MHRD: Some Inputs for Draft National Education Policy 2016
Table of Contents[Show/Hide]
- MHRD: Some Inputs for Draft National Education Policy 2016
- Chapter I: Preamble
- Chapter II: Key Challenges in Education Sector
- Chapter III: Vision, Mission, Goals and Objectives
- Chapter IV: Policy Framework
- 4.1 Pre-school Education
- 4.2 Protection of Rights of the Child & Adolescent Education
- 4.3 Learning outcomes in School Education
- 4.4 School Education
- 4.5 Curriculum Renewal and Examination Reforms
- 4.6 Inclusive Education and Student Support
- 4.7 Literacy and Lifelong Learning
- 4.8 Skills in Education and Employability
- 4.9 Use of ICT in Education
- 4.10 Teacher Development and Management
- 4.11 Language and Culture in Education
- 4.12 Self -Development through Comprehensive Education
- 4.13 School Assessment and Governance
- 4.14 Governance Reforms in Higher Education
- 4.15 Regulation In Higher Education
- 4.16 Quality Assurance In Higher Education
- 4.17 Open and Distance Learning & MOOCs
- 4.18 Internationalisation of Education
- 4.19 Faculty Development in Higher Education
- 4.20 Research, Innovation and New Knowledge
- 4.21 Financing Education
- Chapter V: Implementation and Monitoring
Chapter I: Preamble
www.dreamadream.org Overarching suggestion: Start - We observe that the Draft National Education Policy 2016 presents Life Skills predominantly in the context of developing skills in order to meet the demands of the emerging knowledge economy such as logical, scientific, technical and vocational skills.
The Vision, Mission and Objectives of the Draft National Education Policy highlight the need to replace rote learning with creativity/ innovation and equipping young people with abilities to respond to the requirements of the fast-changing world. However the specific policy initiatives including systems to assess scholastic and co-scholastic learning outcomes limit this understanding to gaining technical and vocational skills. This approach is primed for failure because it does not acknowledge the criticality of Life Skills within education in laying the foundation for life-long learning. For example: Chapter-4 Policy Framework, 4.5 Curriculum Renewal and Examination Reforms - reads ‘Curriculum should be outcome-based and aim for overall development of students through imparting life-skills in an increasingly technology driven environment’.
We recommend that that Life Skills in the National Education Policy 2016 should be understood and applied in its wider context that is in line with the definition of World Health Organisation as “the abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life”.
There is a strong evidence base demonstrating that cognitive skills and life skills are complementary in affecting socio-economic outcomes, and that building character skills can be life-changing for children and young people.
This is also reflective of the sixteen years of field experience of Dream a Dream focused on developing life skills in children and young people from vulnerable backgrounds. Our impact evaluation studies have demonstrated that Life Skills not only stems damage from adversity but also enables young people to make healthy life choices in a fast‐changing world. Our experiences reaffirm scientific studies that cognitive skills and life skills are complementary in affecting socio-economic outcomes, and that building character skills can be life-changing for children from such backgrounds.
Secondly, we suggest that the Draft National Education Policy 2016 should have a section on definitions of the important words used in the policy. This will provide clarity and avoid ambiguity when the policy is implemented.
Key suggestions on how Life Skills can be integrated in the policy initiatives of the Draft National Education Policy (NEP) 2016:
- Learning outcomes: The central and state governments should consider expanding the definition of learning outcomes beyond basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic to include logic, sports, laws for child, basics of Indian costitution, social and natural sciences in order to improve the overall learning outcomes of school children which would result in enhancing the quality of education.
- Teacher Development: Teachers are the closest influencers in a child’s life after parents. They are uniquely positioned to unlock the creative potential of the child. True transformation in a young person’s life happens with the presence of a caring, compassionate adult. In line with this belief, Pre-Service and In-Service Teacher Development Programmes should focus on helping the teacher understand the child, child behaviour, child development, failure to thrive and at the same time develop empathetic approaches to learning, develop facilitation skills and provide tools for teachers to integrate Life Skills within the learning sessions. BEd degree shouldn't be mandatory for school teacher, appointment should be open so that not just needy but dedicated teachers take up the job. Schools should be permitted to take up entrace exam and teaching session for selection.
- Curriculum Renewal:
- Renew curricula and introduction of Life Skills (Life skills is vague term, or should be specifically defined in preamble) in the curriculum in a graded manner at all levels. This action, to develop social-emotional competencies, is geared to enable leaners overcome adversity and flourish in a fast-changing world. However, we are not recommended a Life Skills class or session within the school calendar. This will defeat the purpose. We are recommending that a ‘Life Skills Approach’ to learning be integrated within curriculum delivery. A Life Skills Approach enables a teacher/school to integrate experiential learning, facilitation and empathy in the delivery framework stemming from understanding child development, psychology and behaviour. In the Life Skills Approach, each child is treated uniquely and their unique journeys are nurtured.
- Introduce standardised Life Skills Assessment Scale, such as the peer reviewed, standardised, internationally recognised and published Life Skills Assessment Scale[#_ftn1|1] developed and used by Dream a Dream to measure life-skills development in disadvantaged children.
- Requires to include logic, sports science, natural science, laws for children, basic constitution. social science as subjects to be taught after grade 8. Local languages, history should be optional.
- Skills in Education and Employability: In addition to technical skills, skill development programmes in school and higher education system should give equal priority to developing Life Skills not only for gainful employment but also to develop entrepreneurial skills. Vocational courses for students poor in academics after grade 8 should be included as optionals and ITI to be 3 year degree course.
- Research, Innovation and New Knowledge: Build strong evidence through research and impact evaluation studies within an Indian context. Promote generation of new knowledge in scholastic and co-scholastic areas and their introduction into the curricula at all levels of education. Research and innovation at school level are buzz words!!
www.dreamadream.org Overarching Suggestion End:
[#_ftnref1|1] Kennedy, F., Pearson, D., Brett-Taylor, L., Talreja. V. (2014) The Life Skills Assessment Scale: Measuring Life Skills of Children in the Developing World. Social Behaviour and Personality 42(2) 197-210
India has always accorded high importance to education. The Education System which was evolved first in ancient India is known as the Vedic system. The ultimate aim of education in ancient India was not knowledge, as preparation for life in this world or for life beyond, but for complete realization of the self. The Gurukul system fostered a bond between the Guru & the Shishya and established a teacher centric system in which the pupil was subjected to a rigid discipline and was under certain obligations towards his/her teacher.
The world's first university was established in Takshila in 700 BC. The University of Nalanda, or the Nalanda Mahavira as it was known at the time, established in 4th century BCE, was one of the world’s first great universities in the world.
Indian scholars like Charaka and Susruta, Aryabhata, Bhaskaracharya, Chanakya, Patanjali and Vatsayayna and numerous others made seminal contribution to the world knowledge in such diverse fields as mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry, medical science and surgery, fine arts, mechanical and production technology, civil engineering and architecture, shipbuilding and navigation, sports and games. During the freedom struggle, several leaders like Jyotiba Phule, B. R. Ambedkar, Gokhale,
Ram Mohan Roy (not part of freedom movement), Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya and Gandhiji worked for better education for the people of India.
The focus of the above is only on ancient education system. No mention of education in medival and modern period is made. For about 150 years East Indian company and british policies shaped the Indian education system. Their contribution, along with missionaries and Indians in 19th century is completed removed (as if they did not exist). The current system that we follow is largely an extension of British system.
The concern for the improvement of education had been at the top of India’s development agenda since independence. Several commissions were appointed by the government of India from time to time to formulate policies and programmes required to enhance access to and participation in education and improve quality of education. Prominent among them include: the University Education Commission (1948-49), the Secondary Education Commission (1952-53), the Education Commission (1964-66), and the National Commission on Teachers - I & II (1983-85).
The Resolution on National Policy on Education (1968) formulated on the basis of the recommendations of the Education Commission, laid stress on the need for a radical reconstruction of the education system, to improve its quality at all stages, and the development of science and technology, the cultivation of moral and social values, and a closer relation between education and the life of the people. Some important recommendations of Kothari commission like - common school system, allocation 6%GDP on education remain unfulfilled. NEP diluted Kothari commission recommendations.The Resolution stressed the role of education in promoting national progress, a sense of common citizenship and culture, and in strengthening national integration. The National Policy on Education 1986 (revised in 1992) envisaged a National system of education which implies that “up to a given level, all students, irrespective of caste, creed, location or sex, have access toeducation of a comparative quality”.
The 42nd Constitutional Amendment in1976 brought about a fundamental change by transferring education from the State List to the Concurrent List thereby recognizing the importance of the federal structure of our country and giving equal primacy to both the central and state governments as partners in furthering the educational goals in a cohesive manner. Any policy on education has to acknowledge the inter-sectoral and inter-ministerial nature of a holistic education process and the important role to be played by the States. This Policy therefore recognizes the role to be played by the other national level policies such as, the National Policy on Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) adopted in 2013, National Youth Policy (NYP), 2014 and the National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, 2015 and numerous other State level policies.
Since the formulation of the National Policy on Education, 1986/92, significant changes have taken place in India and the world at large. India’s political, social and economic development is passing through a phase which necessitates a robust and forward looking education system. A major development relating to education sector in India has been the establishment of Constitutional and legal underpinnings for achieving universal elementary education. The Constitution (Eighty-sixth Amendment) Act, 2002 that inserted Article 21- A in the Constitution of India envisages free and compulsory education for all children in the age group of six to fourteen years as a Fundamental Right in such a manner as the State may, by law, determine. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 which represents the consequential legislation envisaged under Article21-A of the Indian constitution entitles every child of the age of six to fourteen year with the right to free and compulsory education in a neighbourhood school tillcompletion of elementary education.
Significant changes have taken place in the education sector. The educational activities and learning process are no longer confined to the classroom and, therefore, the domain of education is no longer limited to formal schooling or higher education. The educational process is not only mediated by classroom-based curriculum transaction but also by media, both electronic and print, information and communication technologies, books and journals etc. Learners today have access to more current knowledge through non- institutionalized means.
The fast pace of generation and application of new knowledge, especially in the fields of science and technology, and its impact on the daily life of people brings into focus the importance of introducing learners to the rapidly changing world of knowledge. At the same time there is an urgent need to use natural resources in a sustainable manner and halt the harmful effects of rapid industrial growth. Problems like climate change and deteriorating quality of life indicate that we need to take immediate steps towards educating for sustainability and equity. The need for the development of human skills, including life skills, that develops the ability for positive and adaptive behaviours to meet the demands of the emerging knowledge economy and society highlights the need to promote the acquisition by learners of knowledge and skills on a life-long basis to enhance their capacity to adapt to changing skill requirements. The changing social contexts of education as well as the national concerns for achieving the goals of equity and inclusion demands a changed approach to education for enhancing opportunities for all learners to become successful in their learning experience and making all educational institutions responsive to the learning needs of diverse student population groups in order to ensure equitable educational outcomes for all.
The use of new information and communication technologies, especially of internet, has expanded dramatically during the past few years. New technologies are transforming the way in which people live, work, and communicate. The new technologies have brought about easy access to new pools of information and learning resources and new learning opportunities for learners. Integration of new technologies into educational settings has emerged as a priority task in the education sector.
The above developments imply that the education policies and the content and process of education must evolve with the changing times and needs. The goals, structure, content and processes of education need renewal keeping in view the experiences gained in the past and the concerns and imperatives that have emerged in the light of changing national development goals and societal needs as well as the dynamics of the local, national, regional and global realities and changes, including the changing learning needs of children, youth and adults. The National Education Policy, 2016 which is designed to guide the renewal process in education in India represents an attempt in this direction.
The National Education Policy, 2016 envisions a credible education system capable of ensuring inclusive quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all and producing students/graduates equipped with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that are required to lead a productive life, participate in the country’s development process, respond to the requirements of the fast‐changing, ever‐globalising, knowledge‐based societies, and developing responsible citizens who respect the Indian tradition of acceptance of diversity of India’s heritage, culture and history and promote social cohesion and religious amity. This vision recognizes the central role of education in India’s social, economic, political, and cultural development. Mahatma Gandhi said, “The real difficulty is that people have no idea of what education truly is. We assess the value of education in the same manner as we assess the value of land or of shares in the stock exchange market. We want to provide only such education as would enable the student to earn more. We hardly give any thought to the improvement of the character of the educated.” Inspired by the thoughts of the Father of the Nation, the Policy brings into focus the role of education in inculcating values, providing skills and competencies to citizens, and enabling them to contribute to the nation’s wellbeing. As the focus is on the inculcating values it is important to inculcate values of respect,responsibility,empathy. To conduct Personal Safety Education iss important as it inculcate these values through life skill education. It recognizes that long-term economic growth and development of the nation critically depends upon the quality of the products of the education system and that an education system built on the premises of quality and equity is central to sustainable development and to achieving success in the emerging knowledge economy and society. It recognizes education as the most potent tool for socio-economic mobility and a key instrument for building an equitable, just and human society. It also recognizes the education as an integrative force in society, and its role in imparting values that foster social cohesion and national identity. The vision also implies that good quality education will help amalgamate globalization with localization, enabling India’s children and youth to become global citizens, with their roots deeply embedded in Indian culture and traditions.
The National Education Policy, 2016 provides a framework for the development of education in India over the coming few years. It seeks to address both the unfinished agenda relating to the goals and targets set in the previous national policies on education and the current and emerging national development and education sector-related challenges. Recognising the importance of quality education in national development, the NEP 2016 places an unprecedented focus on significantly improving the quality of education at all levels and on ensuring that educational opportunities are available to all segments of the society.
In the words of Sri Aurobindo, “The Indians must have the firm faith that India must rise and be great and that everything that happened, every difficulty, every reverse must help and further their end. … … . The dawn would soon be complete and the sun rise over the horizon. The sun of India’s destiny would rise and fill all India with its light and overflow India and overflow Asia and overflow the world.” The rest of the 21st century could then belong to India.
Chapter II: Key Challenges in Education Sector
The earlier policies on education have laid out clear objectives and goals; however, many of these have not been realized fully. Though India has made significant progress in terms of enhancing access to and participation in all levels of education, the overall picture of education development in the country is mixed and there are many persisting concerns and challenges relating to access to and participation in education, quality of the education imparted, equity in education, system efficiency, governance and management, research and development, and financial commitment to education development.
Access and Participation
Research from around the world highlights the importance of early childhood education. However, participation in pre-school education remains low. Expanding access to early childhood education to provide equal opportunity to all children to prepare them better for formal schooling emerges to be a high priority task.
Nationally the percentage of out-of-school children aged 6-13 years has declined significantly since 2000. However, the absolute number of out-of-school children remains high. The relatively lower enrolment rates in upper primary and secondary education as compared to primary education are also a matter of concern. The high enrolment rate in primary school is accompanied by an inordinately high drop out rate in secondary school. This is indicative of the fact that though parents are mostly on board with the need for educating their child but the education system is letting them down in terms of what it can deliver. Ensuring upward transition/mobility of students from elementary to secondary to achieve universal secondary education and from secondary to higher secondary and tertiary education continues to be a challenge.
India has the second largest higher education system in the world. Although the Indian higher education has already entered a stage of massification, the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education remains low at 23.6 percent in 2014-15. The current target is to increase GER to 25.2 per cent in 2017-18 and further to 30 per cent in 2020-21.
The relatively slow progress in reducing the number of non-literates continues be a concern. India currently has the largest non-literate population in the world with the absolute number of non-literates among population aged 7 and above being 282.6 million in 2011. India also hosts the largest number of youth and adult illiterates in the world with the youth literacy rate (15-24 years) and adult literacy rate (15 years and above) in India in2011 being 86.1 percent and 69.3 percent respectively.
Poor quality of education resulting in unsatisfactory learning outcomes is a matter of great concern. Quality-related deficiencies such as inappropriate curriculum, the lack of trained teachers and ineffective pedagogy remain a major challenge relating to pre-school education. A significant proportion of children who complete pre-school education do not have school readiness competencies in cognitive and language domains when they join primary school. The majority of pre-school educators are inadequately trained/prepared. The curricula for pre-school education in many cases continue to be a downward extension of the primary education curriculum.
