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National Education Policy 2020: 5+3+3+4 System of School Education Explained!

Mayank Uttam

National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020): On 29th July 2020 Union Cabinet approved NEP 2020 (New Education Policy 2020) which will replace the existing 10+2 School System with a new 5+3+3+4 School System. Besides this, the age group for the Right to Education (RTE) is now 3 to 18 years (earlier 14 years). The New Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) also emphasizes access, affordability, equity, quality, accountability & universalization of Early Childhood Care Education (ECCE). 

On the completion of one year of the National Education Policy 2020, Prime Minister Modi will address the nation and will launch several key initiatives in the education sector such as the academic bank of credit that will provide multiple entries and exit options for students in higher education, first-year engineering programmes in regional languages and guidelines for internationalization of higher education, and more. 

A year ago, on this day under the leadership of Hon. PM @narendramodi, NEP2020– a visionary education policy of the 21st-century was launched with the aim to bring out the capabilities of each student, universalise education, build capacities and transform the learning landscape.

— Dharmendra Pradhan (@dpradhanbjp) July 29, 2021

Here we have explained the new 5+3+3+4 School System besides the main highlights of NEP 2020 (National Education Policy 2020).

NEP 2020: The new 5+3+3+4 School System:

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Here is the age-wise and class-wise breakdown of the 5+3+3+4 curricular and pedagogical structure of New Education Policy 2020. It is based on the cognitive-developmental stages of the children. 

Secondary Stage - 4 Years 

Age 14 to 18: Class 9 to Class 12

Middle Stage - 3 Years

 Age 11 to 14: Class 6 to Class 8 

Preparatory Stage - 3 Years 

Age 8 to 11: Class 3 to Class 5 

Foundational Stage - 5 Years

Age 3 to 6: 3 Years (Anganwadi/Pre-school/Balvatika) 

Age 6 to 8: 2 Years (Class 1 & Class 2) 

The new 5+3+3+4 School Structure will comprise 12 years of school & 3 years of pre-school (or Anganwadi or Balvatika). 

Reduction in Curriculum:

NEP 2020 will emphasize the evaluation of actual knowledge rather than rote learning and board exams will be of low stake. Students will learn coding from class 6 onwards. No Rigid Separation between Arts & Sciences, between Curricular and extra-curricular activities, between Vocational and Academic streams

NEP 2020 Promotes Multilingualism:

According to NEP 2020, mother tongue will be a medium of instruction till 5th grade. MHRD tweeted that the medium of instruction (preferably) till Grade 8 & beyond, will be the home language/mother-tongue/local language/regional language. Starting from the Foundational Stage, children will be exposed to different languages with a particular emphasis on the mother tongue.

Technology in Education:

To improve various aspects of education, the use and integration of technology will be encouraged & supported. Efforts will be concentrated on developing technologies to transform the education system & empower educators.

UG degree will have multiple exit options:

An Academic Bank of Credit shall be established which would digitally store the academic credits earned from various recognized HEIs so that the degrees from an HEI (Higher Education Institutions) can be awarded taking into account credits earned. According to NEP 2020, NTA will conduct Common Entrance Exam for admission to HEIs.

Also Check: Draft National Education Policy 2019 PDF


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