NEP 2020 and the role of the teacher

Anil Kumar Patnaik

Even though it arrived after 34 long years, NEP 2020 is a welcome document for all stakeholders in education. The policy aims to shape an education system that benefits India’s children. And what is important is that it sees teachers playing an important role in this.

A few points that NEP 2020 emphasizes on in relation to school teachers 

  • There will be no frequent transfers of teachers. Transfers, if any, will be absolutely transparent.
  • Henceforth, teachers will not be asked to undertake non-teaching activities in school.
  •  Arrangements will be made for a continuous professional development, career management and progression of teachers
  • Teachers will have complete autonomy in choosing the pedagogy most effective for students in the classroom.

The above points indicate that teachers will be given freedom where they had none before. This means that students will encounter happy teachers, and happy teachers are teachers who can inspire. When teachers are themselves free, they will be able to cultivate free thinking in their students too.

Teachers of today are already more open and adaptive to changes. They have a passion for learning, they are more innovative with their teaching and their ideas are limitless. With the NEP 2020’s proposed 50 hours of continuous professional development and the setting up of the National Professional Standard for Teachers (NPST), teachers today can take that step forward to becoming the best.

Our teachers of yore, the gurus in gurukuls, were more invested in helping their students expand their horizons and not simply in transacting academic subjects. They did not behave like know-alls waiting to transfer knowledge to students who were like empty vessels. In order to nurture a child, ignite a spark in her/him, the teacher must always be open to learning. She must awaken the spirit of inquiry in children. Just as an empty cup cannot pour, a teacher too must fill herself/ himself with the capacity to think clearly and healthily.

Hopefully with NEP2020 our schools will no longer be industries where teachers are the machines and children, products; the hope is that now they will be an ecosystem of learning, where the teacher and the student will both evolve as human beings.

The author is an enthusiastic educator of mathematics and writes on topics related to innovative and engaging educational methods. He is known for his creative skills, story writing, dramatic and mimicry abilities, disciplined lifestyle and contributions as a community worker. He can be reached at [email protected].

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