The biggest challenge facing school education relates to the unsatisfactory level of student learning. The findings of the National Achievement Surveys (NAS) covering Grades III, V, VIII and X suggest that learning levels of a significant proportion of students do not measure up to the expected learning levels. Poor quality of learning at the primary and upper primary stages affects student learning at the secondary stage. Poor quality of learning at the secondary stage spills over to the college/university years, leading to poor learning outcomes in the higher education sector.
Several factors have contributed to unsatisfactory quality of school education. Some of these include: existence of a large proportion of schools that are not compliant to the prescribed norms and standards for a school; student and teacher absenteeism; serious gaps in teacher motivation and training resulting in deficiencies relating to teacher quality and performance; slow progress in regard to use of information and communication technologies in education; sub-optimal personnel management, inadequate attention to monitoring and supervision of performance etc. The perceived failure of the schools in the government system to provide education of good quality has triggered entry of a large number of private schools, many of which lack required infrastructure, learning environment, and competent teachers.
NB But there is a widely held view that the main contributing factor to poor quality primary education is a lack of age appropriate learning objectives. There is an undue emphasis on rote memorization from a very early age. Course curriculum and assessment are structured around this one key skill.
But how do other countries do it? For comparison its worth considering the early years learning strategy adopted by OECD countries. Contrary to a generally held view in the early years there is a robust emphasis on developing literacy and numeracy skills but its based on a different approach. The main focus of pre-primary and early primary years is on developing strong expressive skills. Age/skill appropriate reading books are used as a very efective aid. The visual representation of ideas in these books dominates the written word at first and gradually as the child's verbal and visualization skills improve the written word takes over the pictorial representation.
Writing as a skill is recognized for what it is- too abstract to comprehend for an early learner. Therefore writing skills are introduced gradually and gently. Drawing/painting and crafts with different kinds of media are used to demonstrate to the child that paper and pen can be an effective means of self expression. This also helps slowly develop the hand/finger strength required to wield the pen for long periods. Numeracy is introduced gradually starting initially an introduction to shapes and pattern recognition in the early years and moving on to core numeracy skills later. Learning media are mostly visual /verbal /physical and include plenty of play time to ensure the child's physical activity keeps pace with mental activity. Where quality books are unavailable (remote areas, ect) online learning aids are used very effectively to complement books. Rather than too early an introduction to tablets and other such technological devices the emphasis in the early years should be on providing a safe and healthy environment for children to learn through play and social interaction. Many great thinkers in education such as Maria Montessori and Rabindranath Tagore have pointed out the importance of natural material and contact with nature in promoting healthy cognitive development.
It would be a mistake to assume that OECD schools place little or no emphasis on memorization skills. But instead of rote learning the focus is on helping the child understand key concepts and commit them to her long term memory. This is achieved by a stepwise process. Comprehension is best developed through stories which may be directly narrated by the teacher or read out from a book. Schools focus a lot on developing the comprehension capability by developing a love for reading in the early learning years using colorfully illustrated primers for young children with text in large fonts. If the reading material alone doesnt suffice then other aids are used to help the child visualize the written text and think about it critically. As a third step children are encouraged to verbalize in their own words what they have read and understood. This can be done through one to one interaction or through group activity or even by asking the children to prepare a group presentation. The approach is should be organic as described by Sylvia Ashton Warner and not mechanical.
In contrast in India schools one still sees an undue emphasis for early learners on rote learning and written skills. Its not hard to fathom the reasons for this. Its far easier and requires few teaching resources- a situation that removes the burden of accountability from teachers as well as school managements and places is squarely on the child and her parents. The standard teaching methodology this strategy involves is for teachers to write on the board and expect the child to copy the contents in a notebook, memorize and subsequently reproduce the same in a written assessment- a seemingly transparent, fair and objective way of teaching and assessing. However, this method renders redundant both the quality of teacher-student interaction as well as teacher -student ratio. Not only does it make a teacher's job far easier but it also allows school managements to deploy the least number of low skill teaching staff and still bank a healthy profit. Why then do we bemoan the low quality teaching institutions that continue to mushroom across the country? The students who tend to do well in the Indian system are those well endowed with strong memorization skills. Unfortunately and yet, unsurprisingly, despite these being considered critical to professional success critical thinking and innovation are not skills that the Indian education system helps promote. NB
"Quality" is not defined anywhere. Does it refer to quality of input norms or learning outcomes? If it refers to former, there is no or weak evidence for correlation between input norms and learning outcomes or between teacher qualification and learning outcomes. Unfortunately, there is no mention of the word autonomy.
The quality of education provided in a large number of higher education institutions is a matter of great concern. Accreditation agencies were established in India in 1994 as a measure of quality assurance in order to enhance standards of higher education. Of the 140 universities accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), only 32 percent are rated as A grade. Among the 2,780 colleges accredited by the NAAC, only 9 percent are rated as A grade. Among the accredited institutions, 68 percent of theuniversities and 91 percent of the colleges are rated average or below average in terms ofthe quality parameters specified by the NAAC. NB None of this information seems to be publicly available on NAAC's website NB There has been a rapid growth of private colleges and universities, many of them of indifferent quality. The higher education sub-sector is constrained by shortage of well-qualified faculty due to vacant faculty positions; poor infrastructure in many private as well as a significant proportion of public higher education institutions; slow progress in the renewal of higher education curriculum to align it more closely with the skills demanded in a diversified economy; and inadequatefunding for research and development.
Skills and Employability
India is one of the youngest nations in the world with more than 54 percent of its total population below 25 years of age. This necessitates that the youth in the country are equipped with the skills and knowledge to enter the workforce through education and training. However, the institutional arrangements to support technical and vocational education programmes remain quite inadequate. Formally linking the development of skills in vocational fields, and bringing an academic equivalence to vocational accomplishments with avenues for horizontal and vertical mobility of students has been attempted only recently. Fostering dignity and social acceptability to high quality vocational training needs increased attention.
A large proportion of the products of the education system are found to lack employable skills. This has substantially lowered the credibility of the higher education system. The utility of higher education in assuring employment remains questionable. Many graduate and post-graduate students do not get jobs in their respective fields. The task of enhancing the employability of the products of the education system ought to be accorded high priority.
NB However it must also be recognized that the industry can absorb only so many prospective employees. Hence an equally strong emphasis is needed on developing entrepreneurial skills. Employability will not suffice in an environment of job scarcity-entrepreneurship too must floursh. In the long term an inordinate focus on employability alone may create more problems than it solves. Its important there that entrepreneurial skills are recognized and given a position of respect in our educational curriculum NB
Curriculum and Assessment
There is a growing realisation that there exist serious disconnects between the existing school and higher education curricula and the curricular thrusts that are needed for promoting the acquisition by students of relevant skills required for decent work and a better life in a rapidly changing world. A key challenge in this context is expanding opportunities for acquiring relevant skills, including skills needed for work and entrepreneurship; skills and competencies that allow learners to be more creative and innovative, to think critically, to communicate effectively, to solve problems independently; and life skills that enable individuals to grow as responsible citizens and embrace cultural diversity, live and work together harmoniously, etc. The overall assessment practices at the school and college/university level remain unsatisfactory. It is important to introduce conceptsof decision-making,problem solving,critical thinking, interpersonal relationship, selfawareness and empathy building in order to develop children who can think critically and communicate effectively as well respect personal boundaries thus embracing diversity. There are edifice on which Personal Safety Education curriculum is built. It's critical to intoduce Persoanl Safety Education, a Life skill Program.In most cases the assessment of learning achievement continues to focus on rote learning and testing the students’ ability to reproduce content knowledge. The whole assessment system needs to be revamped to ensure comprehensive assessment of the students, including learning outcomes relating to both scholastic and co-scholastic domains.
NB : Its worth looking at how the assessment philosophy has evolved over the years and the impact it has had on educationa quality. A continuing scarcity of seats in tertiary education system has laid the foundations for an assessment system system that is objective, easy to implement and scalable. A written assessment for a curriulum that requires rote based learning fits the bill. One of the easiest way to make such an assessment fiercely competetive without investing too much effort is to have a curriculum that is quite voluminous. For most educational institutions it doesnt take much to implement such an assessment strategy and it requires little investment in teaching skills/infrastrcuture. It requires very little innovation and allows our educational institutions to make money with no obligation to provide a quality teaching service. A written exam based assessment has proven itself so effective in meeting the short term needs of our education system that now it has percolated all the way down to primary and pre primary school level. As is expected this kind of assessment doesnt require a high quality interaction between teachers and students since learning is primarily rote based. So as the system gets entrenched it drives down the competency levels of teachers and eventually their wages as well. Only a select few who are in the business of running coaching classes benefit from this state of affairs. As these trends gained strength over the years it jas weakened the quality standards in education and the only eventual beneficiaries so far are the promoters who can run schools/colleges at a nominal cost and make a hefty profit in the bargain without providing the necassary quality.
Often when there is discussion about educational reforms the usual target is the course curriculum. But this is a red herring. We can tweak the curriculum all we want but a real beginning has to be made by changing the assessment methodology so it doesnt rely solely on rote based learning. For an effective exexution its also important to address the scarcity of opportunities in higher education which is at the root of these issues. Only then will we be able get away from a rote based learning and assessment system and reclaim our education system from solely profit minded fly by night operators.
The JEE entrance exam is a good example of how an effective assessment system gives rise to a competent technically savvy student community. Another good example of an assessment that works well in terms of fairness and objectivity and yet does not rely on rote based learning is the English language test assessment or IELTS as it is commonly called. Its pre-requisite for certain class of visa application in English speaking countries that tests reading, writing, listening and spoken skills. The preparation, through intensive, is not rote based. In fact, no amount of rote based learning would help achieve a good score. If our assessment systems at different stages of schooling can be changed to align with this model it would go a long way in adddressing education quality issues and in making learning a joyful experience
The volume of curriculum too will need to be reduced and teaching methodologies adopted to encourage students to commit concepts to long term memory instead of rote memorization. When concepts need to be read/heard (comprehended), visualized and finally verbalized in the students own words this process allows for critical thinking skills to develop. As concepts pass through this stepwise process they are better integrated into the long term memory of students. As students learn to internalize new concepts through this stepwise approach not only do they acquire knowledge that is longer lasting but they also acquire skills to acquire rapidly evolving new knowledge on a continuing basis. But such a stepwise approach (comprehension-visualization-verbalization-integration ) is hard to implement when the volume of curriculum is large. It leaves a one dimensional rote based learning as the only feasible means of acquiring knowledge within a compressed timeframe. Therefore the volume of the curriculum needs to be rationalized.
At the end of the day its actually rather inconsequential what students learn. Whats important is whether they have learnt how to learn. With the rapidly evolving pace of knowledge its important to remember most of what students learn today will be redundant by the time students reach mid careers. So the utility of the knowledge acquired today is limited to clearing an assessment at the end of the term/year. Unless students have learnt how to learn (and that too with an unbounded enthusiasm) they would have missed on learning a very key life skill. NB
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have made rapid strides in the past couple of decades. Many experiments have taken place in the country, and a large body of knowledge has accumulated in regard to the use of ICT in education. However, the potential of ICT in education has not been fully harnessed. The use of ICT in education remains limited and there is a need to accelerate efforts to use ICT for fostering quality education.
Even though there is new technological development, it is important to remember that the young child's development can be adversely affected by too early an exposure to electronic communication devices. Research indicates that it is actually harmful to expose young children to computers and tablets too early and therefore pre-school education must focus on play and socialization. Maria Montessori, on the other hand has developed with great care and thought a range of material that is appropriate for young children and that helps them develop holistically.
NB: As mentioned in an earlier section a rote based assessment methodoology has impacted the quality of teachers by minimizing the need for a quality teacher-student interaction an thereby reducing the importance of quality teachers in the system. The few who remain are using their talents to make money through coaching classes. Unfortunately instead of being an instrument of change they are further helping re-inforce the status quo. The teach with the objective of just clearing an exam, nothing more
One way of addressing this artificially created scarcity of quality teachers is to use ICT, particularly in areas where good teachers wont go. Internet has gradually evolved into a great repository of knowledge. Internet based video communication technologies too have come a long way. There are many service providers today who are generating quality content for teaching over the net. A good example is www.Readingeggs.com for primary and secondary school education. And there a Massive Online Courses (MOOC's) that can help meet the need for good courses.
Prof Sugata Mitra, currently heading the deptt of Educational technology at University of Newcastle has pioneered another exciting concept called School in the cloud which he is currently piloting in India and UK. This is a ground breaking initiative and can have a major impact on addressing the scarcity of good teachers in remote areas. The School in the Cloud concept is very successful at converting learning from rote based to activity based. Each learning session is centred around a "big question" that students try to answer by working in teams and trawling the internet to get to an appropriate solution that the team then shares with the entire class. The process is repeated to cover a variety of topics. The challenge, however, still remains around designing an appropriate assessment methodology that aligns with this kind of learning.
Public libraries that support access to online learning courses can prove to be a great investment by the govt. Learners who do not have online access at home can then use this infrastructure. Google has already supported creation of similar infrastructure at our major railway stations. If this can be augmented it can be used for setting up public libraries to facilitate access to online learning resources.
In the UK a great initiative funded by the govt was a channel called TeachersTV. The programs it broadcast for the benefit of teachers was meant to highlight successful learning methodologies and teacher mentoring strategies. A similar initiative should not be hard to implement in the Indian context. Organizations like the Wipro foundation have already made a beginning in this direction and these efforts can be easily leveraged instead of inventing something from scratch
The point is once cross country net enabled connectivity is achieved these kind of online education strategies will be far easier to implement than they are today. But its important to note that people like Salman Khan (Khan academy) and Prof Mitra are already piloting initiatives that will be able to leverage that connectivity once the infrastructure is in place NB
Teacher Development and Management
In spite of the continued efforts for improving teacher quality and performance, the system for initial professional preparation and continuing professional development of school teachers continue to be charaterised by several deficiencies. The current teacher education and training programmes are considered inappropriate in terms of equipping the teachers with the competencies required to cope with the new profile and roles expected of teachers and to enable them to carry out their duties in diverse social, economic, cultural and technological environments. The exists a continued mismatch between institutional capacity and required teacher supply resulting in shortage of teachers. It is critical to train teachers on child rights and protection so that they can play key role in keeping children safe. The problem is acute in the eastern part of the country where there is a huge backlog of untrained teachers. The capacity to train teachers is also very limited in these States. Research, experimentation and innovations in teacher education remain very limited. These deficiencies have brought about an erosion in the professional identity of teachers and the status of teaching as a profession. The issues relating to the capacity, motivation and accountability of teachers to achieve improvements in learning outcomes of students need to be urgently addressed.
There can't be teacher development, but there should be improvement in the knowledge of teacher so schools must conduct refreshment programmes, such as worskshops and seminars where invited experts share their knowledge. Reservations in teaching must be abolished, facilities to oppressed shouldn't be at the cost of future of nation.
There should not be a fixed salary and fixed hike/pay scale. Salary should be incentive based so that poor performers get motivated to fare well and good performer get motivated to carry on their performance.
Salary should be fixed, teaching has nothing to do with performance, if teacher has to be assessed then one need to have teachers teaching same grade class, which doesn't happen. Teachers' job is to bring good out of bad student, and there can't be standard for that.
This change should start from within. The teachers are the first role models of the students and only those teachers who have a passion to teach should join the profession as opposed to the fact that doing a job just to earn money. It is already established that motivation of teachers is integral but it should be taken a little more seriously.
The political nature of the teaching profession, especially in rural India as outlined in the report by the Committee for the Evolution of NEP, needs to be addressed. The additional tasks teachers are expected to perform outside of teaching activities need to be identified and redundant tasks need to be removed/digitzed. Evaluation of teachers should result in both incentives and disincentives based on a pre-established criteria. Criteria will have to be developed keeping in mind the most effective measures of student development, especially learning outcomes.
NB : Meaningful teacher development can happen only when we move away from an assessment system that is primarily based on rote learning. Rote learning pushes the responsibility of learning on to students and their parents. In such a scenario teachers work as little more than class monitors, pace setters for scheduling lessons and finally as assessors. This role requires very little actual teaching engagement with students which happens to be the most intensive part of the learning process. As a result the quality of interaction becomes immaterial. The teacher-student ratio becomes immaterial. The actual teaching skills a teacher needs to have also doesnt matter anymore. The learning outcomes are now dependent on the child's own determination and the parental/tution support that is available to her. In a scenario like this there is very little incentive for school managements to invest on teacher development or to incentivize teachers to teach better.
