UT administration aims to increase gross enrollment ratio in higher education from 26.3% to 50% by 2035 – The Dispatch

J&K is optimistic about a radical change in its educational structure with the implementation of the National Education Policy

SRINAGAR, JUNE 13: With the implementation of the National Education Policy starting from the current session, Jammu and Kashmir will be among the first states and union territories to implement this dynamic document with numerous reforms aimed at making the education system employment-oriented.

“Students will now be able to easily compete for national courses well in time, they won’t have to wait months for admission to national colleges after results are declared,” an official said.

“With the implementation of the NEP, a national curriculum model followed by other states and union territories will be introduced in Jammu and Kashmir. The curriculum and format approved by the University Grants Commission (UGC) will be applicable at UT,” he added.

“Whether in terms of curriculum, study formats, educational courses, examination pattern, etc., Jammu and Kashmir will not only implement the national education policy but will become at the same level than national standards.

In Jammu and Kashmir, 16 colleges have been finalized for the option of skill development program along with undergraduate courses.

As part of this policy, the school education department was asked to immediately roll out Vidya Pravesh, a preschool readiness program for grade 1 students. The program included a three-month play module and sign language Indian as a subject at secondary level.

The policy aims to restructure school curricula and pedagogy into a new “5+3+3+4” design, so that school education can be tailored to the needs and interests of learners at different stages of development, including “fundamental stage” (five years), “Preparatory Stage” (three years), “Middle Stage” (three years) and “High Stage” (four years, covering grades 9, 10, 11 and 12).

Relevantly, an online process was launched for people’s suggestions and comments, which became the basis for major decisions in the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP-2020).

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha also interacted with education reform committees constituted at UT, division and district level and invited their valuable suggestions for working on education reforms in J&K and the proper implementation of NEP-2020.

The new education policy paved the way for innovative activities, modern labs, internships, and many similar features to bring historic change in the education system.

The Lieutenant Governor insisted on the rapid implementation of NEP-2020 saying that “our main objective should be to invite suggestions from all stakeholders and clear up doubts.” He said the NEP was created, for the first time in history, as a reflection of the aspirations of parents, teachers, students and education experts, which aims to meet the challenges of future generations.

Sinha said the new education policy contains features of equity, quality, affordability, accountability and promotes individual development through experience-based education and logical thinking.

The policy aims to recognize, identify and foster the unique abilities of each student by educating teachers as well as parents to promote the holistic development of each student in both academic and non-academic spheres. It envisions changes to the current system, including the move towards multi-disciplinary universities and colleges, with more tertiary institutions across India offering a medium of instruction in local/Indian languages; moving towards a more multidisciplinary undergraduate education; to move towards faculty and institutional autonomy; overhaul of curriculum, pedagogy, assessment and student support to reaffirm the integrity of faculty leadership positions and the establishment of a National Research Foundation, HEI governance by independent councils with academic and administrative autonomy; “light but strict” regulation by a single regulator for higher education; increased access, equity and inclusion.

“By 2040, all higher education institutions (HEIs) will aim to become multidisciplinary institutions, each of them aiming to have 3,000 or more students. There must be, by 2030, at least one large multidisciplinary HEI in or near each district The aim will be to increase the gross enrollment rate in higher education, including vocational education, from 26.3% (2018) to 50% by 2035,” the policy reads.

“Growth will occur in both public and private institutions, with a strong focus on developing a large number of exceptional public institutions. A university shall mean a multidisciplinary institution of higher learning that offers undergraduate and graduate programs with high quality teaching, research and community engagement,” the policy continues.

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Sallie R. Loera