Rajiv Bansal, Director-Operations, Global Indian International School (GIIS), India

Rajiv is a Business Leader with over 25 years of experience in Education industry in India, APAC, Africa, and Latin America & the Caribbean, across the continuum of Skill Development, Employability and K-12 segments. In his current role as Director-Operations at GIIS, Rajiv is responsible for business development, overseeing all operational matters related to infrastructure, academics, affiliation, compliances, recruitment & training, finances and driving the profitability & growth agenda of GIIS’s School business in India. In his past engagements with Aptech, NIIT, Pearson & HCL he has managed P&L, created products & services, set up distribution channels and leveraged technology for education delivery. While at NIIT, Rajiv executed large and complex projects, notably in setting up IT centres of excellence in Latin America & the Caribbean, which required working closely with various government bodies, diplomats, and academic institutions on either side.

The 21st century is truly an era of transformation where professional forefronts will seek prospects who not just add value by fulfilling goals but take them to the next level with proactive thinking and innovation. In response, the New Education Policy 2020 promises to bring a paradigm shift across the nation’s education system.

The need of the hour is to enable our young minds to not only study different topics but learn to apply them in practical situations. For better understanding, the act of “studying” is comparable to memorising the recipe of a cake, while “learning” is to know how to bake one as well as further improve it. The New Education Policy is a dynamic move in this direction, where unique programmes and frameworks have been added at every level to ensure that students go beyond studying and create life experiences with continuous learning.

Greater Integration of Technology

The policy aims to overthrow one-way instruction by infusing interactivity through technology in learning. The National Education Technology Forum (NETF), an autonomous body, is on the anvil to bring digital equity across educational institutions. The key objective of this forum is to help schools and universities strengthen their technology facility, digital content, and capacity of their teachers. By building a robust technology base, schools will be able to give students the opportunity to connect with their peers in any part of the world, exchange knowledge, and even work on collaborative projects. Such digitisation of education also comes as a boon in unprecedented times, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, where schools took charge of reinventing their technical infrastructure to ensure uninterrupted learning for their students.

Power of Language

Children understand difficult concepts easily if they learn it in their own language. The New Education Policy emphasises the importance of imparting education in one’s mother tongue. Wherever possible, the regional or local language will be the medium of instruction at least till Grade 5, with provisions of extension till Grade 8. Being able to study in the language of daily interaction will give students leeway to connect with the subject better and find a deeper nuance in their learning. Through this, the New Education Policy eliminates the imposition of an unfamiliar language, as well as promotes the use of Indian languages across the country.

Flexibility in Subjects

Besides freedom in the language of instruction, the New Education Policy has ushered in flexibility in choosing subjects for higher education. Students are no longer obligated to opt for only one stream out of science, commerce and arts. They can now personalise their learning path at the senior secondary level by creating a unique combination of core and vocational subjects. For instance, a student can now study biology, alongside business studies or information technology. Every student has his or her individual career needs and this innovative, non-traditional approach will empower them to make better decisions for their future ambitions.

Focus on Experiential Learning

Students grasp concepts better with active hands-on learning. The New Education Policy focuses on enriching curriculums with practical oriented sessions, where students enjoy the freedom to apply their knowledge to the real world. Students have more freedom to self-explore, make mistakes and reflect on their experiences. The policy instructs schools and institutions to break the four walls and make ample space for experimentation. STEM-enabled rooms, Wi-Fi-equipped labs and libraries, innovative learning tools and implementation of educational software and applications will not only assist students to study better but evoke curiosity and desire to enhance their competencies.

More Engaging Curriculums

The New Education Policy will act as a catalyst in making India’s education relevant to the current as well as future times. The aim is to liberate students from the rat race of scoring marks and moving from one grade to the next and evolve pedagogies for holistic development. Creativity, experiential learning, future-ready abilities and critical thinking will be the cornerstones of the new educational system, where textbook content will be structured around a more practice-based methodology. Learning will become more invigorating with at least 10 bag-less days in a year, when children will participate in fun extracurricular activities and sports events, along with quizzes, games and puzzles, based around their course material.

Internships Starting 6th Grade

The New Education Policy also gives great emphasis on expanding the scope of practical-based learning, which is very essential. For instance, the policy directs schools to turn the 10-bagless days into an activity-rich experience for learners. Students, particularly from Grades 6 to 8, can make use of this time to take up a fun course or get involved in research work. Besides, during this period, students can gain practical experience interning with local artisans and craftsmen such as carpenters, gardeners, sculptors or potters and learn one or more skills besides academics. In fact, many more internships related to vocational skills are to be made available online throughout grades 6 to 12. Extending this vision of out-of-school learning, the new policy also recommends periodic visits to places of historic and cultural significance, thereby enabling students to interact with local craftsmen and get exposure to the real world.

Holistic Performance Assessment

The age-old ways of conducting exams at the end of the session will now be replaced by a more continuous evaluation process. “Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development” or PARAKH is a flagship initiative within the New Education Policy which assesses students across various parameters apart from academic understanding. Creativity, scientific and entrepreneurial temperament, problem-solving abilities, communication and interpersonal skills, besides sports and cultural talents, are analysed for a more wholesome assessment of a child’s progress. Furthermore, the policy also recommends schools to provide parents with a 360-degree holistic report card, which will not only cover their scores in various subjects but in every area of development.

The New Education Policy takes inspiration from the best educational systems from across the globe. With more flexible learning and focus on practical education, the new policy is meticulously designed to groom strong and confident leaders of the future world. Moreover, the policy envisages a new chapter for the nation, making India the focal point of global learning.

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