Context

  • K. Kasturirangan to head the committee commissioned for drafting the National Education Policy
  • Educational system of India necessitates a complete overhaul in the Education Policy.

About National Education Policy

  • Eminent scientist and former Chief of ISRO, K. Kasturirangan has been appointed the Chairman of an eight-member committee which has the task to prepare the final draft of the National Education Policy.
  • The National Policy on Education (NPE) is a policy formulated by the Government of India to promote education amongst India’s people. The policy covers elementary education to colleges in both rural and urban India.
  • The first NPE was promulgated in 1968 by the government of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, and the second by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhiin 1986.
  • The committee comprises eight members, apart from the chairperson. The members of the panel are
  • Vasudha Kamat ,Vice-Chancellor of SNDP University, Mumbai, and educationist
  • J. Alphonse, Retired bureaucrat
  • Professor Manjul Bhargava
  • Ram Shankar Kureel ,Vice-Chancellor of Ambedkar University of Social Sciences
  • V. Kattamani ,Vice-Chancellor of Tribal University, Amarkantak
  • M. Tripathy from Uttar Pradesh
  • Mahzar Asif, Professor of Persian, Guwahati University
  • K. Shridhara CABE member
  • In a comprehensive democratic exercise carried out for over 30 months, the Ministry of Human Resource Development has received thousands of suggestions from various sources
  • Consultations were held at tehsil, district and State level moreover, on MyGov platform alone, 26,000 people gave their views online.

India became one of 135 countries to make education a fundamental right of every child when the Act came into force on 1 April 2010

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Current state Of National Education Policy

  • The PEW Research Centre in New York, released a research study stating that Indian school educational system is at the bottom of the international league, accompanied by Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • A 2011 study by J. Barro of Harvard University and J.W. Lee of Korea Universityrevealed that out of 110 countries, India ranked second last beating only Kyrgyzstan in the list.

Annual Status of Education Report

  • Annual Status of Education Report (ASER 2016) was released in New Delhi, 18 January 2017
  • As part of the ASER survey, one government school with primary sections is visited in each sampled village.
  • ASER 2016 visited 15,630 government schools with primary sections. Of these 9,644 were primary schools and 5,986 were upper primary schools which also had primary sections.
  • At the all India level, enrollment increased for all age groups between 2014 and 2016.
  • Enrollment for the age group 6-14 has been 96% or above since 2009. This proportion increased from 7% in 2014 to 96.9% in 2016
  • Enrollment for the age group 15-16 has also improved for both boys and girls, rising from 4% in 2014 to 84.7% in 2016.
  • No increase in private school enrollment between 2014 and 2016.
  • At the all India level, the proportion of children (age 6-14) enrolled in private schools is almost unchanged at 5% in 2016, as compared to 30.8% in 2014.
  • Nationally, reading ability has improved especially in early grades in government schools. Ability to read English is unchanged for lower primary grades
  • Assessments of basic English have been carried out in 2007, 2009, 2012, 2014 and
  • In 2016, 32% children in Std III could read simple words in English as compared to 5% in 2009.

Core Issues Persisting

  • Lack of infrastructure
  • According to survey conducted in 2010; roughly 95.2 per cent of schools are not yet submissive with complete set of RTE infrastructure indicators.
  • They at least lacked drinking water facilities, a functional common toilet or no separate toilet for girls.
  • Poor global ranking of institutes
  • A 2016 report by Indian Express stated that only 7 universities are featured in first 400. This is largely because of high faculty-student ratio and lack of research capacity
  • EWS and RTE inefficiency
    • The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act or Right to Education Act (RTE) is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted on 4 August 2009, which describes the modalities of the importance of free and compulsory education for children between 6 and 14 in India under Article 21a of the Indian Constitution.
    • Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) is a term used to refer to those citizens or households with income below a certain threshold level
    • The access promised to the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) has hardly been implemented. The infrastructure promised in the Right to Education Act (RTE) is scarcely visible on the ground.
  • Non-uniformity of Curriculum
    • High number of boards, each with its own curriculum results in non-uniformity of curriculum throughout India which further impacts on the quality standard.
  • Swelling gap between education provided and industry required education
    • Industry faces a problem to find suitable employee as education provided is not at par with the pre-requisites for working in industry. This forces the companies to invest huge sum of fortune on employees before they can commence.
  • System of education
    • Education System in our country still remains information based rather than knowledge based. The whole focus is on cramming information rather than understanding it to imply.
  • Discrimination issues
    • Traditional Indian society hurts from discrimination on many grounds. There are many hurdles in education of unprivileged sections of society like women, SC, ST and minority
  • Higher costs
    • Very minimal amount of subsidy is provided for higher education so if student seeks to get chances of higher education still he misses out because of lack of economic resources

Probable Solutions

  • Adoption of technology
    • Effective use of technological tools in teaching has many benefits. It can solve the numerous glitches such as lack of infrastructure, quality in teaching and may result to a better reachability.
  • Teacher training
    • Teachers’ training remains one of the most chaotic, neglected and deficient sectors of India’s vast education system. The need of the hour is to work towards changing this as teachers virtually hold the destiny of the future generations in their hands
  • More government spending
    • India targeted towards devoting 6% share of the GDP towards the educational sector however the expectations soared and at present it reached a mere 3.8%.
  • Inclusive education system
    • Growth in education sector has always been directional. A good plan to overhaul the education service must incorporate all sections of society like rural, urban poor, woman backward classes.
  • Quality education
    • Education provided should meet needs of student. Including the education provided to hearing impaired or slow learners. It should allow them to enhance their skills and get better employment options
  • Education policy
    • Educational policy need frequent updates. It should cover personality development aspect of student .It should also imbibe values of culture and social services and most importantly it should emphasize on the practicality of the subject
  • Investing in R&D

 A good Research and development is probably the key to all the above issues relating to lack of teaching standards. A good research in all aspect helps in the improvement and so forth.

Private sector’s crucial role

  • President Pranab Mukherjee had stressed on the need of the hour to make critical reforms in the country`s educational system and asserted that private sector may play a crucial role in it.
  • The President further insisted on the role the private sector can play to improve the education system just like it occurred since the privatization of health care.
  • Indian industries have failed to invest in the education sector despite major economic development in the country.
  • Further, he talked about creation of conductive atmosphere for cross fertilization of ideas, exchange of views and inviting international students and faculty members for improvement of the education sector.

 

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