NAT Shashidar Nagarajappa-1596091844499
Shashidar Magarajappa with his wife and two sons Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: UAE-based parents with children in Indian curriculum schools have welcomed the Indian government’s new education policy announced on Wednesday.

India’s Union Cabinet approved a new National Education Policy aimed at changes to the education system for its curriculum from school to college level.

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Use of technology in teaching, learning and assessment, a single regulator for higher education, graded autonomy for colleges and phasing out of the affiliation system in 15 years are some highlights of the new policy.

More important, examinations, include boards, between Grades 9 to 12 will be reformed. Board exams will be made “easier” as they will primarily test core capabilities. Viable models will be explored with a focus on annual/semester/modular exams; two part exams - objective type and descriptive type. beginning with Math, ll subjects could be offered at two levels.

NAT Meenakshi Chakraborthy-1596091842566
Mennakshi Chakraborthy with her husband and daughter Malaika Image Credit: Supplied

Also relevant for UAE students’ learning at schools offering Indian curriculum studies is the fact that new courses will be included from as early as Grade 6 onwards. Stress has been given to inclusion of vocational and technology-related courses from as early as Grade 6.

One happy father

Shashidar Nagarajappa, hailing from Indian state of Karnataka, is one happy father. “This has been the need of the hour. For long, we have been stuck to our old ways of teaching and imparting education, our voice – that of parents and students is finally being heard by the Indian government,” said Nagarajappa whose two sons study in Grade 7 and 5 in an Indian school.

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“We welcome the move whole-heartedly from the Indian government. This has always been a concern for us as parents and even students. The world is moving ahead but as an education system we were stuck to our old roots. Am glad that is changing.”

Nagarajappa is particularly happy with a good amount of focus that will be given to “critical thinking, inquiry, discovery, discussion and analysis-based teaching and learning methods for holistic education.”

“As a parent, I am thrilled to note that there will be more interactive teaching and less dependency on text-book learning. Text book learning is a huge stress on students.”

Vocational courses

Pavani R. whose two children (10 and 7) study in Grade 5 and 2, is also thrilled. “I would love to see my child getting engaged in the subjects that interest him the most. Introduction of vocational courses right from middle school will be truly beneficial for children in maintaining the right balance between core subjects and subjects of passion! We anticipate a change in syllabus and wish that it eases the burden on the child by focusing more on practical aspects rather than age-old theories,” she said.

She was particularly happy to note there will be a good amount of focus on experimental learning through fun, creative, collaborative, exploratory activities. “This is what I have been looking forward to for my children’s education. This is the best way they will pick up on things. They are not learning anything with just text book teaching methods. It makes the whole experience of education motivating.”

Timely announcement

Another mother Meenakshi Chakraborthy, whose daughter Malaika is studying in Grade 10 in an Indian curriculum school, e welcomed the changes. Malaika is pursuing her studies in Commerce and gearing up for the ICSE Board Final exams scheduled in February – March next year. The announcement could not be more timely and useful for her.

“The current Indian education system puts a lot of pressure on the child and equally a lot of pressure on the parents. There are not too many choices in the current system which narrows down the future prospects. And actually most of the subjects, topics taught are not even required for implementation in future. The new system proposed by the Indian government is very welcoming and would surely be a big boost and relief to students especially for the current board students and parents.”

Some highlights of the new education policy

Students will be taught coding from class 6

Vocational integration from class 6 as against from secondary level

Board exam will now be based on knowledge application.

PARAKH - Performance, Assessment, Review and Analysis for Holistic Development - will form the standard, norm and guidelines for the schools so that it reaches the benchmark.

Schools will have transparent online systems for self-disclosure for public oversight and accountability.

National Testing Agency (NTA) will offer a common entrance exam for admission to higher education institutes, and a National Professional Standard for teachers to be prepared by the NCERT and the NCTE.

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