MUSCAT: Embassy of India, Muscat organized a webinar on 22nd November 2020, on India’s National Educational Policy 2020 (NEP 2020). Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the event was held online. The webinar had an eminent panel of speakers including Dr. Murali Thummarukudi (Chief Disaster management, United Nations), Dr. Vidya Yeravdekar (Pro Chancellor, Symbiosis International University, India), Dr. Kiran G.R. (Dean, Middle East College, Oman). Dr. Mathew Philip (Acting Dean, Muscat College, Oman) and Dr. Sudha Acharya (Principal, ITL School, Delhi, India). The discussion was moderated by Dr. Priti Sambhalwal, Oman based HR expert and Columnist.
The event started with welcome of all the speakers & participants and brief introduction of NEP 2020 by the moderator. It was followed by speech of Ambassador of India to the Sultanate of Oman, H.E. Munu Mahawar. Ambassador spoke about the close cooperation between India and Oman, especially in education sector. He mentioned that NEP 2020 is a result of extensive consultation and outlines the vision of India’s new education system. Ambassador spoke about important features of NEP 2020, which will enhance international cooperation in the field of education and concluded his speech by thanking His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik and the Government of Oman for their constant support.
During the webinar, Dr. Murali spoke about how India will be aligning its higher education system to some of the best global practices by implementing NEP. He also expressed that India will be able to make optimum use of its advancing technology to tide over the limitations of trained teachers and physical infrastructure and suggested that India should use its IT power to lead online education solutions.
Dr. Vidya Yeravdekar, informed the gathering that internationalization of higher education and globalization are new additions in the NEP. She mentioned that the policy emphasizes more on quality of education and stated that the new policy is going to transform the Indian education system to an international level without compromising on Indian traditions or culture.
Dr. Kiran, G.R., stressed the need to think about multidisciplinary institutions, and not only on curriculum. He stated that the aim of the NEP is to create quality citizens rather than quality graduates and it will help Indian students to get world-class degrees, making India a global education hub. Dr. Kiran also spoke on opportunities of further collaboration between India and Oman in education sector.
Dr. Mathew Philip, informed how a holistic and multidisciplinary education approach could help in preparing candidates to face new challenges. Dr. Mathew spoke in detail about student mobility across institutions in India and abroad, especially in Oman under NEP 2020. The new policy also envisages for establishment of the National Research Foundation to improve Research and Innovation in India.
Dr. Sudha Acharya, highlighted that the NEP 2020 was based on flexibility for learners to choose what, how, where and when to learn in life as per their interest. She informed that no separation would exist between the arts & sciences, vocational & academic, curricular & extra-curricular activities. She mentioned that emphasis would be given to ethics, conceptual understanding, life skills & respect for diversity-inspired by the ‘Five pillars of NEP – access, equity, quality, affordability and accountability’. She spoke in detail about changes in School education, the current 10+2 system will be replaced by a new 5+3+3+4 curricular structure. This change will bring the uncovered age group of 3-6 years under the school curriculum, which has been recognized globally to be a crucial stage for development of mental abilities of a child.
The webinar was well attended by Oman government officials, Board of Directors – Indian Schools in Oman officials, educators in Higher Education Institutions in Oman, principals, Vice principals and teachers of Indian Schools in Oman, as well as other distinguished participants. The webinar ended with a summarization of discussion and vote of thanks by Dr. Reshmy Krishnan, Head of Research, Muscat College.