NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the new National Education Policy (NEP) focusses on ''how to think'', while the education system till now in the country emphasised on ''what to think''. The PM delivered the inaugural address at the ‘Conclave on
Transformational Reforms in Higher Education under National Education Policy’ via video link on Friday here.
Referring to the policy as foundation of "new India," the prime minister asked all stakeholders to focus on implementation of reforms laid down in the new policy.
"NEP has given rise to a healthy debate and the more we discuss and debate the more it will benefit the education department. It is palpable that questions will arise on how this huge plan will be implemented. We all will together do this implementation. Each one of you is directly involved in implementation of the NEP. In terms of political will, I am totally committed and with you," the PM said.
He added that because of the education system, curiosity and imagination took a back seat and herd mentality was encouraged.
"In recent years, there have not been major changes in education and thus the values of curiosity and imagination were not given the thrust.
Instead, we moved towards a herd community. The mapping of interest, ability, and demand was needed. We need to develop critical thinking and innovative thinking abilities in our youths. It will be possible if we have purpose, philosophy, and passion of education," he said.
"Till now, we have focussed on what to think but NEP 2020 focuses on how to think. At a time when there is a flood of information and content, it is important that we know which information is necessary and which is not. We need inquiry-based, discovery-based, and analysis-based modes of teaching. This will increase the interest to learn and participate in class," he said
The NEP allows top ranking institutes of the world to set-up campuses in India. Earlier, the HRD Ministry had introduced several initiatives under the Study in India program.
The NEP approved by the Union Cabinet replaces the 34-year-old National Policy on Education framed in 1986 and is aimed at paving the way for transformational reforms in school and higher education systems to make India a global knowledge superpower.
Among the reforms outlined in NEP for higher education are: choice between 3 or 4 year undergraduate courses, multiple entry and exit options in degree courses, adding 3.5 crore seats in higher education institutions, which will now have a single regulator, discontinuation of M.Phil programmes and fixation of fees.