NEW EDUCATION POLICY 2020 – changes envisaged & implications for parents, schools & students

(While providing a high level overview of NEP2020 – we have focused on pre- nursery, nursery & primary schooling grades, in this piece – as that’s when a lasting foundation for children is laid)

The new educational policy envisions an education system, rooted in Indian ethos that contributes directly to transforming India, that is Bharat, sustainably into an equitable and vibrant knowledge society, by providing high quality education to all, and thereby making India, a global knowledge superpower

The new education policy (NEP) under roll out now – will radically “transform” and “improve” education in India – bringing it closer to global standards, if not better.

Given all the change, all around and its logical that the nation’s educational framework, curriculum, pedagogy, scope, assessment practices & the “what + how” of education radically improve to keep pace with evolved needs of our children & population in the 21st century (Incidentally, our existing educational framework was implemented 34 years back).

This is a major structural change now, after extensive reviews by experts & practitioners, public feedback and considerable international bench marking too.

major change in education in India – after 34 years

This article is based on review of recently published NEP2020 and published commentaries on the same by government & other experts. The article attempts to focus on implications – particularly for parents & children – although there is a lot more detail in NEP2020 for most other stakeholders, too.

Only some of the key aspects of what is likely to change is attempted to be explained, as there is widespread curiosity in the minds of parents & teachers on NEP2020 implications. The focus in this piece, has however been largely limited to nursery & primary education for smaller children – where the foundation of children is laid …although some overarching big picture across all of education (school & college, etc.) context is brought out as well – to serve as a backdrop.



Existing Education framework – India


NEP 2020





Years of formal schooling increased




= 12



= 15





no of years of formal schooling increased from 12 years to 15 years (including 3 years of Early childhood education(ECE) – recognizing its overarching importance).

Foundational schooling ( for 3 to 8 years age  group) – formally included in schooling structure  

Early Childhood education (ECE) not formally included as part of schooling this far – although in some urban areas ECE is being delivered to the top quartile population segments – mainly by the private sector nursery schools


ECE part of first 5 years of foundational   schooling now – including 3 years ECE + grade 1 and2

Will be applicable for all children going forward






In sync with global best practices – early childhood education(ECE) to  be extensively delivered & radically improve to enable development of core foundational development, critical for enabling quality schooling & later years education

The overall aim of Early childhood & education (ECE) to radically improve, to enable  optimal outcomes in  physical and motor development, cognitive development, socio-emotional-ethical development, cultural/artistic development, and the development of communication and early language, literacy, and numeracy, besides artistic and creative capabilities – leveraging enjoyable learning practices – both indoor & outdoor and visual/audio tools such as story listening & discussion, drama, puppetry, music & movement; development operations to include a play-based multi-faceted kinder garden curriculum

Some of the other changes in schooling & college education are:

Holistic” 360 degree assessment, will replace  “ only” assessment of academic   performance in schools ( class 10 -Board will be dropped)

Current focus, on “academics” only . – will be replaced by a more holistic assessment methodology, leveraging a semester system of classes and assessment. Choosing hard coated streams (I.e arts, science, commerce, etc) in high schools will be replaced by a flexible – choose now & change if necessary – multimodal subjects options model – giving children flexibility to choose/change streams & develop hybrid learning paths as per their liking/career paths. Class 10 boards will thus get eliminated and there would be a system of continuous learning and assessments in high school semesters.

Focus also on developing vocational skills

In line with global practices – there would be focus on vocational training at school level itself – with every child passing out adept, in at least one skill.

Major overhaul of college education – with single stream education replaced by multi-stream education

Similar to education models overseas – single stream colleges (I.e. science or commerce or arts, etc) will be enhanced, to allow children to choose seamlessly /move between streams – in a semester wise – get minimum credits and move to next semester model.  Undergrad college education will mainly become 4 years programs.

Common national admission test, admission to college ( from school), to replace marks based current system – completely transforming the focus on school Board academic marks  achivement , and focus ( 10th Board also likely to be dropped, as the last few  of  schooling years transition from an year model to semeseter model ).

Common India wise national college admission test – like the SAT model in the US will be introduced for facilitating college admissions in a easier way – doing away with the school marks based admissions in colleges currently – which will force schools to focus on learning & development outcomes of their children, rather than getting “marks”. so the perceived differences between CBSE or ICSC or Cambridge or State Boards or IB may become less irrelevant – as all that will be important will be how you fare in your national common admission test for college entry – weather in India if you’re choosing to do college in India or of  another country (with common admission test of that country).

Gross enrolment ratio in schools to go upto 100% of all children in India (from around 85% currently). Outcomes and quality of learning (not just academic marks) to also radically improve.

To facilitate all of this, there would be a major increase in public expenditure on education to reach 6% of India’s GDP (from around 3% currently).


The NEP2020 is path breaking for children & India – we are excited about this development & looking forward – given its impact in Nation Building & the Future.

The sixth element being a leader in early childhood & primary education is already rather well benchmarked to the NEP2020 . As we evaluated are readiness to transition to the NEP 2020 – we have found that we are already there – given our mature internationally benchmarked curriculam & pedagaogy – and over 17 years of experience in Gurugram


The Sixth Element School

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