Its not hard to understand that teacher development will become a priority when we adopt assessment methodologies that require teachers to engage skillfully with students while teaching. If instead educators are happy to just tinker with the curriculum that is unlikely to change the status quo in any way.
In govt funded schools there are other issues as well that hinder development of good teachers. They often get pulled into administrative work which takes away from their core competency of teaching. In Delhi AAP has taken a wonderful initiative by appointing Estate Managers who look after the maintenance of teaching infrastructure. That allows teachers to focus on the job of teaching only
Another key intitiative that the Delhi govt has taken is the mentoring program that it has put in place for teachers. This involves selecting a core group of outperforming teachers and training them to handhold and mentor other teachers. This peer to peer assist is likely to be the most cost effective and efficient means of improving teaching skills across the board. This kind of peer assist/mentoring can also be conducted online, thereby increasing the reach of good teachers to even remote locations where the teaching talent may not be of the same quality .
One of the key stakeholders in the education of children are the parents. Their teaching skills too could do with some development to supplement they efforts of teachers who are already stretched. Engagement of parents should not just be limited to PTA's which easily tend to become a one way conversation these day. Parents should be involved in providing teaching support for younger children at home. This is important particularly for those students who struggle to keep up with the rest of the class. Rudimentary teaching techniques can be designed for parents of different capability levels to help support their child. For thos who simply cant provide any support the teachers should then pick up the slack to meet the needs of the child. This way we can ensure no child gets left behind. In progressive countries like Finland this is the approach schools take to address the needs of those that are at a risk of dropping out. NB
Though substantial progress has been achieved in increasing enrolment in pre-school education, children from disadvantaged population groups still lack access to pre-school education. Children from economically disadvantaged groups are more likely to receive less opportunity to participate in pre-primary education.
Despite considerable progress, enrolment rates in upper primary and secondary education in some states remain well below the national average. While there has been a rise in the demand for secondary education and increase in the number of secondary schools, the spread of secondary education throughout the country remains uneven. Regional disparities continue, as do differences in access depending on the socio-economic background of students.
Though the number of out-of-school children (OOSC) has declined significantly since 2000, the number and proportion of out-of-school children remain much higher than the national average in some states. The proportion of OOSC has been higher than the national average for SC children, ST children and Muslim children. This indicates that these children need greater and focused attention.
Regional disparities in Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education are large. In 2011-12 GER in higher education ranged between 8.4 percent in Jharkhand and 53 percent in Chandigarh. Similarly, the variations among the social groups too are considerable the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education remains low at 23.6 percent (24.5% for boys,22.7% for girls; 18.5% for SCs and 13.3% for STs) in 2014-15. One of the challenges faced by the higher education sector in India is to harmonize the expansion requirements withequity considerations.
Most states have successfully integrated inclusive strategies to facilitate enrolment and retention of disadvantaged population groups in primary education. Despite these efforts, children from certain sections of the population, such as children with disabilities, children in remote locations, children belonging to nomadic families, migrant children, and other vulnerable/disadvantaged groups have not been able to take full benefit of the educational opportunities. Urban poor children constitute another group of children whose participation in education remains low. Ensuring access to education for the hardest-to- reach section of population remains one of the key priorities in the context of efforts to achieve universal elementary and secondary education.
The findings of the National Learning Achievement Surveys reveal significant differences in the average achievement levels of students between States/UTs. They also indicate that urban students are performing significantly better than rural students; students in private unaided schools performed marginally better than government schools; students from the general category and OBC category performed better than the SC and ST students. These findings suggest a serious challenge to the goal of ‘equity in learning’. Children from historically disadvantaged and economically weaker sections of society and first generation learners exhibit significantly lower learning outcomes.
Children with disabilities and children with special needs constitute a significant proportion of out-of-school children. This situation highlights the needs to equip schools to address the challenging needs of children with disabilities who are both socially and educationally disadvantaged.
Though the dropout rate is a matter of concern in the case of all categories of students, drop-out rates among socially and economically disadvantaged groups, especially for girls from these groups, remain higher than the national average. This brings into focus the need to undertake measures to improve retention in schools of children from socially and economically disadvantaged communities.
Most states/UTs have made impressive progress in terms of reduction in gender disparities in participation, with most of them either having reached or surpassed gender parity, particularly at the primary and upper primary stages of education. However, large disparities remain at the senior secondary level. Many girls are not sent to schools; and many who complete secondary education are not able to pursue their studies at the higher secondary level and in colleges. Once in school, especially at the secondary stage, there are several barriers that prevent a significant proportion of girls from continuing their education. The interventions which are currently being made to bridge the gender and social category gaps need to be stepped up, and more focused strategies need to be worked out to facilitate effective inclusion and participation of girls and other special category children.
The relatively higher gender gaps in youth and adult literacy rates remain a principal challenge. India continues to be characterized by higher level of gender gap (8.2 percentage points) in youth literacy rate, with the youth literacy rates for male and female population (age 15-24 years) in 2011 being 90 per cent and 81.8 per cent respectively. India also continues to be the country with higher level of gender gap (19.5 percentage points) in adult literacy, with adult literacy rates for male and female population (age 15 years and over) in 2011 being 78.8 per cent and 59.3 per cent respectively. It is clear that major efforts are needed to raise the literacy levels of girls and women.
Even though the drop-out rates at elementary and secondary stages of education have been declining, large numbers of children continue to leave the school before completing elementary education. In 2014-15, the retention rate at primary level was 83.7 per cent and it was as low as 67.4 percent at the elementary level. This indicates that roughly, four in every 10 children enrolled in grade I leave the school before completing grade VIII. Dropout rates in secondary education continue to be high, especially for socially and economically disadvantaged groups of learners. Though the dropout rate is a matter of concern in the case of all categories of students, drop-out rates among socially and economically disadvantaged groups, especially for girls from these groups, remain higher than the national average. This brings into focus the need to undertake measures to improve retention in schools of children from socially and economically disadvantaged communities. Ensuring completion of elementary, secondary and higher secondary education by all enrolled pupils emerges to be high priority task.
The primary reasons for dropouts need to be idependently identified at the district level, especially in states with high drop out rates. While there might be broad reasons like opportunity costs of schooling, preference for vocational education and lack of resources in local schools which applies to most of India, it is important to address local issues locally rather than try to centralize problem-solving. Increased school autonomy, coupled with effective accountability institutions and support for commonly identified problems, is central to achieving this. If high drop out rates are a problem, getting the children to go back to the same schools, is not the answer. Schools will need to customize their services depending on student needs and parental choice, while meeting general accountability standards.
NB : While family's financial circumstances and/or lack of teaching infrastructure may contribute to high drop out rates in some measure its important to recognize that a child who has the burning desire to learn will rarely stop learning. Most students decide to drop out because they can no longer cope with a difficult to understand curriculum. With little engagement from teachers and no structured guidance from parents they find learning a burden hard to bear and eventually give up.
In this regard a Delhi govt funded program titled 'Chunauti 2018' is key initiative started with the intent of eliminating the dropout rate till grade 9. The program has done well to recognize that those students who make it past grade nine are unlikely to drop out later. Hence the emphasis of providing support for thos who struggle till grade nine to make them confident and self driven. That kind of initiative will require intensive engagement with parents as well so teachers have much needed support in fighting a difficult battle. That will complete the triangle of engagement between the students, teachers and parents so that the desired outcomes are obtained. NB
Governance and Management
Several studies have reported the challenges in education governance exemplified by teacher absence, delayed fund flows to schools/colleges/universities and administrative capabilities. Capacity constraints relating to effective programme planning and implementation continue to be a key issue. Consequently, the progress of implementation of planned programmes remains uneven. The governance and management of education system and institutions, especially at the tertiary education stage, has assumed complexity with the advent of a multiplicity of providers, programmes and modes of financing. While it is true that some states have displayed encouraging initiatives and innovative management, the overall picture in the country is mixed. A renewed look at governance and management policies both at the system as well as the institutional level has become imperatively urgent.
Commercialisation is rampant both in school and higher education sub-sectors as reflected in the charges levied for admissions in private educational institutions. The proliferation of sub-standard educational institutions has contributed to the diminished credibility of the education system.
Central planning is responsible for deterioration of government schools and entry-barriers and ban on commercialisation is responsible for poor quality of private education. Pharma companies can be listed on stock exchange, why can't schools be? NB The need for listing schools on stock exchange is unclear. Its not as if this will address a funding problem. Even today private education is considered a very lucrative business. The entry barriers are rarely commercial but regulatory in nature. Regulations are often employed arbitrarily which is primarily a governance issue . Unless there is transparency in applicationof regulations genuine players will find it difficult to make an entry in this sector.
An education system that puts the onus of learning squarely on the shoulders of students and her parents is unlikely to have robust governance mechanisms. In last few decades, similar to healthcare, the govt has taken a few steps back from its responsibility of ensuring quality education. It has left the field open for private investors without ensuring adequate regulatory safeguards are in place. (The 10% annual fee hike being applied by schools in Delhi is a case in point). Even as the demand for quality education has continued to grow lawmakers, often suffering from a conflict of interest, have been lax in framing and enforcing regulations. The result has been a severely sub standard public education system and a private education system that barely meets the needs of a few elite who can afford it. Esnuring teaching competencies and a healthy teacher student ratio for a quality engagement is rarely on the list of priorities of private school managements
Clearly with the budgetary situation being what it is public funding cant be allocated to provided for universal education. Private education institutions are here to stay. But there is no alternative to clear and effective regulations with a strong mechanism in place to ensure compliance. Similar to higher institutions of learning like IIT's and IIM's governments need to set up a benchmark in education by establishing quality institutions in for school education as well. Till the quality benchmarks are set in public education it is unlikely private educations will meet or exceed the minimum standards.
Even though very often privately provided Education is a public service that should be the subject of periodic social audits for ensuring effective delivery. That will ensure there are sufficient checks and balances in the system. As the recent MCI case has shown governement regulators can be notoriously lax unless adequate checks and balances are built into the sytem. And there is no better way of doing it than having third party audits. Organizations like Pratham can play a stellar role in this context. Social auditors can serve the purpose of an industry watchdog watchdog that can keep an eye both on the regulator and the private and public education providers.
In conclusion its worth mentioning that a sector that relies so heavily on private investment will thrive only with effective regulations that protect the interest of all stakeholders. This needs long term vision and strong leadership commitment. Petty corruption has been the bane of regulation in the education sector. Unless strong mechanism are established to address this appropriately rolling out a new education policy will be a fruitless exercise. NB
Research and Development
Research and development initiatives in universities in India remain weak. There has been only a limited initiative for upgrading the skills of existing faculty; build synergies between teaching and research to promote excellence in both; promoting internationalisation by encouraging and supporting higher education institutions and their faculty to engage more deeply with institutions and faculty around the world to improve quality of research; creating and facilitating alliances for research, and linking university departments with research institutions and industry to accelerate the process of knowledge development.
The gap between industrial needs and academic interests needs to be reduced. This would require attracting the best minds from both sectors and creating institutions where they can work together. Universities still carry out most of the research in India, and are limited by the existing academic schools of thought. Diversity in beliefs is extremely important in the context of research and this requires incentivizing the brightest students to levels that are comparable with private sector professions while at the same time holding their work to the highest possible levels of scrutiny.
NB : Research and Development linked to the industry can be the subject of an entirely different document. Suffice to say it will only take off when those doing it are assured of making profit from it. A strong patent regime underpinned by an equally effective judicial or regulatory processes for protecting patent rights is the foremost pre-requisite for an R&D culture
Academecians who have the capability and willingness to engage in R&D that solves existing problems of the country is another pre-requsite for R&D to thrive
An active partnership with an industry that has the required skills and experience in commercializing a technology is the third key requirement.
All of the above are major issues related to industrial innovation that will need active engagement with all key stakeholders-these are not necessarily the subject of an education policy document.
But one area of R&D that does not need the engagement of so many stakeholders is research in effective techniques of pedagogy. Organizations like Pratham, Wipro Foundation and School in the cloud are already in this area. Its a matter of bringing all these initiatives on a common platform and cascading the key finding to interested stakeholders-school management, teachers, students, parents and regulators.
Another area of research that should be prioritized is the effect of contemplative sciences like meditation on the learning process and child development. Contemplative sciences are a key cultural heritage in this country and yet have never been studied scientifically. This is an area where countries in the west have taken a lead and have been running pilot projects in schools. Mindfulness meditation from the Buddhist tradition has been particularly popular. As a country that lays claim to be the originator of such techniques the least we can do is invest some time and funds into researching the benefits of meditation and prove if there is a case for including it in the broader school curriculum. NB
Teachers should be taken accountable for public funds given for research and development. Government must seek 50% of the disbursed fund return to ensure quality research and development.
Insufficient financing of education continues to constrain efforts to expand access to education and foster quality education. Several studies have reported the challenges in education governance exemplified by the delayed fund flows to schools/colleges/universities. The earlier education policies had endorsed a norm of 6 percent of GDP as the minimum expenditure on education. However, this target has never been met. The goal of 6 % of GDP is counter productive since the focus will shift to allocating and spending the 6% instead of working on the challenges of learning. The goal would become input focused, like the RTE, instead of outcome focus. The right commitment is not to any arbitrary number like 6% but to spend whatever it takes to deliver on high learning outcomes for all. Think of 'buying' learning for all and what it would cost. Shortfall in the funding has been a major constraint to the complete implementation of some of the programmes designed to further expand school, higher and adult education programmes and to maintain a reasonable level of quality in education. There have also been pervasive and persistent failures in timely programme implementation leading to sub-optimal utilization of the resources provided.
NB : If budget is going to constrain the provision of universal education by the state then its worth prioritizing key areas for targetting the available spend.
-the concept of model schools has been around for a while and is worth dropping. In the interest of equity, every school should be adequately provided with resources in order to ensure the best learning possible for all its students. The idea of model school merely creates an artificial caste system and denies good quality education for all students.
-budgetary spend should also be targetted at strengthening the regulatory and accredition mechanisms. It needs to be ensured such agencies are adequately resourced and equipped and attract the best talent from the industry. Social audits of educational institutions need to be budgeted or as well to ensure there are enough checks and balances in the system
-funding research in the latest pedagogical techniques and rolling out the results to the education institutions countrywide should be a priority.
The state is usually not the best equipped to run these initiatives but it can certainly provide the funding and put in place a robust accountability framework to ensure the money is spent as intended. NB
The global Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) within the Agenda 2030 seeks to‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’. The EFA agenda initiated in 2000 remains unfinished, particularly those relating to youth and adult illiterates, out-of-school children, low access to Early Childhood Care and Education, inadequate opportunities for skill development and unsatisfactory quality of education and student learning levels. The NEP will, therefore, pursue both the unfinished EFA agenda and the targets associated with SDG4.
The challenges being faced by the education sector call for innovative approaches and sustained efforts to foster education development in general, and quality education, in particular without compromising on access and equity. The main thrust will be to devise effective strategies to address the divergent challenges for the growth of education in India and realising the potential of the country’s ‘demographic dividend’.***
Chapter III: Vision, Mission, Goals and Objectives
The National Education Policy (NEP), 2016 envisions a credible and high-performing education system capable of ensuring inclusive quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all and producing students/graduates equipped with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that are required to lead a productive life, participate in the country’s development process, respond to the requirements of the fast‐changing, ever‐globalising, knowledge‐based economy and society.
- Ensure equitable, inclusive and quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all – children, youth and adults – and to promote the realisation the nation’s human potential to its fullest, with equity and excellence.
- Ensure that school and higher education as well as adult education programmes inculcate an awareness among children, youth and adults of India’s rich heritage, glorious past, great traditions and heterogeneous culture, and promote acquisition by the learners at all levels of values that promote responsible citizenship, peace, tolerance, secularism, national integration, social cohesion and mutual respect for all religions, as well as universal values that help develop global citizenship and sustainable development;
- Foster quality education with a strong focus on reforms relating to curricula, learning materials, pedagogic processes, learning assessment, teacher quality and performance, and institutional leadership and management with a view to enabling all students at all levels of education to attain the specified learning outcomes (knowledge, skills, attitudes and values) that are required to lead a productive life, participate in the country’s development process, and respond to the emerging global challenges.
