The Maharashtra government has launched a 15-day outreach initiative called ‘NEP Connect’ in junior colleges to enhance the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) and promote awareness about the National Education Policy (NEP). The initiative, which is set to begin on January 15, will be overseen by committees chaired by various university pro-vice-chancellors.
According to the government resolution released on Friday, the 15-day campaign will encompass activities including a varsity tour for students and workshops for junior college leaders. The universities have also been instructed to compile a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and provide guidance to students. The NEP is being introduced incrementally in higher education institutes this academic year. While the autonomous colleges have already introduced NEP-aligned courses, the non-autonomous colleges, which form the bulk of the state’s higher education institutes, are expected to adopt the changes by 2024-25.
The state has said that Class 12 students, who will enter the colleges next year, will be the most affected by the changes in curricula. It also pointed out that many students are dropping out of education after junior college due to several obstacles, resulting in vacant seats in degree colleges, the government resolution further stated.
The campaign comes in the wake of the success of an earlier ‘school connect’ awareness campaign among class 10 students run by polytechnics. As per the GR, the initiative, which educated schoolchildren about the various diploma engineering programmes and career opportunities, resulted in increased enrollment.
As part of the ‘NEP Connect’ campaign, universities will familiarise the students and their parents with the hands-on, multi-disciplinary and flexible courses envisaged under the new policy. They will also be made aware of online and distance learning opportunities and various scholarship schemes. The government anticipates that this initiative will result in higher enrollment and address challenges faced by students pursuing higher education in the state.