern and introduce this new 5+3+3+4 pattern? Do you think it will make the education system better? How do you think it will impact everyone?