The New National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is being hailed as a game-changer by experts, and rightly so. However, they are also pointing out, in the same breath, the fact that the policy is only a means to an end, not an end in itself. This is primarily due to two reasons – one, the challenge of educating India which is a nearly insurmountable task, and two, implementing the policy will be a Herculean challenge, the sheer magnitude of the mission being daunting, to say the least.
To put things in the right perspective, India has perhaps the largest ever adolescent and youth population. According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) projections, India will continue to have one of the youngest populations in the world till 2030. But a large proportion of students currently in elementary school – estimated to be over 5 crores in number – have not attained foundational literacy and numeracy.
The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 mandates
Naturally, the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 has mandated compulsory preschool education from the age of 3 onwards with guidelines on content, curriculum, and teaching standards. It is also commendable that with the emerging crises in the learning cycle of children at the elementary level, NEP 2020 has focused more on acquiring Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN) at the primary level by 2026-2027.
To bring the scattered education disseminators under this scheme; provide them with teaching aids that are in tune with the NEP 2020, and train the trainers – the teachers who will ultimately make (or break) the ambitious program is something that the academic world is looking towards with keen interest, as seldom has a task of such magnitude been contemplated in known history.
The Nalanda Advantage
And this is precisely where Nalanda Learning steps in with solutions that are tailor-made to address the concerns. It will not be out of place to point out that Nalanda Learning, which has evolved out of its earlier avatar as Little Laureates, not only has the necessary wherewithal of creating the content that specifically addresses the needs that the schools are clamouring for, but also experience of having run a number of such institutions for decades at an end.
The Nalanda solution is designed in such a way that students will get an opportunity for meaningful learning from the very inception. It is aimed to help children attain holistic development from the foundational years, as the whole system is based on experiential learning in a learner-centric classroom, enabling the children to participate in independent learning from early years. The teaching-learning style of pedagogy enables each child to explore and learn in her/his own style and rhythm.
Similarly, the Nalanda system stresses the Pre-number concept, enabling the children to identify and learn the concept of each number in depth using the number line. Playing games or making crafts are used as tools to make the understanding clear. Children are then encouraged to solve addition and subtraction problems using the number line and work with numbers independently, leading to an ability to solve problems with critical thinking. They are then led to learning tables and the solving of word problems.