- Promote acquisition by all learners of relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for work and entrepreneurship as well as life skills and competencies that replace rote learning and allow them to be more creative and innovative, to think critically, to communicate effectively, to solve problems independently, and to be able to contribute to the national development process.
- Ensure the protection of children from all kinds of abuse at all times.
Goals and objectives
The overall goal is to foster quality and relevance of education and raise the credibility ofIndia’s education system, improve employability of the products of school and higher education system, ensure equitable access to education, from early childhood education to tertiary education, including technical and vocational education and training (TVET) as well as lifelong learning opportunities, and ensure that educational opportunities are available to all segments of the society,
The main objectives of education for the fulfillment of the vision and mission are as follows:
- Expanding early childhood education services to ensure that all pre-school age children aged 4-5 years attain the learning and developmental readiness required for smooth transition to primary education, with particular attention to children belonging to disadvantaged population groups;
- Achieving universal elementary and secondary education and ensuring that all secondary education graduates have access to higher secondary education and all higher secondary education graduates have equitable access to higher education and that all enrolled students are supported to successfully complete their education with all of them achieving expected learning outcomes with emphasis on Life Skills; NB Agree with the goal of limiting universal education to primary and secondary levels. Any country that chooses the path of univesal higher education creates a bottomless pit for itself NB.
- Ensuring that all education programmes are made accessible, inclusive and responsive to the needs of diverse groups of children and young people with special focus on students from disadvantaged population groups, particularly children, adolescents and youth with special needs and with various forms of disabilities, and ensuring that all enrolled students are supported to enable them achieve the expected learning outcomes;
- Ensuring that social, regional and gender gaps in education are eliminated and gender equality and girls’ and women’s empowerment are promoted throughout the education system;
- Expanding opportunities for skill development and ensuring acquisition by young people and adults of the life skills and competencies for life and work, including technical and vocational skills that are required for employability, work and entrepreneurship and for adapting to an ever-changing world of work;
- All school curriculum to include Personal Safety Education with age appropriate information for all grades from pre-primary to grade 10, thereby empowering children to prevent the risk of abuse and seek support in case of violation.
- All schools to have compulsory Child Protection Policies to safeguard children against all forms of abuse by conducting Personal Safety Education Programmes for children, outlining the code of conduct for teachers, non-teaching staff and any contractors working in the premises of the schools, action plan in the event of any breach of conduct, support team in the school to support a child when a child discloses any abuse that the child is experiencing whether on the school's premises or elsewhere.
- Ensuring that young people (15-24 years) and adults (15 years and above) who are outside the formal education system, including those working in the informal sector of the economy, are provided with opportunities to develop their life skills, attain vocational/ technical skills for employability; NB This initiative is critical to reducing unemployment as well as underemployment. Very often youngster realize the value of education much later in life to find most avenues for quality education are closed to them. Open university is a great concept but it wont give the desired results unless supported by innovative use of ICT technologies and infrastructure like online public libraries. Furthermore they will need to attract the best innovative talent that is available to run adult education program effectively NB
- Reform higher education system in order to ensure equitable access to tertiary education, including technical and professional education, narrow group inequalities in access to higher education, and improve teaching and research, promote innovation and generate new knowledge across all higher education institutions and to enable all enrolled to attain the specified learning outcomes and employable skills;
- Ensuring integration of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in education, especially for improving access to education, enhancing the quality of teaching-learning process, training of teachers, and strengthening educational planning and management.
- Ensuring that the systems of teacher development and management, including continuing professional development of teachers, are reformed to ensure adequate supply of qualified and competent teachers who possess the prescribed competency profile and the prescribed professional standards for teachers;
- Ensuring that at all youth and at least 90% of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy skills prescribed by the adult education programmes;
- Insitutionalising a responsive, participatory and accountable systems of educational planning, governance and management and ensuring that the educational planning and management practices structures for the planning and management of the education sector at the national, sub-national and local levels are improved and made more responsive to the emerging educational priorities and demands of the expanding education sector;
- Professionalising and enhancing the capacity of institutional leadership, and ensuring that the leadership in the education sector at the national, sub- national and institutional levels are improved to respnd to the emerging educational priorities and demands of the expanding education sector;
- Ensuring increased and well-targeted financing for educational development programmes.
The direction of the future education agenda is anchored in a lifelong and sector-wide perspective. The policy envisages broadening the scope of education to facilitate various pathways to learning depending on learners’ choice and potential and in relation with skills required for the world of work while ensuring recognition and certification of learning outcomes acquired by learners through formal and non-formal learning modalities, including open and distance learning modes.
Chapter IV: Policy Framework
In the foregoing sections, we have outlined the vision, challenges and policy objectives that are to be realized through concrete actions. A large number of such actions are currently under way, and have been so for several years, and in some cases, for many decades. NB MHRD should be able to publish an annual report on the success these initiatives have achieved and the initiatives that arent going anywhere and need to be terminated or modified. Such reports should be available in the public domain for comments/suggestions from general public. NB We need to acknowledge the mammoth size of our education landscape and the diversity of internal sub-systems across different states. Further, there is no single solution or remedy that can address the multiple challenges of access, inclusion and excellence, while attempting to harbinger change. The thrust of this policy is on quality of education, as the country has already been witnessing the benefits of on-going efforts for expanding access and increasing inclusion. Employability is a matter of great concern which also has been given due attention. Given the global changes and technological advancements, some new areas are also brought forth to realize the various objectives.
A Framework for Action will be drawn up in which implementation strategies will be indicated for each identified area at all levels of Government- Central, State/UT, and local. In particular, the state and local governments would be encouraged to formulate their own strategies or action plans consistent with the National Education Policy, 2016.
The key areas and actions to be taken in each of these follow in the subsequent sections. Needless to state, these are by no means exhaustive and there could other possible actions that can be envisaged later on.
4.1 Pre-school Education
Pre-school education has not received the necessary attention in the past as Government schools do not provide pre-primary education. The Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) program of the Ministry of Women and Child Development is intended to provide early childhood education. It is universally accepted that early childhood years are critically important when a child’s mental and physical development is the highest. NB This is still an area that is under scientific study. Growth of number of neurons is highest at this stage. They are also rapidly establishing new inter neuronal connections. However the brain has been demonstrated to be a plastic organ. Neruon connections tend to weaken and break if the brain is not used optimally but can reconnect even later in life depending on the intensity of the learning experience. It is the neuronal connectedness that determines intelligence and emotional stability in later life. This is an area of continuing research in neuroscience and cognitive behaviours but it does challenge the notion that young minds need to be given exposure to as much knowledge as possible because mental capabilities only develop to a certain age. Suffice to say that a great learning experience at any stage of life can propel forward an individual's mental and emotional intelligence.
But it still does not take away from the importance of the early years of learning. Pre-school, primary and secondary school education set the foundations for a child's emotional connect to learning. Kids who develop a sustained curiosity to learn in early years are very likely to retain their love for learning throughout life. Conversely, for a child who has grown to dislike learning it is very difficult to regain that connect in adult years. Its important therefore that the focus of the pre school,primary and secondary years should be on creating curiosity and a love for learning NB
The following policy initiatives will be taken:
- As a priority, a programme for pre-school education for children in the age group of 4 to 5 years will be implemented in coordination with the Ministry of omen and Child Development. The focus should be on reading and spoken skills in the preschool years. Too much emphasis on writing skills from an early stage is usually counterprouctive. NB
- Presently, the Anganwadis under the ICDS are not adequately equipped to provide pre-school education. To strengthen the pre-school education in Anganwadis, steps will be taken in consultation with states to frame curricula and develop learning materials, within a year, and provide training to Anganwadi workers.
- State Governments will prepare cadres of pre-primary teachers, and create necessary facilities for their pre and in service training. The transition from Anganwadi to pre-primary school will be gradual and seamless, and it should be left to each State to determine the time frame for achieving it.
- In due course, all primary schools will cover pre-primary education. For this, efforts will be made to locate all Anganwadis either in the school premises, or as close to these as possible.
- Appropriate regulatory and monitoring rules and mechanisms will be designed for private pre-schools.
4.2 Protection of Rights of the Child & Adolescent Education
Protection of child rights goes beyond personal safety of children and includes prevention of corporal punishment; absence of emotional and physical harassment, precautions against injury during school activities’ safe infrastructure, use of child friendly language and actions, non-discriminations, physical abuse, substance abuse, molestations, sexual abuse etc. It calls for creating the right kind of environment that is both sensitive and receptive to child rights. A zero tolerance approach for any breach of child rights will be adopted to ensure physical and emotional safety of children right from Anganwadi/ Pre-school.
The following policy initiatives will be taken:
- A framework and guidelines for ensuring school safety and security of children will be developed and will be made a part of the eligibility conditions for a school education institution for recognition and registration.
- Launch a Safe school campaign with a checklist for Safe schools and regulary audit schools to ensure all kinds of safety measures are being taken up by the school for the protection of children from all kinds of abuse.
- Conduct Personal safety education in schools from pre-primary to Grade 10 with age appropriate information and curriculum developed. This should be a comprehensive model that empowers children and key stakeholder's to prevent the risk of child sexual abuse and seek support in case of violation.
- The programme will aim towards making children understand that their entire body belongs only to them and nobody has the right to touch them in a way thy do not like or understand. it is essential to teach children hoe they perceive a particular touch as safe or unsafe, and also provide them with a vocabulary for different emotions, thereby helping them develop skills to articulate their feelings, especially in uncomfortable situations.
- Teaching children essential skills such as assertiveness, self esteem and identifying a trusted adult to seek help from, are essential to reduce the vulnerability of children to different kinds of abuse.
- The schools will integrate Personal Safety in their curriculum so that it is repeated rather than being a one-time intervention. All research says messages of personal safety need to be reiterated to children so that they remember and take action accordingly in an unsafe situation.
- Any such program like the Personal Safety Education needs to be in support with teachers and parents. Sessions with parents,teachers,school authority and service staff on what is child sexual abuse,POCSO ( legislation on CSA) and sharing the content of the Personal Safety Education modules being taught to children is imperative.
- Every Principal and teacher will be made aware of the provisions of the relevant Acts, Rules, Regulations, etc. relating to child rights and what constitutes their violation of by including a module in the teachers education/ training programmes and refresher courses.
- Define code of conduct for teachers, non-teaching staff and any contractors working in the premises of schools, along with action plan in the event of any breach of conduct.
- The Adolescent Education Programme and National Population Education Programme will be integrated into the curriculum of schools in a phased manner.
- Adolescent Education will be included in pre- and in-service training programmes of secondary school teachers.
- Self-learning online programmes on child rights will be developed for the benefit of students, teachers and parents.
- To provide individualized safe space for children to share/disclose about past/ongoing inappropriate behavior/sexual abuse by teachers post the lesson plans. Many children want to share and therefore to give them a platform to do so is very helpful.
- Counsellors should also facilitate the healing journey for children and intervene appropriately specially, when ongoing abuse needs to stop or there is a current threat of re-victimisation.
- To provide appropriate support through counselling, to children who violate other children’s personal boundaries
- Schools will develop capacities of teachers and engage trained counsellors to confidentially advise parents and teachers on adolescence problems faced by growing boys and girls.
4.3 Learning outcomes in School Education
In elementary education, poor learning outcomes continues to be a matter of serious concern. Studies have shown that children are not learning the basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic during their schooling. The States have taken initiatives, such as, defining and measuring learning outcomes and enhancing early grade reading, writing, comprehension and maths programs. However, despite all these efforts, poor learning outcomes remain a challenge. It is therefore priority of the central and state governments to expand the definition of learning outcomes beyond basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic to include life skills in order to improve learning outcomes of school children which would result in enhancing the quality of elementary education.
NB: As long as learning outcomes continue to be measured solely through written assessment in the early leanring years the success of such initiatives is likely to be limited. Early learning years have to be about one on one quality engagement and a low student ratio (10 to 1) to allow this kind engagement. Written assessment is secondary to verbal assessment. Verbal assessement should work hand in hand with the drive to inculcate strong verbal skills in the child. Consequently as the child's verbal communication skills grow the confidence to learn new skills through effective communication both with others and the self also grows. This strategy works very effectively in the early years.
Written assessments as a measure of learning outcomes should gradually replace verbal assessments as the child grows. By this time a basic framework of learning skills is already in place NB
The following policy initiatives will be taken: :
- The students need to be taught the methodology of study including self study. The students must learn how they learn different concepts. They must be encouraged to find out if they learn by seeing videos, hearing or experimentation. The focus should be on HOW to study.
- If the teacher is teaching well in school, the student should go home and revise the what was taught in class from the book. The school text books should be made self explanatory in terms of explanation of concepts to reduce dependence on teacher education especially in rural areas.
- Maths should be taught by explaining the derivations of formulae in the text book rather than plug and play of numbers in the formulae only. The student must revise the derivations and explanations of maths chapters just like any other chapter in other subjects. Then the student must practice maths problems through solved examples and unsolved problems.
- English and other languages should be taught by making the student practice writing notices, letters, essays and the solved examples of the written text should be given in the textbook for his reference once he has attempted to write in his own words. Good english is not about using difficult words but using the right words to express one's self through right grammer. The answer key to the class 10th and 12th pattern exam papers must be provided to students for practicing.
- The science and social science concepts should be explained through videos and online learning material for better visualization of content.
- In addition to infrastructure norms specified in the RTE Act, norms for learning outcomes will be developed and applied uniformly to both private and government schools. State Education Department must not perform both roles at the same time - running government schools and regulating both private and government schools. These roles should be separated. Both private schools and government schools should be assessed by a third party. More weightage should be given to learning outcomes than infrastructure norms.
- Within the parameters prescribed by the RTE Act, States will have the flexibility to design and plan for the infrastructure keeping in view the local conditions. Local norms, appropriate for local conditions, will be evolved, if necessary through amendment in RTE Act, for ‘alternate schools’ which offer educational interventions for specific categories of very deprived and migrating children, and those living in difficult circumstances.
- The present provisions of no-detention policy will be amended, as it has seriously affected the academic performance of students. The no detention policy will be
limited up to class Vrescinded and the system of detention will be restored at the upper primary stage. Academically weak students will be identified, based on CCE conducted by schools, for providing remedial instructions at the end of the schoolday or during holidays, for which new arrangements are to be created within the school system. The student would thereafter be assessed and if he fails to clear the bar, the process would be repeated, focusing specifically on areas where he is deficient. Should he again fail to clear the examination, he should be either detained in the same class or given other alternative opportunities of pursuing education. No-detention policy has not resulted in poor outcomes. No assessments and no remedial/ supplementary programs within the same academic year have resulted in poor learning outcomes. NB A remedial program that does not enlist the support of parents may not very far. Parental skills and willingness for providing remedial support to the child should be separately assessed and child specific strategy should be framed accordingly, NB
- Effective steps will be taken to improve teaching standards in schools, create mechanisms for supporting children through special academic support and providing access to multiple sources of knowledge, including e-resources. Assessments should be linked to teacher performance and accountability.
- Participate in all future rounds of PISA and TIMSS so as to ascertain India's position in relation to school learning outcomes worldwide. The results of these assessments can be used to gauge the changes needed to be made in the assessment patterns or pedagogical methodologies employed in schools in India and improve learning outcomes.
4.4 School Education
With Universal Elementary Education (UEE) becoming a reality, expansion of secondary education is inevitable. This requires development of a secondary school system with defined standards irrespective of the location and management of the institution to accommodate all those eligible students. The challenge is in improving the retention and transition rates at secondary levels. The present examination system also is riddled with several maladies and malpractices. While efforts have been made in some states to conduct examinations in a fair and transparent manner, the overall situation requires major reforms.
The following policy initiatives will be taken::
- Each State will undertake a detailed exercise of school mapping to identify schools with low enrolment and inadequate infrastructure. Wherever possible, efforts will be made to convert existing non-viable schools into composite schools for optimum utilization of human, physical and infrastructural resources, better academic performance and cost effective management. When schools are merged they could be located in a single campus. In consultation with the states, common guidelines for merger and consolidation would be evolved, without diluting the provisions of the RTE Act. The consolidation will enable the country to achieve one class – one teacher norm in a foreseeable future.
- The issue of extension of Clause 12 (1) (c) of RTE Act to government-aided minority institutions (religious and linguistic) will be examined in view of larger national commitments towards the economically weaker sections.
