Readers’ doubts about the National Education Policy were answered by a team of experts on the basis of the Final Policy (NEP 2020). Many questions were related to the changes in teachers’ education.
Two-year BEd: Nothing to worry about
Isn't making the four-year integrated B.Ed mandatory for teaching appointments from 2030 detrimental to those completing the B.Ed now? What will be the future of those joining the two-year B.Ed from this year till 2030?
Those who are currently pursuing a two-year B.Ed program will not face any form of disqualification. Currently, there are two types of B.Ed programs in many places. Both will continue. But after 2030, only four-year integrated B.Ed programmes will be available.
Will there be any changes in the D.EL.ED programme (old TTC) similar to those being envisaged for the B.Ed programme? Can those who have passed DLED continue to teach in primary classes?
The National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education (NCFTE) will be in place next year to determine what the teacher education curriculum should be like.
Matters including changes in the D.EL.ED, will be decided at the time of the formation of the NCFTE. It will be formed by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) in consultation with the National Council for Education Research (NCERT) on the basis of the principles laid out in the New Education Policy.
Does the new policy consider it is better to have teachers with the same qualification (B.Ed) to teach from classes I to XII? Shouldn't the approach to teaching at higher levels be different from that needed at the primary level?
The National Professional Standards for Teachers NPST) will be prepared in 2022. This will include the qualities that teachers need to have and achieve at each level. The structure of the four-year B.Ed program will be decided based on these standards.
When preschool also becomes part of formal education, will existing teachers in that field need to become more qualified? Is there a clear direction regarding this in the education policy as in the case of BEd?
The five years from the age of three to the age of eight are considered as a period for basic primary education. The Early Childhood Care and Education Period (ECCE) is from 3-6 years. The remaining two years are for classes I and II. Anganwadi workers and teachers handling the ECCE phase must complete the prescribed training. The National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education will provide a clearer picture when it comes into force.
The NCERT will prepare the National Curricular and Pedagogical Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education (NCPF-ECCE). It will have two categories: till the age of three, and from three to eight years old. This will form a guide for institutions and parents.
Concessions after MPhil: Nothing decided yet
Those who completed MPhil were given one-year exemption during PhD. Will those who have already secured MPhil still get this exemption?
No decision has been made regarding this. The requirements and exemptions for higher qualifications will be included in the National Higher Education Qualifications Framework (NHEQF).
It is said that a diploma will be awarded on completion of the second year of a four-year multidisciplinary degree. Will the diploma be the same as the current diploma obtained from three-year programmes?
The equivalency of degree, diploma and certificate programmes will be determined as per the National Higher Education Qualifications Framework guidelines.
What is the status of and eligibility for the ITI course in the new policy?
A decision on this will also be based on the guidelines of the National Higher Education Qualifications Framework.
The policy says that emphasis should be given to physical education. Are there any guidelines regarding physical education qualifications?
The NHEQF will lay out the guidelines.
Responses to possible changes at the school level
The new policy says that vocational education should start from the sixth standard. At that age, will a child be mature enough to realise his or her own potential and make a choice? What if parents do not have the required ability to help children make a choice?
This proposal is not really aimed at building employment skills in students. It is rather aimed at helping students discover their tastes and excellence.
It is intended to see if the students are interested in occupations like carpentry, electrical work, metalwork, gardening and pottery. States and local bodies can also include other handicrafts depending on local specialities, tastes and preferences.
Such a training-based curriculum will be developed by the NCERT next year when the curriculum framework is formulated.
In Kerala, there are clear guidelines on how many students should be there in each class from standard I onwards. But there is nothing of that sort for pre-primary classes. That is where the workload is also high. Does the education policy say anything about teacher-pupil ratio in pre-primary classes?
The teacher-student ratio can be decided by the state governments. State governments should also decide on pre-primary classes.
Will there be a situation where many of the conditions, including the one mandating teaching the mother tongue up to the fifth standard, will be restricted to only the government schools, where the children of the common people study, and institutions in the private sector will be exempted from them? Will it be possible to ensure a single syllabus in government and private schools till classes V or VIII instead of multiple syllabuses as is the case now?
The NEP will prove a general basic curriculum. There will be no public-private distinction. But, it will not be possible to define a syllabus that will ensure uniformity.
What are the changes for students with disabilities? Is there a separate syllabus?
The aim is not to create a specific curriculum for them, but to create a conducive environment and an integrated approach to enable and encourage them towards better learning. The aim is to create mechanisms to ensure their participation in both academic and extra-curricular and vocational training.
The things to pay attention to when teaching students with disabilities will be made mandatory in the curriculum for teachers’ education.