Use any Indian language as optional medium, says CBSE

Context

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has written to its affiliated schools that they may consider using Indian languages as an optional medium of instruction, in addition to the other options.

The CBSE has advised using an Indian language as an option from pre-primary classes to Class 12.

The National Education Policy, 2020 emphasised the significant cognitive advantages of multilingualism for young learners, particularly when they were exposed to several languages from the foundational stage.

The National Education Policy (2020)

The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is a comprehensive framework for education reform in India, introduced by the Government of India. It was approved by the Union Cabinet on July 29, 2020, and is the first major overhaul of the country’s education policy in over three decades, replacing the previous National Policy on Education, which was formulated in 1986 and modified in 1992.

The NEP 2020 aims to address the challenges faced by the Indian education system and proposes several key changes and reforms across all levels of education, from early childhood to higher education. Some of the main features and objectives of the National Education Policy 2020 are as follows:

Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE): The policy emphasizes the importance of early childhood education and aims to provide universal access to high-quality ECCE for children aged 3-6 years.

Foundational Literacy and Numeracy: The NEP focuses on ensuring that every child achieves basic literacy and numeracy skills by the end of Grade 3.

5+3+3+4 Curricular Structure: The school education system has been restructured into a 5+3+3+4 format, with the first five years being foundational stage, followed by three years of preparatory stage, three years of middle stage, and four years of secondary stage.

Multidisciplinary and Holistic Education: The policy promotes a multidisciplinary and holistic approach to education, integrating arts and vocational subjects into the curriculum.

Mother Tongue as Medium of Instruction: The NEP advocates for mother tongue or local language as the medium of instruction up to Grade 5 and beyond.

Flexible Board Examinations: The policy proposes board examinations in Grades 10 and 12 to be made easier and more flexible, focusing on core competencies.

Promotion of Vocational Education: The NEP emphasizes the importance of vocational education and aims to integrate it into the mainstream education system.

Higher Education Reforms: The policy seeks to promote autonomy and improve the quality of higher education institutions, facilitate multiple entry and exit options, and encourage research and innovation.

National Research Foundation (NRF): The NEP proposes the establishment of the NRF to fund and promote research and innovation in various disciplines.

Technology Integration: The policy advocates the use of technology in education and aims to strengthen online and digital learning platforms.

The National Education Policy 2020 envisions transforming the Indian education system to empower students with 21st-century skills, creativity, critical thinking, and a deep sense of responsibility towards society. Implementation of the policy involves collaboration between the central and state governments, educational institutions, teachers, parents, and all stakeholders involved in the education sector.

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