Rashmi Ranjan

With the National Education Policy (NEP) framed by the Centre in July, 2020, set for implementation in all educational institutions from the academic session 2022-23 soon, parents and educationalists in Odisha have expressed a mixed-response towards the execution of the policy.

Though students and parents are optimistic about the NEP and some of its promising reforms, experts in the education sector have also raised apprehensions on how it will help shape the future of generations.

Many are doubtful of adequacy in the necessary infrastructures for successful implementation of the NEP which is country's first education policy of the 21st century. 

“As per the NEP, a student can continue from where he/she has left the studies mid-way. This is a welcome step, but the government must help students in ensuring a smooth transition in the course of studies which will be a challenging task," said a student. 

“There are no nursery classes in government-run schools. There is also lack of adequate infrastructure in many schools across the State. The government should work on developing facilities before implementing the new education policy,” said Krushna Chandra Pati, president of Utkal Parents’Association. 

“Another round of discussion should be held before implementing the policy,” said Amiya Mohanty, an educationalist.  

The NEP, which has been approved by the Union Cabinet, pitches for a “5+3+3+4” system of schooling in place of the 34-year-old National Policy on Education framed in 1986 which is based on 10+2 system of schooling.

As per the policy, students have been divided into four age groups -  3-8 years (foundational stage), 8-11 (preparatory), 11-14 (middle), and 14-18 (secondary). The policy brings the pre-school education for children belonging to 3-5 year age group under the ambit of formal schooling. 

The NEP says students until Class 5 should be taught in their mother tongue or regional language.

As per the policy, a child can enroll his/her name for class I in a school after attending 7 years of age. But the most important reforms there will be no Class X board exams. Similarly, the graduation course which is used to be of three—year, now will be a course of four years.