- The State will endeavour to extend RTE from Pre-school age up to an appropriate age so as to cover secondary level education.
- Minimum standards for provision of facilities and student outcomes across all levels in school education will be laid down.
- Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) will be expanded and Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs) will be expanded and upgraded, wherever possible, up to secondary level with priority to relatively educationally backward areas. Reasons for the success of JNVs will be studied and replicated by the States.
- Open schooling facilities will be expanded to enable dropouts and working children to pursue education without attending full time formal schools.
- Students are many times faced with dilemma in making the right academic choices based on their aptitude and interests which results in failure to realise their true potential resulting in poor achievement, disappointment and stress. Academic aptitude tests will be conducted at various stages to assist students in identifying their true potential and areas of interest. Helplines will be set up and professional counsellors will be engaged in schools to overcome this limitation and also identify children with special learning needs, assist slow learners and underachievers, help in right choice of courses including vocational skill-based programs, and guide secondary and higher secondary students about relevant employment opportunities.
4.5 Curriculum Renewal and Examination Reforms
- Renew curricula and introduction of Life Skills in the curriculum in a graded manner at all levels. This action, to develop social-emotional competencies, is geared to enable leaners overcome adversity and flourish in a fast-changing world. To do this, through the integration of the Life Skills Approach within the existing school calendar delivered by trainer teachers
- Introduce standardised Life Skills Assessment Scale, such as the peer reviewed oublished Life Skills Assessment Scale of Dream a Dream to measure life skills development in disavantaged children. Reference. http://bit.ly.2ag4gYR
To quote Swami Vivekanand, “Education is not the amount of information that we put into your brain and runs riot there, undigested, all your life. We must have life- building, man-making, character-making assimilation of ideas. If you have assimilated five ideas and made them your life and character, you have more education than any man who has got by heart a whole library….. …. If education is identical with information, the libraries are the greatest sages of the world and encyclopedia are the greatest Rishis.” The statement of Swami Vivekanand assumes much greater significance with the advent of internet and ever expanding digital connectivity when we do not even need to visit libraries and information are available at the click of a button. There is therefore a need to shift from the information-based education system to a value-based education system imparting life skills that enable students to overcome adversity, develop resilience and
which can contribute to man-making and nation-building. NB While the former approach to education requires rote based learning the latter ecncourages reasoning based learning. As discussed elsewhere in this document Examination reforms will need to be prioritized over curriculum changes for a material shift in learning outcome. NB
There is a need for an ongoing system to make changes/renew curricula at all levels of education with special emphasis on developing life skills and the emerging learning areas. Some of the curricular thrusts should include enabling learners to respond to the impact of globalization and the demands of the emerging knowledge-based economy and society; meet the learning needs of diverse groups of learners; linking education with life-skills and the world of work; generating concern relating to sustainable development; responding to instructional arrangements that are moving towards greater flexibility and individualization etc. The curricula should provide opportunities for students to achieve excellence in learning outcomes, develop their ability to take initiative, solve problems, overcome difficulties, mange conflict, interact with each other and understand instructions. This will help students overcome adversity, develop resilience and develop capabilities to make healthy life choices and achieve a better quality of life.
that are comparable to student learning outcomes in high-performing international education systems. The curricula also need to define the standards of educational performance and learning outcomes through which objectives of education are realized and the attainment of which can be assessed/monitored with a view to revision and upgrading of the curricula.
Improving the assessment of student learning assumes greater importance in the context efforts to improve learning outcomes. Systems are in place for continuous formative and summative assessment, term- end and year-end examinations, and class X and class XII examinations. However, the overall assessment practices at the school level remain unsatisfactory. In most cases the learning assessment is limited to testing the students’ ability to reproduce content knowledge. The whole assessment system needs to be revamped to ensure comprehensive assessment of the students, including learning outcomes relating to both scholastic and co- scholastic domains. There is also a need to institutionalize a system which tracks student progress in both the scholastic and co-scholastic domains across years.
The following policy initiatives will be taken:
- Curricular reforms will be carried out to meet the emerging aspirations and align to national goals of social cohesion, religious amity and national integration. Curriculum should be outcome-based and aim for overall development of students through imparting life-skills that develop their social-emotional skills and respond to
inan increasingly technology driven environment. All students will be taught both fundamental duties and rights so that they can become responsible citizens both within the country and in the world. Life Skills is vague idea and must be defined in preamble. Indian constitution must be part of school sylabus after grade 8, second and third language should be replaced by logic, Constitutionand law of the land, sports science and vocational courses after grade 8, History, which is subject of research, should be optional after grade 8.
- National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) will undergo a re-orientation to address issues of deteriorating quality of school education and periodic renewal of curricula and pedagogy to move from rote learning to facilitate understanding and encourage a spirit of enquiry and addressing social-emotional competencies by developing their life-skills. The curriculum should include more activity based learning as opposed to rote learning, which is possible only with better teacher/student ratio of 1:10 or at most 1:15 at primary level.
- For science, mathematics and english subjects, a common national curriculum will be designed. NB : Excellent idea. NB For other subjects, such as social sciences, a part of the curricula will be common across the country and the rest will be at the discretion of the states. English must be mandatory from grade I to X, logic, social science, sports science, and law of the land must be included as school sylabus.
- There is need to recognise that teacher student ratio needs to be different for different subjects. Ratio of 1:35 to 40 may be OK for languages but not for math since teacher has to check and ensure the ability of student to grasp the next idea which is dependent on firm grasp of current idea. That is not the case for language teaching.
- From Class V onwards, digital literacy will be introduced in the curriculum in a graded manner. NB; Grade 5 is too late to start ICT. Most students are ready to use ICT tools by Grade 2. Internet as a tool for learning needs to encouraged actively. NB However, ICT as a subject can start from class VI. ICT curricula at all levels will be revised to make these application orienmed.
It is well recognised that concepts of science are best understood by students through demonstration and lab experiments. Hence for teaching of science subjects, practical components will be introduced gradually from class-VI onwards.
- Issues of gender, social, cultural and regional disparities, with an emphasis on unity in diversity, will be properly addressed in the curriculum and its transaction. Curriculum will cover the issues of social justice and legal measures in order to avoid social discrimination.Along with this they should be trained in lifeskills so that they can face life situations effectively including keeping themselves safe. It will be ensured by the curriculum and text book development agencies that text books promote harmony and do not contain any discriminating issues/ events/ examples in the context of gender, disability, caste, religion, etc. Citizenship education, peace education, character building, legal and constitutional literacy, financial literacy, environmental sustainability, personal safety social-emotional competencies and other common core which will be promoted through all the subject areas. Social science should be included, but shouldn't have caste, religion topics, till grade X, Indian students must know they are Indians and equal. Topics that can create discrimination should be eliminated from school sylabus.
- Examinations will be designed to test wider awareness, understanding and comprehension, introduce standardised Life Skills Assessment Scale (like the one Dream a Dream has developed) to develop li and higher order problem solving skills, and not merely ability to reproduce text book material. Continuous assessment, standards in paper-setting, transparency in evaluation criteria, etc. are some steps that can be taken in this direction. In order to introduce flexibility and reduce year-end examination stress, the government will make an attempt to introduce on-demand board examination.
- High failure rate in class-X examination is attributed to a large extent to poor performance in three subjects: Mathematics, Science and English. In order to reduce the failure rates, class X examination in Mathematics, Science and English will be at two levels: Part-A at a higher level and Part-B at a lower level. Students who intend to join courses/ programmes for which science, mathematics or English is not a prerequisite or wish to shift to vocational stream after class-X will be able to opt for Part-B level examination. English must be compulsary till grade X, but science and maths should be made optional and replaced by vocational subjects for those who are better in practical, and should be preferred for Engineering diploma. ITI must be made 3-year degree course.
- At present Central and State Boards of Education conduct examination for class X and XII. It will be mandatory for the students to take class X board examination conducted by the Board to which their school is affiliated. class X Board examination will cover the entire syllabus of class X.
- There are wide variations in the quality and value of certificates provided by different boards, representing different levels of learning. Moreover, there are allegations of many examination boards granting grace marks to artificially inflate the pass percentage. Not only that this practice needs to be discontinued, but a system should be developed to provide a better comparative idea of students’ achievement levels across the boards and preferably across the years. Scaling is one alternative. Some other alternatives are conducting a central examination at the end of class-X and XII, or, expressing the scores in terms of percentile in each Board. All possible options will be studied by a team of academic experts to suggest a solution to indicate achievement levels of students of students.NB: There is a strong case for unifying all boards into a single board for Grade XII exam so a single exam can be held countrywide NB
- Procedural reforms will be undertaken, such as, doing away with migration certificate, school leaving certificate, etc. in order to encourage mobility of students from one institution to another.
- The importance of physical exercise in a student's life is immense. His brain needs physical workout in order to relieve the stress of reading. A student who does not exercise is never good at studies because he is stressed out. Sleeping is not a replacement for excercise. This should be explained in schools to all students and physical excercise should be included in curriculum. Excercise prevents burnout in students and builds a charming personality of students.
- Students in computer science must be taught programming languages like Java, C++, oracle, SQL in college. Currently the computer science syllabus does not have this content which is crucial for Information technology jobs. Software developement life cycle should be included in the course in computers.
- The examination pattern must also include application based questions. Students should be given problems related to the area of study to be included as 25% marks project which the student must spend time thinking how to solve the problem using concepts learnt. This needs to be given as home work and to be presented in classes
4.6 Inclusive Education and Student Support
It is an established fact that an education system built on the premises of quality and equity is central to sustainable success in the emerging knowledge economy. The present education system
especially both in urban and rural areas is not creating a heterogeneous environment for inclusive education to cater to the educational needs of children with special needs and socially backward communities. Though in recent decades, access to education has improved even in rural areas, students coming from socially or economically weaker segments suffer significant handicaps relating to inequality in learning opportunities, often stemming from sociological and circumstantial factors.
Education level of tribal children is a matter of grave concern. Serious issues, such as, low literacy rates, poor enrolment rates, high dropouts, high infant mortality of tribal children have to be addressed. In spite of all the efforts made by Central and State Governments, including provision of scholarships etc., the state of tribal education is far from satisfactory. Non-availability of teachers to work in tribal areas has been mainly responsible for low educational development of the tribal children. Language and communication is also a problem for non-tribal teachers working in tribal areas.
Mechanisms to ensure financing for study programmes, either through scholarships or loans, could help meritorious students continue their studies.
The following policy initiatives will be taken:
- Issues of gender, social, cultural and regional disparities, with an emphasis on diversity, will be properly addressed in the curriculum and its transaction. Curriculum will cover the issues of social justice and harmony and legal measures in order to avoid social discrimination.
- Conduct Personal safety Education programmes for children with an aim to impart value based life skills as well as open doors for each child to report any violation of sexual abuse.
- Pre-vocational oriented activities including life skills will be infused in the curriculum from early stages to develop positive attitude towards dignity of labour and develop skills in children
- With the objective of encouraging merit and promoting equity, a National Fellowship Fund, primarily designed to support the tuition fees, learning materials and living expenses for about 10 lakh students will be created. The scholarships from this fund will be made available to students belonging to the economically weaker sections. A separate national talent scholarship scheme, covering all subject areas, for meritorious students of all categories selected through a national level examination after class 10 will be introduced.
- Ways of building synergies and linkages, providing mentoring and advice between Ashram shalas and nearby secondary schools/ higher secondary schools/ Kendriya Vidyalayas/ Navodaya Vidyalayas will be worked out.
- Skilling of students in tribal areas needs greater focus and steps will be taken to offer more skill based courses in schools after regular working hours in coordination with National Skill Development Corporation.
- Experience has shown that tribal children have difficulty in understanding and learning in the regional language which is usually the medium of instruction. To overcome this impediment, steps will be taken to ensure that, wherever required, multi-lingual education will be introduced.
- Special interventions will be undertaken to meet the educational needs of differently abled children and children with learning disabilities who are facing multiple problems of social neglect, absence of support systems in the home and educational institutions such as--,-- inadequate and lack of appropriate facilities, attitudinal, environmental, institutional barriers and acess to appropriate assistive devices and learning materials, particularly in schools/ educational institutions located in smaller towns and villages.
- The ongoing centrally sponsored schemes for children with special needs will continue and their coverage and funding will be augmented. A suitable mechanism will be developed at the State and district levels for oversight of the implementation of various schemes as well as identifying and providing for children with special needs.
- At the local level, pre-service and in-service teacher training curriculum will comprehensively include the various aspects of inclusive education and child development. In addition, a part-time sub-committee of experts comprising of child and clinical psychologists will be constituted so that any school or District Education Officer could refer cases where a third-party assessment or advice is needed. This sub-committee can also advise on special training/orientation of teachers for sensitive and appropriate handling of children with special needs.
- The Central Government will take the lead in devising a long term plan for addressing the problem of learning disabilities, provide investment in research and training and make available necessary resources.
- The critical stages in the learning periods of the disadvantaged children from socially and economically disadvantaged sections will be supported with extra remedial coaching or advisory facility.
- Education of migrant children through provision of residential school facilities at the source or destination of migration or any other suitable means, on the basis of equal opportunity and non-discrimination will be carried out.
- A zero tolerance approach on gender discrimination and violence will be adopted. The State will endeavour to enhance induction, retention and substantive presence of women in the higher education sector through various kinds of affirmative action. For this, greater efforts will be made to ensure the placement and recruitment of women in the higher echelons of university administration.
- To acheive Zero tolerance to gender based vilolence it is critica to empower children and adolescents on Personal Safety and concepts of respect,personal boundaries, responsibility,empathy. It is also critical that teachers are trainied to imbibe these values to children through teachers training on child rights and child protection. It is also important that schools create child protection policies to safeguard gendered violence.
- There will be dedicated funds for R&D to strengthen disability studies in higher education. Social and research audit of disability access for infrastructure, academic access and performance will be undertaken.
- To address regional imbalances, differentiated policies for different terrains, such as, hill areas, tribal areas, desert areas, coastal areas, is possible. The criteria for determining educational backwardness at block and district levels will be revisited and new norms will be evolved. To identify educational and skill gaps and to facilitate special interventions for educationally backward regions as also for socially, economically and educationally backward sections, district-wise mapping will be undertaken.
4.7 Literacy and Lifelong Learning
An emphasis on adult literacy was put for the first time on 2nd October 1978 when the National Adult Education Programme (NAEP) was launched. In the last 40 years, a number of programmes have been started, such as, Rural Functional Literacy Programme (RFLP), National Literacy Mission (NLM), Saakshar Bharat Abhiyan, etc. Despite all these efforts, India still has over 280 million adult illiterates which is about one-third of the total number of adult illiterates in the world. This alarmingly high number calls for a special focus for addressing the issue of adult illiteracy.
Functional literacy is the level of reading, writing and numeracy skills sufficient to function in a particular community in which an individual lives. Achieving functional literacy is an integral and indispensable element of educational development. Universal youth and adult literacy is a fundamental goal of adult and continuing education programmes that have been envisaged from time to time.
In the contemporary world, lifelong education is regarded as the determinant of a literate society. The pathways progresses from a literate environment created through the basic literacy programmes to a learning society which provides multiple avenues for meeting the learning needs of all sections of society. Lifelong Education is today essential for survival and for enhancing people’s quality of life, as well as for national, human, social and economic development. If India has to compete globally and emerge as a developed nation, it has to improve the quality of its human resources through well-defined lifelong education policies and programmes.
Massive numbers of non-literates, the emergence of knowledge economy, challenges of globalization, tremendous expansion of information communication technology and increasing lifespan of individuals call for a major shift in the adult education policy and programmes. Multiple approaches to literacy are needed in diverse and complex Indian society. Approach to literacy will have to be flexible, decentralized and context based with focus on livelihood, entertainment, development interventions, etc.
The following policy initiatives will be taken:
- Existing initiatives will be strengthened and curricula revamped with multi-pronged strategies involving Self Help Groups, NGOs, Government, schools/ colleges/ educational institutions, youth and women’s organisations for achieving universal youth and adult literacy.
- The mandate of existing structures, including the National Literacy Mission Authority at the apex level, the State Literacy Mission Authorities at the State level and the Lok Shiksha Samitis at the District, Block and the Gram Panchayat, as well as the resource support bodies, will require remodelling and strengthening for achieving universal literacy goals. States will prepare a district-wise action plan for achieving universal literacy.
