By Rohit Sindhu, Updated : Aug 02, 2020 11:48 IST
NEP 2020: NCERT books with local content and flavour, emphasis on online education

New Education Policy (NEP 2020) drafted by Union Cabinet with an aim to reduce the burden from students and teachers, has been rolled out. Through NEP centre has decided to lift the local language barriers by introducing mother tongue and local language at foundation and Primary level in Schools. Under New Education Policy 2020, govt has tried to provide students a burden free education and also emphasized on use of technology over increasing burden of extra pack of books. NEP 2020 introduces several major changes at School Education level like including of local content with flavour in NCERT books. The reduction in content and increased flexibility of school curriculum and the renewed emphasis on constructive rather than rote learning, must be accompanied by parallel changes in school textbooks, New Education Policy reads.

All textbooks shall aim to contain the essential core material (together with discussion, analysis, examples, and applications) deemed important on a national level, but at the same time contain any desired nuances and supplementary material as per local contexts and needs, NEP adds.

Local content with flavour in NCERT books: Where possible, schools and teachers will also have choices in the textbooks they employ – from among a set of textbooks that contain the requisite national and local material - so that they may teach in a manner that is best suited to their own pedagogical styles as well as to their students and communities’ needs.

Through the NEP 2020, the aim is to to provide such quality textbooks at the lowest possible cost -namely, at the cost of production/ printing - in order to mitigate the burden of textbook prices on the students and on the educational system. This may be accomplished by using high-quality textbook materials developed by NCERT in conjunction with the SCERTs; additional textbook materials could be funded by public-philanthropic partnerships and crowd sourcing that incentivize experts to write such high-quality textbooks at cost price, it adds.

Should Read- NEP Education Policy for Teachers

States will prepare their own curricula (which may be based on the NCFSE prepared by NCERT to the extent possible) and prepare textbooks (which may be based on the NCERT textbook materials to the extent possible), incorporating State flavour and material as needed. While doing so, it must be borne in mind that NCERT curriculum would be taken as the nationally acceptable criterion, New Education Policy says.

According to draft prepared by HRD Ministry, the availability of such NCERT textbooks in all regional languages will be a top priority so that all students have access to high-quality learning. All efforts will be made to ensure timely availability of textbooks in schools. Access to downloadable and printable versions of all textbooks will be provided by all States/UTs and NCERT to help conserve the environment and reduce the logistical burden. Concerted efforts, through suitable changes in curriculum and pedagogy, will be made by NCERT, SCERTs, schools, and educators to significantly reduce the weight of school bags and textbooks.

Era of Online Education: Once internet-connected smart phones or tablets are available in all homes and/ or schools, online apps with quizzes, competitions, assessments, enrichment materials, and online communities for shared interests will be developed, and will work to enhance all the aforementioned initiatives, as group activities for students with appropriate supervision of parents and teachers. Schools will develop smart classrooms, in a phased manner, for using digital pedagogy and thereby enriching the teaching-learning process with online resources and collaborations.