Mumbai: College Principals anticipate implementation of NEP 2020

Speaking to the Free Press Journal, several colleges revealed what plans they have in store.

Aditi AlurkarUpdated: Monday, June 06, 2022, 01:46 PM IST
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Mumbai: The innumerable changes suggested by the National Education Policy, 2020 have colleges in a fix. The UGC directives are speculated to come in the next academic year. This uncertainty has kept the college faculty behind during the summer break too, chalking out preemptive plans.

Speaking to the Free Press Journal, several colleges revealed what plans they have in store. “We are getting better ERP systems to prepare for processes like credit transfers. We are also thinking of clubbing classes when it comes to teaching subjects that are essential to multiple streams, this will aid us to reduce our faculty’s load,” said Dr. Rajendra Shinde, Principal of St. Xavier’s College.

The NEP 2020 has also set in motion the plans for a four-year degree program instead of the previous three-year one. Colleges will have to expand their syllabi for students opting for the four years. Discussing his plans for the same, Dr. Ashok Wadia, the Principal of Jaihind College said, “I look at the implementation of NEP as a top to base process. Once we realize what we want our students to learn in their fourth year, we can plan the rest of the course accordingly.”

The major concern this change invites is the added workload the teaching staff will have to bear.

“The NEP wants students to be able to learn subjects which fall outside the purview of the course they are taking,” said Dr. Krutika Desai, Principal of Mithibai College.

“Colleges should have complete freedom to teach arts, science and commerce, their workload should be counted,” she added.

No circular or directives regarding the application of the policy have been sent out. This leaves colleges very little time to change infrastructure when the government decides to start the NEP 2020. “As a principal I feel that the NEP 2020 should be implemented gradually and not suddenly, taking care of all the stakeholders in it,” said Dr. Anjum Ara Ahmad, the Principal of Rizvi College.

“Everyone knows the content of NEP, but no clear communication with regards to its working has been provided. Neither at the University nor the State level. It will be more complicated to implement it in the Junior College than the Graduation College,” she continued, as the NEP 2020 suggests a single board examination conducted in 11th Grade.

In May 2022, a workshop was organized by the University Grants Council at the D.A.V. College in Mumbai. “The workshop was the last we heard from the UGC about the policy. Dr. Jagtap was the organizer where all the Principals and Vice-Principals were invited,” said Dr. Minu B. Madlani, Principal of Hinduja College.

“We will begin training teachers for application of NEP 2020 once the college resumes on June 13,” she remarked.

The NEP 2020 will lead to more students occupying the college grounds during an academic year. Expressing his concerns Dr. Shinde said, “The four-year degree program will require us to bring in more faculty and accommodate more students. Xavier’s campus is a heritage site, hence we are not permitted to expand our infrastructure, this leaves us with limited space.”

“I think UGC might provide elbow room to those colleges who are not that well equipped when it comes to infrastructure. Since we were autonomous we already were flexible with our syllabi,” commented Dr. Ashok Wadia.

A committee headed by Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Mumbai University, Ravindra Kulkarni, was formed to give structure to the implementation of NEP 2020.

“The committee will submit the report to the government of Maharashtra in the next few months. The government will then decide their approval on the report and the policy will be implemented statewide. The University will follow the regulations directed by the government,” said a representative from Mumbai University.

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