- The Government will set up an apex body of experts to look into remodelling and strengthening of AE programmes and develop scientific criteria for assessing the learning outcomes of adults in literacy, skill development, prior learning and equivalency for certification which may also facilitate entry into the formal education system. NLMA will partner with accredited agencies for the purposes of accreditation of prior learning and for professional up-gradation of adult education personnel.
- Adult literacy programme will incorporate skill development and digital, financial and legal literacy.
4.8 Skills in Education and Employability
In addition to technical skills, skill development programmes in school and higher education system should give equal priority to developing Life Skills not only for gainful employment but also to develop entrepreneurial skills.
While the youth population is fast shrinking with higher dependency ratios in the developed world, India is one of the youngest nations in the world with more than54 percent of its total population below 25 years of age. It is estimated that there will be 104.62 million fresh entrants to the workforce by 2022 who will need to be skilled. However, institutional arrangements to support technical and vocationaleducation programmes remain quite inadequate.
Formally linking the development of skills in vocational fields, and bringing an academic equivalence to vocational accomplishments with avenues for horizontal and vertical mobility of students has been attempted only recently. To enhance employability, a blend of education and skills is essential for individual growth and economic development. Fostering dignity and social acceptability to high quality vocational training needs increased attention.
The education currently taught in colleges in India is designed for professional services in organized sector. Studies in commerce are designed for accounting purposes of taking care of finances of a corporation. Studies in management, engineering, law, information technology, science and commerce support the functions of a large corporation. Therefore emphasis should be given on building large scale organized sector in India rather than unorganized sector. This can be done if the government forms teams of people from different backgrounds of study to come together and form corporations through government websites exchanges or other initiatives. Students from one education background generally find it difficult to search for people from other backgrounds to start a company.
The developed world has progressed because of efficiency in operations through standardization of processes using ISO 9000 certifications. They use machines to lower the cost of operations and increase the scale of production for mass consumption which brings in efficiency in the system. The salary of organized white collar workers is more through efficiencies of scale and even blue collared workers get a chance to work in large numbers.
The following policy initiatives will be taken::
- Skill development programmes in school and higher education system will be reoriented to give equal priorty to developing Life Skills not only for gainful employment of our students but also help them develop entrepreneurial skills.
- As envisaged in the National Skill Development and EntrepreneurshipPolicy 2015 skill development programmes will be integrated in 25% of the schools and higher education institutions.
- A detailed plan for the creation of skill schools in response to employment opportunities in the State for improving employment opportunities for secondary school students in special focus districts will be prepared.
- The present skill based programmes at secondary, higher and technical education will be integrated through NSQF with the mainstream education to facilitate greater social acceptability as well as vertical and horizontal mobility. Institutional mechanism will be created for certification of skills through multiple entry and exit options, credit bank system, institutional collaboration for credit transfer, National Occupational Standards based delivery of skills for national recognition and outcome based assessment.
- No mechanism for assessment and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) has been developed so far. To overcome this gap, the Government will, within a year, endeavour to develop a mechanism to assess and certify such skills and competencies and facilitate the entry of those who have no formal education and training but have acquired the skills without any certification for possession of those skills.
- Joint certificates by the Sector Skill Council and the School/College authorities to help students take up wage-employment or start their own enterprise.
- MandatorySkill Development Courses in Government Schools
Besides that there is high need to add skill development courses at upper primary level (8th to 10th standards) according to the needs of early employment for those who are unable to cope with studies and from economically weaker sections. Higher studies are not meant for everyone. Only interested and good academic results holder students must be encouraged to pursue higher studies and rest must be facilitated to pursue appropriate skill development program as per his/her choice. Country needs highly skilled man power. Govt. schools majorly have the children from economically weaker sections of society so a child of poor parents would be encouraged to get some skills within the school environment while he/she is having studies. There are numerous skill development courses offered by central and state governments, various NGOs, and small scale industries those are cheaper and extremely useful to attain some employable skills that lead to early employment. Costmodel can be to get benefited the new amendment in Companies Act 2013 (The CSR provision will be applicable to companies with an annual turnoverof INR 10 billion and more, or a net worth of INR 5 billion and more,or a net profit of INR 0.05 billion or more during any financialyear. Companies that trigger any of the aforesaid conditions must spend at least two per cent (2%) of their average net profits made during the three immediately preceding financial years on CSR activities and/or report the reason for spending or non-expenditure.) Government must encourage (by some legislative decision Or bywriting new Model Rules as per RTE Act provisions) private sector toget associated with this skill development model and spend theirresourcesas per their capacity.
- A Compulsory Counsellor Post
Counselling plays a vital role in child development and in current trends it has becomea mandatory part of school curriculum. Every Government (and public also)schools must have a compulsory counsellor post for effective mental, emotional and holistic development of children. That shall also serve the purpose of career and vocational counselling.Two core requirements that need to be addressed on a high priority in these days.
- Personal Counseling Usually there is strong stigma attached to personal or emotional problems.There is a strong reluctance of many students to seek counseling for issues such as anxiety, depression, and other issues like exam maniaetc. Through the focus should be on personal issues and help in study stress, peer pressure, time management issues.
- Career Counseling In the present scenario of rising career options, a sea of pandemonium has been upfront by the students. This creates the need of a platform where a student can exactly know the career path he/she should pursue. Through a sustained assessment and counseling approach, a student will be mentored by an expert and will be given career guidance through extensive assessment. Our expert counselors are subjected to intensive training programs. This helps them guide students in a scientific manner, directing them towards specific education and career goals
In the present scenario of rising career options, a sea of pandemoniumhas been upfront by the students. This creates the need of a platform where a student can exactly know the career path he/she shouldpursue. Through a sustained assessment and counseling approach, a student will be mentored by an expert and will be given careerguidance through extensive assessment. Expert counselors are subjected to intensive training programs. This helps them guide students in a scientific manner, directing them towards specific education and career goals. Following objectives that would be fulfilled with the propsoed sustained counselling servcies:
- Create Caree rResource Centres with a powerful technological platform with in aschool
- One stop solution helping a school with academic and career counseling requirements of students
- Development in Process through intensive career mentoring over a period of time
- Inculcatinglife skills, values, inspiration and motivation among students
- Identifying thestreams and subjects most suitable for them
- In-depthunderstanding of strengths and weaknesses through assessments
- Personalcounseling of assessment results with easy improvement remediationplan
- Getting rid ofexam mania, other issues through one-on-one e-counseling withexperts
- Information andcomparison of best available skill development courses and collegesacross the country
- Parents areable to make apt career decision for their ward, based on expertadvcie
- Helping wardsin making informed career decision based on experts evaluation
- Thoroughunderstanding of ward's academic and family background and otherreasons for suggested careers
4.9 Use of ICT in Education
A significant development since the previous Education Policy of 1986/92 is the emergence of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) which has brought in new dimensions in the fields education. New possibilities have opened up for use of information technology in different ways, not only to manage the sector, but also directly assist in enhancing the quality of teaching and learning, expansion of education opportunities, and improving educational planning and management. ICTs can also be harnessed for remedial education, training of teachers, adult literacy programmes, skill education, learning tool in higher education and also as a governance and management tool. IT-based applications for monitoring the performance of students and schools as well as for school management are currently being used in several states. There are a number of similar ongoing efforts and new initiatives and experimentation in this field. What is required is a well-coordinated strategy, that can propel wide scale the use of ICT to improve education in India.
The following policy initiatives will be taken:
- A concerted effort will be made to make ICT an integral part of education across all levels and domains of learning.
- Courses on the use of ICT as a tool for enhancing the teaching-learning process will be an integral part of the teacher education curricula.
- Online maintenance of all records of a child from the time of admission till the time of leaving the school will be made mandatory.
- IT-based applications will be used for monitoring teacher and student attendance, performance evaluation of teachers and school administrators, performance of students and also for administrative functions like maintenance of records and accounts.
- A programme for the exclusive use of IT applications for School Management will be drawn up by the central and the state governments on priority. IT reporting systems will be a powerful tool to better school management and performance.
- ICT cannot be seen in isolation but has to be seen along-with other infrastructure issues, like availability of proper rooms, reliable electricity, network. Connectivity, security of school premises, maintenance of infrastructure, etc. Providing for these components will be taken care of in the programmes for improvement of educational opportunities and facilities. Since reliable electricity is likely to be an issue, the option of use of solar energy in educational institutions will be made an integral part of the programmes for expanding the use of ICT.
- MOOC is another application of ICT which may help in enhancing the ICT enabled education at secondary and higher education levels, esp. for enhancing access to quality education at an affordable cost.
- Adopting the already developed model may work for short term.Applications/ models to cater to the local needs will be developed in addition to usage of already developed Models. Development of different kinds of software/ mobile apps using the available open software byteachers and students to suit the local needs will be encouraged and facilitated.
- ICT can be of great help to students for learning concepts in science, physics, biology among others where visualization of concepts can be provided to students through educational videos. Eg. The solar system videos, human body part videos, atom structure videos, plant study, atomic tables etc can be easily understood by seeing videos. The content can be developed by NGO or government agencies.
4.10 Teacher Development and Management
www.dreamadream.org Justification for inclusion of Life Skills in Teacher Development Programs:
Teachers are the closest influencers in a child's life after parents. They are uniquely positioned to unlock the creative potential of the child. True transformation in a young persons' life happens with the presence of a caring, compassionate adult. In life with this belief, Pre-Service and In-Service Teacher Development Programmes should develop skills and provide tools for teachers to integrate Life Skills within the learning sessions.
Competence of teachers and their motivation is crucial for improving the quality. Several initiatives have been taken for addressing shortage of teachers at various levels of school education. Some of the major challenges in this area are: shortage of secondary school teachers in mathematics, science and languages, improving the quality of programmes for initial preparation of and continuous professional development of in-service teachers, enhancing the status of teaching as a profession, improving teachers’ motivation and their accountability for ensuring learning outcomes, and improving the quality of teacher education institutions and also teacher educators.
Despite several efforts by the central and state governments, issues of large number of vacancies in both elementary and secondary levels, problems of untrained teachers, lack of professionalism in teacher training institutions, mismatch in training and actual classroom practices, teacher absenteeism and teacher accountability and involvement of teachers in non- teaching activities all need to be addressed. A large number of government schools do not have full-time head teachers/principals. Lack of effective leadership has also contributed to indiscipline among teachers leading to declining academic standards. Keeping in mind the larger goal of improving the quality of education, a slew of policy measures will have to be taken.
The following policy initiatives will be taken:
- A transparent and merit based norms and guidelines for recruitment of teachers will be formulated in consultation with the state governments. Independent Teacher Recruitment Commissions will be set up by the state governments to facilitate transparent, merit based selection and recruitment of teachers, principals and other academic cadres.
- All vacancies in teacher education institutions and all positions of head teachers and principals will be filled up. Leadership training for head teachers and principals will be compulsory.
- Transparent norms will be developed for fair and equitable deployment of teachers, for public display of their vacancies and transfers. For remote and difficult areas, efforts will be made to recruit the teachers locally.
- Manpower planning will be done by the state governments to assess subject- wise and state-wise requirement of teachers and also to cover training of untrained teachers within a specified time frame. Contractual teachers will be phased out gradually by absorbing the eligible teachers against sanctioned positions.
- Observation associated with bullet #5: The question here is about accountability and the legality of engaging a voluntary body such as School Management Committee (SMCs) to initiate disciplinary actions to manage teacher absenteeism. Shouldn’t this accountability lie with the BEO/ appropriate Education authority?Issues relating to teacher absenteeism, teacher vacancies and lack of teacher accountability will be resolved with strong political consensus and will. Disciplinary powers will be vested with the School Management Committees (SMCs) in case of primary schools and head teachers/ principals in upper primary and secondary schools to deal with absenteeism and indiscipline, assisted by technology for recording attendance with mobile phones and biometric devices.
- Special emphasis will be laid on improving the effectiveness of programmes for the initial preparation and continuing professional development of teachers. The diploma and graduate teacher education programmes and the teacher training institutions will be reviewed for changes in duration, pattern, structure, curricula and delivery to overcome their existing limitations.
- At the National level, a Teacher Education University will be set up covering various aspects of teacher education and faculty development. The Regional Institutes of Education under NCERT will be developed and converted to Teacher Education Universities at the regional levels.
- It will be mandatory for all teacher education institutions, such as, DIETs, B.Ed. Colleges, etc. to be accredited. Benchmarking standards will be laid down for block resource centres. DIET and BEd shouldn't be mandatory, many of these teachers are not well versed with concepts and basics. Teachers jobs should be open to all holding basic bachlors degrees in respective subjects. Indian schools need teachers who know subject well.
- Teacher development programmes, both Pre-service and In-service Teacher Development Programmes should develop skills and provide tools for teachers to integrate Life Skills within the learning sessions will have components to help teachers appreciate the importance of co-scholastic activities especially life skills, ethical education, physical education and arts and crafts and introduce these effectively into the teaching learning process in schools. There can't be development of a teacher, there can be improvement in teachers' knowldge or understanding subject which requires yearly refreshment programmes organised by schools. Schools can experts in relative fields and organise workshops or seminars for teachers.
- In addition to the national level teacher awards, state and district level awards for teachers will be instituted based on a set of objective criteria. SMCs will play an important role in recommending the names of teachers for the awards.
- Programmes for enhancing the capacity, motivation and accountability of teachers to deliver quality education and improvements in learning outcomes of students will be accorded priority.
- It will be made mandatory for all in-service teachers to participate in training/ professional development programmes once in every three years. Central and state governments will make adequate arrangements to train all in-service teachers within a period of three years by leveraging technology. Observation: Does this cover teachers in Private Schools as well?
- Periodic assessment of teachers in government and private schools will be made mandatory and linked to their future promotions and release of increments, as applicable. They will have to appear and clear an assessment test every 5 (five) year which assesses their pedagogic skills and subject knowledge.
- A separate cadre for teacher educators will be established in every state. The large number of vacancies in the SCERTs, DIETs and other teacher education institutions will be filled up to strengthen these institutions and build their capacity.
- Students in rural areas when asked said that they drop off from school because the teachers do not teach in school. The teachers lay emphasis on discipline and do not focus on studies. The classes in rural areas are conducted only for class 10th and 12th CBSE board and for the rest of the classes, students are made to sit in combines sessions which are very few. Teachers and students need to be told that they need to take interest in teaching students and attend classes daily. This may be enforced by biometrics.
- Teachers will be trained on Child rights and what consitutes their violations what is sexual abuse, POCSO (legislation on CSA) and all other relevant Acts,Rules and Regulations,Teachers will also be provided with a code of conduct along with action plan in the event on any breach of conduct.
17. Key points in Teacher Selection - a) A system has to be devised that only those candidates must be appointed at teachers position who are (at all levels, primary, secondary and university level) passionate about teaching profession and who do not pursue this noble profession as a career and have utmost respects, values about teaching and deep understanding of its core requirements. b) Also an environment must be encouraged where bright and most brilliant students must opt the teaching profession as a career. Nobody wants to become teacher now a days. It is not considered a lucrative job if compare to other private jobs offered by other industries. It is up to government how much lucrative they want to make this profession (however in government sector there are very good salaries for teachers) but they must ensure to build such environment for children, students that they will come forward to pursue teaching as a profession. c) A Psychological (psychometric) test must be conducted at the time of selection (by recruitment panel, board or committee) of teachers which shall test the basic teaching personality traits of candidates, not just evaluating candidates degree, academic record and teaching examination results. d) At various levels, some policies can be defined where schools will be given some autonomously and liberty to hire experts, talented professionals from different fields irrespective of their academic records and status (whether they do not have B.Ed, M.Ed, P.hd, NET or have passed any state or national level teaching tests) and only criteria should be that their willingness to teach students and love to this profession. Point number c) must be applied while selecting any such professional from different fields.
18. Key points in Teacher Accountability -
Assessment system of students has to be totally revamped as per the suggestions laid down in Chapter II: Key Challenges in Education Sector. Once assessment system is revised which clearly emphasis on the development of emotional, intellectual, mental and spiritual aspects of students and skills shown by teachers an effective mechanism can be defined to ensure teachers accountability.
