NEP 2020: Solving For A Scientifically Designed Career Guidance Program

The National Education Policy, 2020 attempts to instil a holistic, integrated, enjoyable and engaging pedagogy that will allow students to explore their interests at early stages.

School days, in my times, were fun! The naive friendships made back then, have stood the test of time, despite the long distances and the life stage transitions. What stands out awkwardly in my memory from those times, was the system of tagging based on academic performance. These tacit ‘merit-cohorts’ were derived mostly from academic grades and represented potential for a successful career in Engineering and Medicine, seemingly the only career options available in those days at that place.

Most of my ‘A lister’ friends from schools, went on to excel in their careers and are now prominent leaders in their vocations. Interestingly, a few years back, I interacted with someone from our school who would have been tagged as a ‘B Lister’ by most. The guy who barely managed 60/70 something out of 100 back then, is today a leading authority on jurisprudence. He is a sought after speaker, a venerated legal honcho whose career success has definitely surpassed those of most ‘A listers’.

He was always motivated to succeed – which was the source of his enthusiasm. Even at school, he displayed the traits of being sincere, disciplined and hardworking. He was inquisitive, logical and a quick learner and above all, he had the interpersonal skills to take people along. What did he do differently after school that transformed his career? 

He discovered his calling and changed track! As simple as this may sound, what he did was incredibly difficult – discovering his calling without exploring all other possibilities (remember, those were not the days of the internet)! The challenge that most students (and their parents) face today is, “How to discover the true calling in life”, as early as possible.

While there are no magic potions available, the new pedagogy recommended in the National Education Policy, 2020 attempts to instil a holistic, integrated, enjoyable and engaging pedagogy that will allow students to explore their interests at early stages. The NEP’s emphasis on experiential learning within each subject, explorations of relations among different subjects and impetus on discussion based learning of abstract concepts are likely to aid in developing multi-disciplinary faculties. 

While these are steps in the right direction, I wonder if this alone can eliminate the tacit ‘merit-cohorts’ that pervade even today? Is it worthwhile developing a multi-dimensional matrix that includes multi-disciplinary aptitude as well as the Motivations, Traits, Inquisitions and Inter-personal skills that determine success in so many ways. I hope that a metric like this be more guiding in nature that will answer the sought after student (also parents’) enquiry, “What would be a good starting point?”

The research for creating such an assessment will need to focus on “How can proficiency on some of these abstract dimensions be measured?” and “By what age, do these dimensions start to reflect the abilities accurately?

No one wants to trace a career path where outcomes are a sum total of many random moves. But sadly, a very large number of professionals feel that way! An accurate assessment tool, I hope, will guide the next generations plan their careers better.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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national education policy NEP pedagogy

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