Policy ForumEducation

India's new National Education Policy: Evidence and challenges

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  02 Apr 2021:
Vol. 372, Issue 6537, pp. 36-38
DOI: 10.1126/science.abf6655

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Summary

The global expansion of schooling in the past three decades is unprecedented: Primary school enrollment is near-universal, expected years of schooling have risen rapidly, and the number of children out of school has fallen sharply. Yet the greatest challenge for the global education system, a “learning crisis” per the World Bank, is that these gains in schooling are not translating into commensurate gains in learning outcomes. This crisis is well exemplified by India, which has the largest education system in the world. Over 95% of children aged 6 to 14 years are in school, but nearly half of students in grade 5 in rural areas cannot read at a grade 2 level, and less than one-third can do basic division (1). India's new National Education Policy (NEP) of 2020 (the first major revision since 1986) recognizes the centrality of achieving universal foundational literacy and numeracy. Whether India succeeds in this goal matters intrinsically through its impact on over 200 million children and will also have lessons for other low- and middle-income countries. We review the NEP's discussion of school education in light of accumulated research evidence that may be relevant to successfully implementing this ambitious goal.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science