Srinagar: Coming out of its disturbed past, Jammu and Kashmir is striding boldly on the way to implementing National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 that would provide its youth with brighter future.
The government has decided to implement the NEP in Jammu and Kashmir from the 2022-23 session.
It has approved a calendar for all higher education institutions in the Union Territory and has directed the universities to strictly adhere to the prescribed timelines for the completion of graduate and post-graduate courses. Sixteen colleges have been finalised for skill development programme options with undergraduate courses in Jammu and Kashmir.
With the implementation of NEP, Jammu and Kashmir will introduce a national pattern of curriculum after other states and Union Territories.
The Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education (JKBOSE) may shift the session of primary to higher secondary level school examinations from November to March.
It is believed that the administration is actively considering a proposal in this regard. Though a final decision has not been taken yet, according to reports, the administration is mulling the proposal along with the change in the Higher Education Department (HED) session.
In order to enrich the unique talent of students in sync with their capability, a number of skill based programmes under the NEP are in offing to empower the youth of Jammu and Kashmir.
The NEP states that by the year 2025, at least 50 per cent of the students will have the spotlight of different skill based courses.
"By 2025, at least 50 percent of learners through the school and higher education system shall have exposure to vocational education, for which a clear action plan with targets and timelines will be developed," reads the NEP.
It says that vocational education is in alignment with Sustainable Development Goal and will help students to realize the full potential of India's demographic dividend. "The number of students in vocational education will be considered while arriving at the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) targets. The development of vocational capacities will go hand-in-hand with the development of 'academic' or other capacities."
Earlier, the skill oriented and skilled based courses were being taught in ITIs and polytechnic colleges only but as per the NEP-2020, the skill based or the vocational education will be imparted in schools and colleges also.
Principal Secretary, Higher Education Department, Rohit Kansal said some of the skill-based courses selected by the Degree colleges include Dairy Farming, Poultry Farming, Apiculture, Commercial Medicinal and Medical Plants, Web Developing, Apiculture Development, Processing of Fruits and Vegetables, Documentary Filmmaking, Retail Management and Computer Hardware and Networking, and Software Development.
The idea of the policy is to instill among the learners not only the thought, but also in spirit, intellect, and deeds, as well as to develop knowledge, skills, values, and dispositions that support responsible commitment to human rights, sustainable development and living, and global well-being, thereby reflecting a truly global citizen.
To teach the skill based programmes, a special shorter local teacher education programmes will also be available at Board for IT Education Standards (BITES), District Institute of Education and Trainings (DIETs), or at school complexes themselves for eminent local persons who can be hired to teach at schools or school complexes as 'master instructors', for the purpose of promoting local professions, knowledge, and skills, e.g., local art, music, agriculture, business, sports, carpentry, and other vocational crafts.
NEP 2020 says that one of the primary reasons for the small numbers of students receiving vocational education is the fact that vocational education has in the past focused largely on Grades 11-12 and on dropouts in Grade 8 and upwards.
"Moreover, students passing out from Grades 11-12 with vocational subjects often did not have well-defined pathways to continue with their chosen vocations in higher education," it reads.
On July 29, 2020, the Union Cabinet of India approved the New National Education Policy to replace the Education Policy of 1986. This policy brings a major positive change in education in India. The main objective of launching the National Education Policy 2022 was to restructure the education policy of India.