The new National Education Policy (NEP) in India seeks to solve existing educational difficulties while preparing students for future possibilities and challenges. Foundational learning (literacy and numeracy) is one of the most controversial reforms. According to the policy, "this knowledge is considered an essential foundation and an integral requirement for all subsequent school education and lifelong learning." As a result, the introduction of the National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy is significant for various reasons.
One explanation for this is that not every student in India has exposure to a stimulating and nurturing home environment. A concerted effort should be undertaken at the school level by providing qualified teachers, specialized curriculum and teaching materials, and other resources. Second, the emphasis on foundational knowledge can close the gap that exists in our nation because millions of students lack access to high-quality preschool programs. Third, ensuring that children finish school with learning that enables them to move on to the next level depends on foundational education. If the foundational knowledge is strong, it will eventually aid in curtailing dropout rates.
Why is it Important to Reduce Dropout Rates?
High school dropout rates were reduced before the COVID-19 pandemic. Compared to 2018, they were about 5%, dropping from 10% in 2005. Unfortunately, the figures appear to rise as the pandemic's impacts on the educational system continue.
So, why is it important to reduce dropout rates? In India, the problem of dropouts is of great concern and attention. The number keeps on increasing each year. This impairs the students' social and economic development, lowers the nation's literacy rate, and fosters a non-innovative culture. The repercussions of quitting school might often include prolonged unemployment or unstable jobs, a greater dependency on welfare, and the feeding of a loop of financial hardship in society.
Students are more likely to fall behind in their learning as more educational institutions shift toward hybrid learning environments. Implementing programs that leverage advanced technology could potentially solve this persistent issue. Although, it is difficult to determine why children drop out of school.
Using technology to enhance students' educational experiences will aid in curtailing dropout rates. Teachmint's integrated platform offers students a dynamic, comprehensive education infrastructure to stimulate learning.
How NEP 2020 Will Help Curtail Dropout Rate?
Now, let's examine how Nep 2020 will help curtail dropout rates. With the help of programs like the Right to Education Act and the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (now known as Samagra Shiksha), India has made significant progress in recent years toward achieving almost universal enrollment in elementary schools. But India has seen a significant increase in dropout rates after Grade 5, despite several government initiatives.
The document on NEP 2020 states that while the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) for elementary school was 90.9%, it was only 79.3% and 56.5% for secondary and senior secondary, respectively.
The major goal of the newly enacted NEP 2020 is to ensure that all children have access to education. It is expected that reforms stated in the NEP 2020 policy will aid in curtailing dropout rates in India.
1. Improving Infrastructure
The NEP 2020 suggests improving the infrastructure so that every student, from pre-primary to Class 12, has access to safe and engaging school education for providing universal access to education and curtailing dropout rates.
It further states that competent, qualified teachers must be provided at each step and that extra care must be given to ensure that no school is left without enough infrastructure support.
Government schools' credibility should be restored, and this will be done by improving and expanding the existing infrastructure, constructing new schools where none now exist, and providing hostels, particularly for female students, with safe and practical transportation options.
The policy states that "alternative and innovative education centers will be established in collaboration with civic society to ensure that children of migrant workers and other children who are dropping out of school owing to various situations are brought back into mainstream education." To improve digital infrastructure in government schools and provide quality education to underprivileged students, TeachBharat, a social impact program by Teachmint, is playing a critical role.
2. Universal School Participation
Ensuring that students are enrolled in and attending school must be one of the main objectives of the educational system. Universal school access for all children within the next ten years is a priority for NEP 2020. It strongly emphasized raising the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) and curtailing dropout rates in India.
The NEP 2020 policy calls for a sufficient system for "closely tracking" students and their academic progress to ensure they are registered and attending school and have "appropriate opportunities" to catch up and re-enroll in case they have dropped out or fallen behind.
The NEP necessitates the development of proper facilitation mechanisms "for providing equitable and excellent education from the Foundational Stage through Class 12 to all children up to the age of 18."
NEP 2020 suggests ensuring quality education in addition to infrastructure and participation so that children from socioeconomically disadvantaged groups and girls do not lose interest in going to school. Many times, students lose interest in students owing to dull learning resources. Sometimes, complex admission processes also lead to an increase in dropout rates. Teachmint's Admission Management System and Digital Content prevent dropouts occurring due to complex admission processes and the use of non-interactive learning materials.
How Do Schools Curtail Dropout Rates?
The question now is, how do schools curtail dropout rates? Schools should focus on those who have academic challenges or might drop out for other reasons. Innovative teaching strategies should be used in schools to engage students in learning and stimulate their interest. Students can access free educational content via smartphone applications or through the internet. They can use digital learning methods to gain education from the confinement of their homes.
Given how crucial the matter is, the government and schools must work together to fully implement the goal of the national mission of foundational learning. The following steps should be taken while developing a high-quality foundational learning program:
- Schools can address the social and educational challenges that students encounter by guaranteeing equal opportunities to learn in the classrooms with teachers mindful of the learner's background.
2. By promoting the use of the mother tongue while simultaneously developing a strong vocabulary foundation and exposure to the medium of teaching, the emphasis needs to be on developing conceptual thinking.
3. The cultural and linguistic diversity of the students in a classroom must be considered while developing a reading strategy.
4. Any fundamental learning program must have strong student-teacher interaction and a favorable student-school atmosphere.
5. Classrooms and schools must provide a stimulating and secure learning environment.
6. Teachers must undergo extensive training to help them recognize students' varying levels in a classroom and devise strategies to meet their various requirements. Teachmint-OrangeSlates partnership helps in teacher training and upskilling.
7. The operational strategies and procedures for foundational learning should be thorough and equipped to solve any difficulties a child living in a remote settlement might have in achieving their learning goals.
8. To develop children's reading abilities and skills, the reading and numeracy program must incorporate concurrent and continuous learning evaluations in the classroom.
9. School and community connections must be re-envisioned so parents and teachers can work together to guarantee every child gets the opportunity to learn.
By embracing digital learning, schools can support the government's vision for online education and become NEP 2020 Ready, thanks to Teachmint's top-notch educational infrastructure solutions. We make it possible for schools to comply with the new education policy and aid with curtailing dropout rates. Schools can access a brand-new, interactive approach to education and learning with the help of our cutting-edge LMS, ERP modules, and extensive digital content.
We can conclude that NEP 2020 is a game-changer. It has the potential to revolutionize the school education system in India completely. Carefully implementing its concepts into practice is how NEP 2020 will help curtail dropout rates. Furthermore, the right technology can enhance early learning, improve students' academic results, and support their learning experiences. This will significantly help in curtailing dropout rates and promoting school education. Teachmint is a leading provider of education infrastructure solutions, delivering resources for teachers and students to help with their learning. Schools can implement NEP 2020 guidelines effortlessly with Teachmint.
Suggested Read: NEP 2020 - A Comprehensive Guide