An effective education system depends on a suitable learning environment. The setting must be secure, neat, understanding, compassionate, stable, and corrective but not punitive, accountable, receptive, and inclusive. When it comes to school education, all these features take on greater significance, as that’s when the system either shapes or destroys young minds.
In addition to academic talents, the environment must equip students with the necessary life skills. India’s NEP 2020 pays close attention to the main problems relating to the learning environment and suggests solutions to keep it in top condition. The new education system assumes control of a child at the age of three, which unquestionably places a great deal of responsibility on the system.
One of the major tenets of India’s NEP 2020 is the recognition of the local community as an important component of the learning environment.
The policy has introduced significant changes in the school education system, with a focus on improving the learning environment. Some of them are list below:
Eliminate Rote Learning:
In order to meet the demands of the fast-paced and constantly changing world, where “smart working” is preferred above “hard-working,” it is important to emphasise the idea of “Learn how to learn.” To accomplish this goal, the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) program suggests “Discussion-based learning” and “Discovery-based learning.” For the environment to support these crucial goals, it must be sufficiently empower.
Enhanced Focus on India and the Student’s Own Locality:
The necessity of cultivating students’ interest in, respect for, and admiration of India is emphasis by policymakers. It is important to research each school’s local area as well as its own heroes and deserving people.
For this to occur, the learning environment must create the necessary conditions.
Developing Cognitive Skills, Soft Skills, and Life Skills:
The NEP 2020 recognises the importance of developing cognitive skills in students. The policy emphasises the need to provide students with opportunities to think critically, solve problems, and develop creative and innovative solutions. This recommends the use of inquiry-based learning, project-based learning, and other active learning strategies to develop students’ cognitive skills.
The policy recognises that success in the modern world requires not only academic excellence but also soft skills such as communication, collaboration, teamwork, leadership, and empathy. Also, it emphasises that success in life requires not only academic and soft skills but also life skills such as self-awareness, resilience, adaptability, problem-solving, and decision-making.
Creation of School Complexes or Clusters:
The policy recommends the creation of School Complexes or Clusters, which are groups of neighbouring schools that work together to provide better educational outcomes for all students. There can be one secondary school and numerous schools that offer foundational/preparatory/middle school grades within a 5- to 10-mile radius.
Libraries, science laboratories, computer labs, sports facilities, housing areas, play areas, and other resources can all be shared. Teachers, counsellors, technical workers, and maintenance personnel can be pooled. Extracurricular activities can be improved by grouping them, and different clubs and circles can be established to encourage healthy competition and peer tutoring among students.
Inclusion of Local Community:
The local community of every school or school cluster can play a significant role in creating the ideal conditions for holistic education. The policy recommends the involvement of parents, local leaders, and other stakeholders in the governance, planning, and implementation of education programs.
The active involvement of the local community will increase the effectiveness of vocational training and life skills training. Additionally, it offers chances for knowledge and skill sharing between schools and the community, which can raise the standard and relevance of educational programs.
Measures for Parents to Cut Costs:
The NEP 2020 recognises that the cost of education can be a major barrier to accessing quality education, particularly for families from low-income backgrounds. It guarantees free education for the underprivileged and disadvantaged. The streamlined curriculum, evaluation standards, and general learning method mean that students do not need specialised coaching or tuition, which can save parents money.
More money can be save by using fewer textbooks and having the option to print PDFs. It further offers another programme called “Adult Education” that allows parents to gain tutoring skills for their children, helping to further cut down on educational costs.
The policies introduced by the NEP 2020, such as developing cognitive skills, soft skills, and life skills, and promoting a holistic and inclusive education system, align with Bloom’s taxonomy of higher-order thinking skills, which emphasise the development of critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity.
The NEP 2020 aims to create a learning environment that fosters Bloom’s taxonomy, which is essential for the holistic development of students and their success in the 21st century.
A good learning environment includes qualified educators and support staff, sound infrastructure, a welcoming neighbourhood, a calm atmosphere, effective administrative and governing machinery, a sincere commitment to the principles of equity and inclusion, and excellent teamwork between all parties.
The above-listed policies focus on creating a more inclusive, engaging, and supportive learning environment that fosters the holistic development of the child. It takes into account every component of the educational system, which NEP 2020 acknowledges and values highly.