Extensive role of teachers – Teachers must not be restricted or there must not be any constraints for teachers to get indulged only in academic affairs for students but they must be encouraged and they themselves must be opened to get involved in all aspects of student development. A teacher is responsible for his/her student’s behaviour to its peer students, inside school with his teachers, to his elders and towards his/her society. Education is vital for child’s personality development and teachers must be held accountable for development of a child as a cultured, good human being and responsible citizen. If a student fails in public or social affairs teacher is responsible for students misled upbringing (along with parents and student’s family atmosphere) though teachers can not be penalized for this.
Once assessment system is revamped one change can be adopted in form of introduction of a variable component in teachers salary that can be 15%-20% part of monthly salary and can be given quarterly in name of “Performance Allowance”. As per the teacher’s performance shown in assessment of students (monthly or quarterly) and feedback received by parents, guardians and school management (via online feedback system, remarks received by parents and views received in SMC meetings) that variable component can be added into teachers salary from 0 to 20%. This should be implemented in a way that will encourage teachers to pay attention on students performance studiedly.
Feedback system must be introduced while assessing students performance which will indirectly reflect the performance of teachers in class. Feedback must be taken while taking account the measurement of teacher’s role at large. Feedback can be received through an online system (via education department web site, school web site, blogs) or comments, views received in Teachers-Parents Meet, in SMCs meetings that must be included in teacher’s accountability.
Besides regular Teachers Training a Psychological (psychometric) test must be conducted at the intermediate level of teaching service period (at periodic intervals, like once in every three years) to evaluate their mental aptitude, pedagogic skills and inclination towards teaching profession. Result of this evaluation can be included while taking account the promotion in services.
4.11 Language and Culture in Education
A multi-lingual society recognises the importance of languages in education. The Three Language Formula (TLF) was formulated by the Government of India in consultation with the State governments and enunciated in the National Education Policy Resolution 1968. It has continued through in the policy of1986/1992 though there are deviations in the implementation of TLF in many states. Language being a highly emotive issue, no prescription will satisfy all. Withthe passage of time, the states have responded to local aspirations andpreferences so that students develop language skills for intra-state, intra-regional as well as global mobility.
Students learn most effectively when taught through their mother tongue. On the other hand, there is a growing demand for learning English language and schools with English as medium of instructions.
The aim of education is to inculcate awareness among learners of India’s rich heritage, glorious past, great traditions and heterogeneous culture. It also promotes acquisition by the learners at all levels of values that promote responsible citizenship, peace, tolerance, secularism, national integration, social cohesion and mutual respect for all religions, as well as universal values that help develop global citizenship and sustainable development.
Indian constitution a must subject at school level after grade 8. Tradition and cultures of India shouldn't be taught at school level, school kids must be kept out of Indian culture, they must develop ideology that they are Indians and equal, and must follow constituion of India.
The following policy initiatives will be taken::
- All states and UTs, if they so desire, may provide education in schools, upto Class V, in mother tongue, local or regional language as the medium of instruction.
- Knowledge of english plays an important role in the national and international mobility of students and provides an access to global knowledge. Hence, it is important to make children proficient in reading and writing English. Therefore, if the medium of instruction upto primary level is the mother tongue or local or regional language, the second language will be English and the choice of the third language (at the upper primary and secondary levels) will be with the individual states and local authorities, in keeping with the Constitutional provisions. English must be compulsory from grade 1 to 10, second and third language should replace logic, basic Indian constitution after grade 8. Maths, science and history may be optional and courses in sports, vocational subjects should replace it.
- Higher Education Institutions, especially technical and professional institutions, will provide opportunities to all students to learn about India’s rich heritage, linguistic and cultural diversity and knowledge systems.
- Indian culture, local and traditional knowledge will be given adequate space in the school education. Indian culture shouldn't be part of school sylabus, this is where objectional matter enters, instead kids must learn logic and constitution of India to know secular Indian fabric. Ethics education will be integrated at all levels for inculcating values of equality and equity, social justice, fraternity, democracy, responsible freedom and liberty, spirit of fraternity and national integration.
- Keeping in view special importance of Sanskrit to the growth and development of Indian languages and its unique contribution to the cultural unity of the country, facilities for teaching Sanskrit at the school and university stages will be offered on a more liberal scale.
- Educational institutions will instill among students civic sense, discipline, punctuality, cleanliness, good conduct, empathy and compassion for the elderly, downtrodden and weaker sections, respect for women and a humanistic spirit.
- Students need to be explained that they have to revise their lessons in their mother tongue again and again to memorize the concepts. The concept needs to be revised in the mind to reinforce it. The human brain needs to be trained.
- Teachers will be trained on Child rights and what consitutes their violations what is sexual abuse, POCSO (legislation on CSA) and all other relevant Acts,Rules and Regulations,Teachers will also be provided with a code of conduct along with action plan in the event on any breach of conduct.
4.12 Self -Development through Comprehensive Education
Education is concerned with all-round development of the child (physical, socio- emotional along with cognitive) and, therefore, all aspects need to be assessed rather than only academic achievement. There is a system-wide focus on holistic development of children by improving learning outcomes and other co-scholastic areas. It is a well-known fact that only a healthy child can learn effectively and good health status leads to better learning It is a matter of concern that a large number of children suffer from malnutrition and anaemia which contributes to learning difficulties.
The following policy initiatives will be taken::
- Physical education, yoga, games and sports, NCC, NSS, art education, BalSansad, covering local art, craft, literature and life skills, and other co-scholastic activities will be made an integral part of the curriculum and daily routine in schools for the holistic development of children. Facilities for the above will be a pre-requisite to the recognition of schools. Life skills is vague idea, preamble must define it. Sports science must be compulsary subject at school level for sports has basis of Physics.
- Funds will be earmarked by the government/ school management for all co-scholastic activities in schools. Observation: Would it be better to indicate % of funds that will be earmarked for co-scholastic activities?
- The implementation of the school health component, generally administered by the Health Department will be supported by the education departments and schools. The schools will draw up a roster for check-ups and ensure that the schedule is followed. As a part of the Digital India initiative, apps will be developed to track and monitor the health record and status of each child.
- The school nutrition programme implemented through the on-going Mid- Day Meal Scheme (MDMS) has helped supplementing nutrition and promoted social equity. The MDM programme will be extended to cover students of secondary schools. Teachers will not be burdened with the task of supervising cooking and serving mid-day meals. The practices of engaging the services of reputed community organisations to provide the mid-day meals cooked in centralised kitchens and distributed in the schools will be encouraged. This is a good step wherein the role of teacher is differentiated and limited only to teaching. Taking on other administrative tasks takes away the focus of teachers from the core job of teaching. Supplementing nutrition is not required for kids less than 16, if such supplements are given in schools then monthly check up of kids becomes must. Mess should be mandatory for schools and caterers should run it. Government should define basic meal menu, such as fruit, Indian bread and vegetable, etc.
4.13 School Assessment and Governance
Community participation and parental involvement in schools can play a critical role in school improvement across inputs, processes and even outcomes. There have been evidences that village schools will function effectively only when the local community is active and participates in the functioning of the schools. There is felt need for better governance structures in schools, striking a balance between mandating and persuading, training of district and block-level education officers as well as head teachers for better management practices, on using data to better monitor and support school performance, and to mobilise community resources and efforts to improve school performance. Equally, there seems to be a need for a School Quality Assessment and Accreditation System covering all aspects of school functioning, including scholastic and co-scholastic domains, physical infrastructure, teacher management, school leadership, learning outcomes and satisfaction of pupils and their parents/ guardians. A school governance model with an appropriate framework of autonomy with accountability is necessary to enable the school system to respond to changing circumstances, and to initiate remedial action wherever required.
There shouldn't be assessment and Accreditation for schools, all schools must be treated equal and provide same curriculum all over India. Comparison of any kind must be kept out of schools. However, should be granted permissions only on the basis of mandatory infrastructure and teaching staff.
The following policy initiatives will be taken:
- The schools must conduct regular online tests of students to check their understanding of the subject. The tests should be made multiple choice exams to remove any personal biases of teachers agains students of any particular community.
- The tests can be conducted online or through OMR sheets in schools and papers checked through computers on a weekly basis.
- The assessment of entrance exams should not be through subjective type papers because people have biases in checking and the marks are subjective.
- Launch a Safe school Campaign with a checklist for Safe Schools and regularly audit schools to ensure all kinds of safety measures are being taken up by the school for the protection of children from all kinds of abuse. ·
- Conduct sessions with Parents, Teachers & Non-teaching staff on Child Rights and what constitutes their violation, what is sexual abuse, POCSO (legislation on CSA) and all other relevant Acts, Rules and Regulations. This will empower key stakeholders to prevent the risk of abuse and also open doors for each child to report any violation of rights or instance of abuse.This should be inclusive of development and monitoring of safe schools free of abuse including sexual abuse.
- The framework of school standards with various parameters and indicators to measure school quality, professional competence of teachers, school leadership and the school management, as well as, self-appraisal and performance assessment will be used throughout the country. Thereafter, schools will be evaluated, graded and ranked based on this framework.
- A mechanism will be put in place for accreditation of school boards.
- The central and state governments will address gaps in policy framework regarding the implementation of School Management Committee (SMC) within the framework of RTE Act and provide broad implementation and monitoring guidelines.
- As a part of the oversight of the SMCs, the state governments will provide clear guidelines on the election process, frequency, tenure, roles and responsibilities and their functioning. States will endeavour to increase allocations for SMC training and ensure that schools receive their grants in time, to effectively implement School Development Plans (SDPs). SDPs will be integrated into the budgeting and planning process at the district level.
- Evidences show that some schools perform better than others because of the leadership of the principal or headmaster. A separate cadre of principals and headmasters will be created, selected on merit and aptitude, from amongst the teachers with at least 5 years of teaching experience and existing vacancies of headmasters and principals will be filled in a time bound manner.
- Improved school governance requires expanding the definition of school leadership to a more holistic framework which includes defining the roles and responsibilities of a school leader, articulating a school leader competency framework, introducing a robust and transparent process of selection of principals/head teachers and induction programme for school leaders, and providing opportunities for continuing professional development with well-defined pathways for career growth.
- Principals/head teachers will be held accountable for the academic performance of the schools and its improvement. The education department will fix the minimum tenure of principals/ head teachers.
- Regulationof "School Management Committee" - Make sure all govt. schools are having their monthly SMC meetings on regular basis and for that they must send a monthly report to its BEO, DEO officeon regular basis with meeting minutes without any failure. A close monitoring on SMC meetings will help a lot for effective andtransparent functioning of school. Help from local NGOs or corporate firms, their employees as volunteers can also be very useful in that regard. School accreditation must affect according to this report.
- Regulationof private schools (aided and unaided) -
As per prescribed in RTE Act 2009 Model Rules can be defined by state government for regulation of private aided and unaided schools.
Following one idea of Model Rule can be incorporated while devising a mechanism of regulation of schools and admissions for economically weaker sections (under 25% quota)
- Child-based funding for children of the poor (funds not for schools)
Govt. will provide vouchers system to poor parents (for below poverty line) that can be encashed in any school. This method will ensure that choices made by parents are honoured. No one can be a greater well-wisher of a child than his orher own parents. Only if both parents have a conclusive record of neglecting their children should a government be allowed to make decisions on behalf of the child.
- Identificationof children
Govt. will ensure that an Aadhaar number is allocated each child between the ages of four and eighteen, in preparation for this programme.This number would be linked to a database which records keybiological features of the child and photographs and Aadhaar ID ofhis/her parents, to prevent potential falsification of records. (A new identification number would be allotted to each child who subsequently reaches the age of four.)
- Calculationof voucher value
- This database can be used to generate a voucher of a specific value,linked to that income of his/her parents and to the expectededucational costs for a child of that age. Vouchers will differ invalue. Children of poor parents will get vouchers of a much highervalue than children of relatively better off parents. Thishigher allocation of funds for children of poorer parents is acrucial part of the model. It will make it very attractive toestablish schools in rural areas or slums, since children withpredominantly high-value vouchers will attend such schools. Schoolsin economically backward zones will be able to afford much highersalaries for teachers, and potentially attract even better teachersthan schools in urban areas. Thus, all schools will be able toprovide a robust admission process and good quality teachersfor the poor students.
4.14 Governance Reforms in Higher Education
In recent years, higher education in India has experienced an unprecedented expansion accompanied by diversification of the sector. The unplanned expansion of the sector poses challenges for enhancing and maintaining quality. The issues of governance & regulation in higher education are intertwined. Hence, the existing statutory position needs to be contextualised for any perspective on governance and regulatory issues in the sub-sector.
The following set of policy initiatives will be taken for ensuring effective governance of higher education:
- An Education Commission comprising of academic experts will be set up, every five years to assist the Ministry of HRD in identifying new knowledge areas/ disciplines/ domains as well as pedagogic, curricular and assessment reforms at the global level, which will help to keep up with the change in global scenario and national aspirations.
- Governing bodies of higher education institutions will be made multi- stakeholder, having representations from industry and alumni as well, with clear cut transparent guidelines for the composition and selection of such bodies.
- Efforts will be made to move towards a university system integrating UG, PG & doctoral studies, with faculty concurrently teaching both at UG and PG levels which will help improve synergies between teaching and research. Universities will be multi-disciplinary in nature and not single discipline specific.
- The State will endeavour to implement the recommendations of earlier policies of 1968 and 1986/92 for the creation of an Indian Education Service (IES), which is reiterated herein too. The IES will be an all India service with HRD as the cadre controlling authority. Till the IES comes into existence, an interim step of a one-time special recruitment by UPSC from among the existing academic and administrative positions in the education sector in various states will be made in concurrence with the states.
- Separate education tribunals will be established at the centre and in the states to deal with litigation and address public grievances against government as well as private schools/ institutions. These bodies will be headed by a retired High Court Judge. The tribunals will have the power to follow summary procedures for expeditious disposal of cases.
- The Government recognises and will encourage the positive role played by students' unions in furthering the interests of democracy and strengthening the democratic systems, governance and processes as well as debates, discussions and pluralism of thoughts. However, it has been observed that most of the disruptive activities and disharmony in a campus are led by outsiders and students who remain enrolled for many more years than what is mandated in the course of study they have enrolled in. A study will be conducted to prevent outsiders and those who have ceased to be students from playing an active role in students' politics and disrupting the academic activities as well as to prevent them from staying in hostels and misuse facilities of the institute.
- All HEIs will put in place an effective grievance redressal mechanism and will follow the principles of natural justice– mens rea and audi alterem partem- before taking any punitive action against any student, faculty or organisation.
- The existing affiliating system will continue but with a maximum limit of 100 on the number of affiliating colleges. Universities having more than100 affiliated colleges under its ambit will be accordingly restructured.
- Norm-based funding with incentives for activities that promote excellence in public-funded higher education institutions will be introduced.
- All public-funded institutions will prepare perspective plans with specific milestones and timelines so as to ensure autonomy with financial and administrative accountability.
- There should be no upper age limit to enter teaching line for the people who have qualified UGC NET Exam since people from corporates want to move over to teaching at later ages. The corporate employees bring with them industry experience and expertise which should be allowed to imbibe in our education content.
4.15 Regulation In Higher Education
The major national institutions in the system were set up at different times, with individual mandates as envisioned at the time of their formation. With the passage of time and new developments in the higher education sector, there is a need to review the regulatory framework and make it more relevant to current and future needs of the higher education system. Several challenges relating to the regulatory regime in higher education need to be tackled carefully. It is necessary to bring about a healthy balance between autonomy and accountability. State Governments and Universities can also play a critical role in regulating higher education institutions within their jurisdiction.
Basic Sylabus to all UG and PG subjects should be common through out India and revision every after 5 years should be mandatory. States can be permitted to include additional topics if necessary.
The following policy initiatives will be taken:
- An independent mechanism for administering the National HigherEducation Fellowship Programme will be put in place.
- A Central Educational Statistics Agency (CESA) will be established as the central data collection, compilation and consolidation agency with high quality statistical expertise and management information system which will be used for predictive analysis, manpower planning and future course corrections. CESA will also develop solutions of geo-tagging of HEIs on various parameters such as, infrastructure available, new constructions and upgradation.
- State Councils of Higher Education will be mandated to monitor periodically the academic standards of universities and colleges in consultation with approved accrediting agencies.
