The U.K. will offer a new GCSE (General Certificate for Secondary Education) from September 2025 that will "offer young people a chance to develop a deeper knowledge and understanding of this amazing planet, its environment and how to conserve it," said education secretary Nadhim Zahawi.

The qualification will allow students to learn about organisms and their environments, as well as environmental and sustainability issues. Students will also develop skills for future careers in conservation, "from understanding how to conserve local wildlife to conducting the fieldwork needed to identify species"

Students learn about environmental issues already; this course will teach them about the history and evolution of species and the impact of life on natural environments.

Teen conservationist and wildlife writer Kabir Kaul, 15, said the course "will give my generation the knowledge and practical skills they need to value and protect the environment around them".

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What is the New Education Policy of India 2020?

The Union Cabinet approved a new National Education Policy (NEP) on July 29 after a gap of 34 years. It promises major changes at every level. Key proposals include a standardized entrance test for universities, four-year undergraduate degrees and abolition of the M.Phil programme. The school system will change to a 5+3+3+4 structure, while the medium of instruction will be the mother tongue or local language till Class V.

The proposed school curricular structure will replace the existing 10+2 (Class 1 to 10 of general education followed by two years of foundational education, 3 years of preparatory, 3 years of middle school and 4 years of secondary school. This will bring the hitherto uncovered age group 3-5 under the formal education system.

It proposes inclusion of vocational education and internships from Class 6. There will be no rigid separation of vocational and academic streams. Instead of just scores, the report card of students will reflect their skills and capabilities. Board exams will continue for Classes 10 and 12, but will be made easier with the aim of ensuring holistic development of students.

For higher education, a single regulator has been proposed to govern all higher education institutions (HEIs), except law and medical colleges. Norms for both, public and private HEIs will be made the same. There will be at least one HEI in each distinct. Top foreign universities will be allowed to set up campuses in India. Flexible undergraduate education of 1 year duration with multiple entry-exit and points appropriate certification is a major change for students.

Another sweeping change was the Ministry of Human Resource Development was renamed the Ministry of Education.

First education policy of the Century

India has had three education policies so far. The first education policy was announced in 1968 when Indira Gandhi was Prime Minister, and the second in 1986 during Rajiv Gandhi’s tenure as PM. The 1986 policy was revised in 1992 when P.V. Narasimha Rao was the PM. The third is what has been approved by the Union Cabinet under PM Modi recently. A new NEP was part of the BJP manifesto ahead of the 2014 elections. The NEP committee was headed by former ISRO chief K. Kasturirangan.


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