[lg policy] New education policy seeks to junk 10+2 format, ‘high-stakes’ exams

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Sat Jun 1 10:32:55 EDT 2019

New education policy seeks to junk 10+2 format, ‘high-stakes’ examsThe
policy recommends replacing the current 10+2 schooling format with a
5+3+3+4 structure.
Anubhuti Vishnoi
, ET Bureau|
Updated: Jun 01, 2019, 06.45 PM IST
[image: 1]NCERT to devise curricula from pre-primary to Class 12 to bring
in the flexible approach and focus on numeracy, critical thinking,
languages and knowledge of India among other aspects.
NEW DELHI: Replacing the 10+2 system, replacing ‘high stakes’ Class 10 and
12 exams with subject-wise ‘modular’ assessments anytime between Classes 9
and 12, ‘census’ examinations for classes 3, 5 and 8 to track progress
throughout the school experience and deregulating higher education to allow
students to opt for courses, exit them mid-way and resume them at fully
autonomous public and private institutes -- these are some of the key
recommendations of the new education policy
<https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/topic/new-education-policy> that the
Modi government is set to make public as it begins its second stint.

Key to the policy is an overarching emphasis on a ‘liberalised’ and
flexible education system which allows for mobility as well as exposure to
the liberal arts.

The policy document — recommended by a nine-member committee headed by
eminent scientist Dr Kasturirangan — calls for restructuring of both higher
education and school education regulatory regimes and
assessment/examination systems. It underlines the glory of ancient Indian
universities of Nalanda
<https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/topic/Nalanda> and
Takshashila and their ‘liberal’ approach to education. It underlines the
need to bring in the rich Indian culture, tradition and knowledge systems
besides strong underpinnings of ‘ethics’, constitutional values and
contribution to community or ‘seva’ in the education system.

The committee also recommends a Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog chaired by the
prime minister. It will have on board the Chief Justice of India, Lok Sabha
Speaker, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, education minister and top
academics. It also recommends that the HRD ministry be renamed the Ministry
of Education. ET breaks down the details:

The policy recommends replacing the 10+2 format with a 5+3+3+4 structure.
This implies five years of a ‘Foundational Stage’ that will include three
years of pre-primary and classes 1and 2. It will be followed by three years
of ‘Preparatory Stage’, three years of middle school and four years of
secondary stage.

All students will take ‘state census examinations’ in grades 3, 5 and 8
where they would be tested on core concepts, knowledge and higher order
skills. The grade 3 census examination, for instance, would test basic
literacy, numeracy, and other foundational skills. Each year of the
secondary stage will be divided into two semesters. Each student would take
five to six subjects in each semester.

To counter “the harmful effects of board and entrance examinations”, the
panel recommends restructuring them to a ‘modular’ format allowing students
to take the board examination in each subject at the end of the semester in
which they take that subject. Students will be expected to take a total of
at least 24 subject board examinations, or on average three a semester
instead of final examinations.

Language is a key focus of the policy which strongly recommends making the
mother tongue the mode of instruction at least until class five and
preferably till at least class eight. It says Sanskrit be offered at all
levels of school and higher education as one of the optional languages on
par with all Schedule 8 languages. All students will be asked to take at
least two years of a classical language of India in classes 6-8, with the
option to continue through secondary education and university.


 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

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