NEW DELHI: The new National Education Policy (NEP) spells a long-term vision with far-reaching impact and will transform future challenges into opportunities by developing a quality education system, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Friday.
He said the new policy will strengthen the culture of inclusion, innovation and institution.
"I am confident that with the implementation of this policy, a new quality education system will be developed and this will transform the future challenges into opportunities, paving the way for a new India. Our youth will be able to freely choose their subjects according to their interests and talents," Kovind said in his address to the nation on the eve of 74th Independence Day.
"They would have an opportunity to realise their potential. Our future generations will not only be able to get employment on the strength of such abilities but will also create employment opportunities for others," he said.
"The NEP spells a long-term vision with far-reaching impact. It will strengthen the culture of 'inclusion', 'innovation' and 'institution' in the sphere of education. Imparting education in the mother tongue has been given emphasis in order to help young minds grow spontaneously. This will strengthen Indian languages as well as the unity of the country. Youth empowerment is essential for building a strong nation. The National Education Policy is a right step in this direction," he added.
The NEP approved by the government last month replaces the 34-year-old National Policy on Education framed in 1986 and is aimed at paving the way for transformational reforms in school and higher education systems to make India a global knowledge superpower.
Choice between 3 and 4 year undergraduate courses, multiple entry and exit options in degree courses, adding 3.5 crore seats in higher education institutions, which will now have a single regulator, discontinuation of M.Phil programmes and fixation of fees are among the higher education reforms outlined in the new NEP.
Referring to the closure of educational institutions in view of COVID-19 pandemic, Kovind said, "these difficult times won't last."
"The closure of our educational institutions would have caused anxiety among our girls and boys, casting a shadow over their dreams and aspirations for the time being. However, I would like them to remember that these difficult times won't last and they should not give up working for their dreams.
"The past is full of inspiring examples of exciting reconstruction of societies, economies and countries after such devastations. I am sure that our country and youth have a bright future. These lessons will prove useful to humanity. The younger generation has learnt the lessons well, and I believe that the future of India is safe in their hands," he said.
Universities and schools across the country have been closed since March 16 when the Centre announced a countrywide classroom shutdown as part of measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
A nationwide lockdown was announced on March 24, which came into effect the next day and threw economic activities out of gear.
While the government has largely eased restrictions, schools and colleges continue to remain closed.