Educational publishers & the NEP

Manas Sakia, MD, Feel Books Pvt Ltd, shares his views on the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

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Manas SakiaThe reaction to the NEP within the publishing world has generally been a positive and welcoming one. Publishers play a vital role in implementing educational policies and making them concrete at the curricular level. They have often been the first movers, ahead of the government, in this regard.

Impact on publishers…

Some key recommendations of the policy, such as flexible curriculums, focus on the mother-tongue, competency-based learning and structural reforms, have opened up new avenues for curriculum design and product innovation. Books and courses will become outcome oriented and skill-mapped. This means that publishers will need to invest in research and acquiring expertise, because the NEP, unlike previous reforms, has a long-term outlook and has global qualitative ambitions. Though many publishers have long wished to move in these directions, they did not get far due to the restrictions imposed by rigid syllabuses and entrenched practices.
The NEP has revitalized this reformative trend.

Another area of great interest in the light of the NEP is assessments. Standardization and benchmarking attempts, such as PARAKH and SAFAL, are likely to unleash the opportunity to create an array of products and services related to both content and skilling.

Challenge for publishers…

It will be a challenge for publishers to synergize the curricular recommendations of the NEP and the emerging modes of distribution that are mainly technological. Stepping beyond content and creating services related to pedagogy may be the way forward.

Some concerns also are worth noting: The National Curriculum Framework continues to be still in the making, causing uncertainty and confusion. In spite of this, publishers have been highly enterprising and have already upgraded their course content in close alignment with the NEP. However, they also fear badly timed announcements from the government and the boards, which usually invalidate entire product lines and cause stock to be discarded. There have been concerns about the NCERT books being made mandatory, and these worries still persist.

On a concluding note…

The NEP on the whole is a welcome change, and the publishing world is viewing this as a major stage in its own evolution.

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