- Every higher education institution will have a dedicated website for more transparency disclosing standard information of admissions, fees, faculty, programmes, examination results, placements, governance, finance, business tie-ups, management and a report on academic and co-scholastic activities, as well as other relevant information relating to the institution.
4.16 Quality Assurance In Higher Education
Several problems including inadequate infrastructure and facilities, large vacancies of faculty positions, poor quality of faculty, outdated teaching methods, declining research standards, etc. are faced by the universities and colleges. In addition, there is widespread geographical, gender and social imbalances within the sector. These problems are also a reflection of the poor quality of higher education. As a part of quality assurance, it is now mandatory for institutions to get accredited by NAAC or NBA.
It is a matter of concern that very few higher education institutions find a place in the global ranking of universities. The global ranking of universities is based on an assessment of the institutional performance in the areas of research and teaching, reputation of faculty members, reputation among employers, resource availability, share of international students and activities, etc. Recently, MHRD has launched the National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) for ranking of our higher education institutions covering engineering, management, pharmacy, architecture, universities and colleges.
The foreign author books explain the concepts in higher education well but are difficult to find in the market. Some universities like IIT are providing their students with foreign author books at subsidized rates to take away with them. The books are ordered in bulk by the university and distributed among students. This should be replicated in all Universities since these books are difficult to find in the market even in large metros. The students also needs to be told the name of the foreign authors whose books are good.
The students who are selected for higher education should have the skillset of reading a full books for each of the subjects with very high reading speeds.
The following policy initiatives will be taken::
- An expert committee will be constituted to study the systems of accreditation in place internationally. It will draw from the experiences of some of the best practices followed by countries having well performing systems and will suggest restructuring of NAAC and NAB as well as redefining methodologies, parameters and criteria. .
- Evaluation/ Accreditation details of each institution will be available to the general public through a dedicated website, to enable students and other stakeholders to make informed choices.
4.17 Open and Distance Learning & MOOCs
Open and Distance Learning (ODL) is recognised and accepted as an important mode for achieving enhanced access, developing skills, capacity building, training, employability and life-long learning. It has contributed significantly to the development of education in India, with over 4 million students enrolled under ODL. There are several variants of providing distance education courses which are being offered by both public and private institutions. These provide avenues to those students who are not able to leave their jobs or are not able to attend regular classes due to any other reason. At present, open and distance learning in the country is provided mainly by Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and State Open Universities in the higher education space, and National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) is the main provider in the field of school education. However, there are issues of quality in distance education, which call for reforming the ODL system.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) provide free access to cutting edge courses at relatively much lower cost. Various higher education institutes/universities are putting their courses online by setting up open learning platforms. The demand for MOOCs is likely to rise in future with growing aspirations and need for continuous upgrading of knowledge. MHRD has planned to launch Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (SWAYAM), a web portal where Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on various subjects will be available. There is a felt need to create a body to promote, coordinate, regulate and maintain standards of MOOCs and to develop a mechanism for recognition, transfer and accumulation of credits.
The following policy initiatives will be taken:
- An autonomous body, responsible for the promotion, coordination, regulation and maintenance of standards in the ODL/MOOCs system, will be set up. It will prepare norms, standards and guidelines for systemic development and regulation of ODL/ MOOCs. It will also develop a mechanism for recognition, transfer and accumulation of credits earned through MOOCs and award and recognition of degrees. .
- All institutions offering course and programmes in ODL/ MOOCs mode will develop and standardize programmes based on the national and local needs as per the norms and standards prescribed by the autonomous body referred to in para-1 so as to facilitate recognition and accumulation of credits towards the award of degree.
- A quality assurance mechanism for accreditation of all universities/ institutions offering ODL / MOOCs will be put in place to ensure quality, promote, innovation and reshape and modernise the ODL / MOOCs courses and programmes.
- Learner support services will be institutionalised by all ODL institutions and will include hosting courseware, repositories, Open Edcuational Resources (OERs), MOOCs, 24x7 help desk services, tutoring and counselling services, conduct of webinars, discussion forum, webcasting, library facility, virtual labs, e-learning modules, delivering of online programmes, providing assignment and timely feedback of performance, online examinations, declaration of results, redressal of grievances, etc
- The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), in collaboration with Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, will redefine itself to address the large potential demand for vocational education. The issues of management, monitoring and oversight of NIOS will be addressed appropriately.
4.18 Internationalisation of Education
Internationalisation is an inevitable dimension of higher education in this era of globalisation, and generation of new knowledge and its application. Internationalisation comprises of mobility of students, scholars and faculty; export/import of academic systems and cultures; research cooperation; knowledge transfer and capacity building; internationalisation of curriculum and learning outcomes; and cross-border delivery of programmes; and includes virtual mobility and digital learning.
The internationalisation of higher education presents many opportunities, such as, increasing the national and international visibility and profile of HEIs, increased supply of higher education, greater access for students, support for the knowledge economy, development of dual degrees, and the diversification and generation of new academic environments.
The following policy initiatives will be taken:
- Selected foreign universities, from the top 200 in the world, will be encouraged to establish their presence in India through collaboration with Indian universities. If required, steps will be taken to put in place an enabling legislation. Rules/ Regulations will be framed so that it is possible for a foreign university to offer its own degree to the Indian students studying in India, such that these degrees will be valid also in the country of origin.
- Since internationalization is a two-way process, Indian institutions will also be allowed to set up campuses abroad, if required, through suitable legislations/ amendments in the relevant Acts/statutes.
- In order to increase acceptability of Indian students abroad and to attract international students, Indian HEIs will be encouraged to work towards internationalization of curricula aligned with international levels so as to make it globally compatible with best ranked institutions of the world. Since many international students come to India for cultural and India related studies, these areas will be developed to meet the needs of international students.
- HEIs will offer language and bridge courses for international students to help them overcome language deficiency and/or difficulties due to higher level of course curriculum.
- Norms and regulations to allow foreign faculty to join Indian institutions of higher education will be reviewed to encourage more foreign faculties join the Indian HEIs. Genuine concerns and difficulties faced by foreign students/ faculty pertaining to visa, registration/ extension of stay and tax rules and regulations will be adequately addressed.
- Internationalisation will be included as one of the components for allocating additional financial resources to government-funded HEIs.
- The government will initiate a dialogue with the countries who have put in place a rigorous, robust and credible system of approval/ recognition/ accreditation/ quality assurance of the HEIs and programmes of studies. An attempt will be made to form a group of such countries which would recognise in their respective countries all qualifications awarded by accredited higher education institutions in member States of this group.
- Steps will be taken to gradually move from years-based recognition of qualifications to credit-based recognition.
4.19 Faculty Development in Higher Education
With the fast pace of expansion of the higher education system, improving the quality of teaching and teachers has become a critical factor. Greater attention on ensuring that the best talent join teaching profession, their initial preparation before their induction into teaching and continuing professional development should be given, in the context of efforts for fostering quality education. Efficient management of a university depends largely on the professional competence and managerial skills of the senior management personnel. The present system of appointing Vice-Chancellors, registrars and other senior management staff is beset with problems that seem to affect the smooth functioning of the HEIs. The education sector needs professionals with qualities of leadership and credibility to tackle complex management issues.
The following policy initiatives will be taken:
- A task force of experts will be set up to study the recruitment, promotion and retention procedures, followed by internationally renowned universities and institutions and suggest measures to promote intellectual and academic excellence in HEIs.
- A national campaign will be launched to attract young talent into the teaching profession. In order to attract young talent into teaching profession, a career growth of research students, such as M.Phil & Ph.D scholars, will be created and they will be designated as Academic Assistants and Academic Associates.
- National and State Training Academies will be set up for organising induction programme of 3-6 months for the newly recruited faculty. It will be mandatory for a newly recruited faculty to acquire a Certificate in Teaching before they formally take up teaching positions in HE institutions. The induction programme will include teaching and research methodologies (flip classrooms, collaborative learning, case approach), use of ICT, curriculum structure and design, sensitisation to gender and social diversity, professional ethics, sharing of best practices and updation of developments in their field of study, etc. Induction training will be followed by an orientation programme of 4-6 weeks at his/ her university to help him/ her learn the culture of the institution, his/ her role and responsibilities, etc.
- The profile of a teacher has undergone tremendous change in light of technological developments, new dimensions of knowledge and changing learner profile. In the changed context, role of learners and teachers will be redefined to promote adoption of a blended model of pedagogy with a combination of self-learning, practical and collaborative learning components. This will also require reforms in assessment and examination.
- A mechanism of assessment of academic performance of faculty including peer review will be put in place so as to ensure academic accountability of public-funded institutions.
- An appropriate mechanism with suitable selection and recruitment policies will be put in place to ensure seamless mobility of experts from other fields, like industries and government, into teaching (and vice versa) by allowing for lateral entry and exit and encouraging secondment/ deputation to work as adjunct faculty.
- Reputed HEIs will be encouraged to set up leadership development centres to offer short-term programmes, for senior faculty and management of HEIs, which will be made mandatory for selection and appointment to higher level leadership positions. These leadership programmes will cover decision making modules, sensitisation modules, financial processes and procedures, management of academic, financial and human resource, conflict resolution, sensitisation towards weaker section, etc. to improve administrative and managerial skills.
- Currently college teachers give more marks to students who can replicate word by word the contents of the books. The colleges should encourage application based learning questions and answers. Like how can you solve this problem using the concepts you learnt.
4.20 Research, Innovation and New Knowledge
Build strong evidence through research and impact evaluation studies within an Indian context. Promote generation of new knowledge in scholastic and co-scholastic areas and their introduction into the curricula at all levels of education.
Although India’s overall share of research publications in the world has risen in the past decade, the quality of research has not made a significant mark. Barring a few pockets of excellence, the system is marked by mediocrity. Research minded students and faculty prefer to go abroad as they do not find the research climate in our institutions conducive. Favourable conditions need to be created in the country to promote high quality research. The country needs to develop an enabling condition for research and innovations by creating an administrative and academic environment complementing higher education. In the context of India’s emergence as a soft power, there is a need to promote generation of new domains of learning required for a knowledge society.
The following policy initiatives will be taken:
- Over the next decade, at least 100 new centres/ departments of excellence, in the field of higher education, both in the public and the private sector, will be established to promote excellence in research and encourage innovations. Private trusts, philanthropists and foundations will be given freedom to establish such Centres of Excellence.
- The research patent law in India currently does not include a new approach to solving a existing problem as eligible for a patent as per Indian law. This is not the case in foreign countries where the approach to solving a problem is also included as a patent. This limits the ability of Indian researchers to obtain patents for their inventions.
- A clear reorientation of research agenda of National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA) will be undertaken to reflect actual issues on the ground.
- Steps will be taken to promote generation of new knowledge in scholastic and co-scholastic areas and their applications and introduction of these new domains into the curricula of
highereducation to consolidate and strengthen India’s position as a soft power.
- In order to promote innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship, 100 more incubation centres will be established in HEIs over a period of next 5 years.
- International collaborations and networks will be promoted for developing human resources required to sustain new knowledge with special focus on inter-disciplinary research and studies.
4.21 Financing Education
Education, in Indian context, should be considered a public good and there is a need for greater public investment in the sector. There are evidences to show that countries ....
A contradictory issue: EVIDENCE? First, you cannot blindly follow other countries... people, culture, resource, size, ...., are different. Second, there are NORDIC success stories... there are WESTERN (Europe and US) system. Which one to follow? Instead of searching evidence in other countries, I suggest finding evidence (and solutions too )in success of private school chains and failure of Govt. School system.
...... which have heavily privatized education systems could not economically and socially progress and hence there is a value loss rather than gain. On the other hand, countries which consider education a public good reap greater social benefits on a sustained basis. The earlier National Policies of 1968 and 1986/92 had recommended 6% of GDP as the norm for the national outlay on education. However, the actual expenditure on education has remained consistently below this level and in recent years it has hovered around 3.5%. This brings into focus the need to enhance allocations to the education sector to reach the desired target.
Even if education is to be considered as a public good, government should only finance education and not necessarily, (rather preferably should not) provide it. If most MPs, MLAs, Bureaucrats and Government school teachers do not send their children to government schools, why invest in such a system? It would be better to fund every child to choose school for herself. So, fund children through Direct Benefit Transfers or vouchers and let them choose a private school.
Secondly, the current system is not efficient, i.e. it does not generate value for money. There are researches to show that government schools produce relatively worse learning outcomes than private schools even at thrice the cost. In that case, there is no point for investing more in the current inefficient system. A sieve hold no water whether big or small.
The following policy initiatives will be taken::
- The government will take steps for reaching the long pending goal of raising the investment in education sector to at least 6% of GDP as a priority. Fund students through DBTs, do not fund government schools.
1. At one side, Govt talk about funds. On the other, they didn't allow Foreign (Bill still pending) or any legitimate investments to come into Education System. Who will invest in Not-For-Profit? It is, in fact a great opportunity for corrupt politician and criminals (for those who understand how the system works) to invest into the system.
- In order to supplement the Government efforts, investment in education by private providers through philanthropy and corporate sector responsibility will be encouraged. The Government will take steps for incentivizing private sector investment in education, such as, tax benefits and inclusion of education within the definition of infrastructure. In general, public funding will continue for core activities, whereas other functions can be through private funding. Private funding and FDI for R&D and other quality enhancement activities in education institutions will be pursued as an important strategy for mobilising financial resources. For-profit education must not be allowed in the compulsory stage of education - namely upto 10th standard. A well regulated entry of private players in the higher stages of education may be considered with proper accreditation. Educational loans must be strictly regulated to prevent massive indebtedness of young people. Failing this, it is quite likely that private companies will effectively aquire bonded laborers through providing education on loan. At least school education must be considered a public good that cannot be left at the mercy of profiteering companies.
- Instead of setting up new institutions, which require huge investments, priority of the Government will be to expand the capacity of existing institutions. Government must not set up any institution. Instead, it must give more autonomy to the existing one while ensuring systems of accountability and transparency.
- HEIs funded by governments need to find ways of increasing their revenues through other sources, such as, alumni funding, endowment funding, tuition fee enhancement along with fee waiver for disadvantaged sections, and private investment.
- To make the present scheme of education loans to the economically disadvantaged sections more effective, the scheme will be modified to facilitate relaxations for collateral, lower interest rates and higher moratorium period from the present one year to two years/rolling moratorium.
- In order to encourage excellence and efficiency, performance-linked funding of higher education institutions will be implemented. Allow multiple private agencies to assess and rate HEIs.
Chapter V: Implementation and Monitoring
The National Education Policy, 2016 has charted out many new directions and is also to be seen in a continuum to the earlier education policies of 1968, 1986/92. It is imperative to note that the Centre and the States have to work together in a spirit of cooperative federalism to translate the intended goals and actionable strategies into realities that can result in the transformation of the education landscape.
There are multiple stakeholders involved in education sector and each has a significant contribution that can help to achieve the laudable goals of enhancing access, ensuring equity, improving quality of education at all levels and empowering our students to become truly global citizens and equip them with the appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to meet the challenges of a dynamic knowledge society.
The Policy will be followed by a detailed implementation strategy which will lay down the Framework For Action (FFA) for each of the directions that are spelled out in the preceding section. It is pertinent to state that what is articulated in the Policy is not rigid or inflexible but is only a projection of the desired direction. A certain degree of flexibility will be expected, given the variety of aspirations and local conditions so as to suit contexts and emerging scenarios, failing which implementation will be rendered either difficult or unfeasible.
There is sufficient evidence to show that past policy recommendations have remained unrealised due to lack of mechanisms being put in place for effective implementation. To avoid such a situation, it is desirable and appropriate if each State and UT formulates a Framework For Action (FFA) which is synchronous to its regional, social and cultural needs. This will entail making institutional arrangements, laying down administrative processes with clear performance indicators to achieve quantifiable targets and desired qualitative outcomes.
It is equally critical in the context of democratic decentralisation and greater community participation that this process of specifying operational strategies will percolate downwards to the grassroot levels with each district, block formulating a FFA of its own. Similarly, it is essential that each educational institution will prepare a micro- level operational plan of action.
Financial resources have always been a challenge that limits efficiency in outputs and the entire governmental machinery, private sector and all other extra- governmental agencies and the country as a whole, will shoulder the national responsibility of providing the resource support for education. Hence, the culture of cost-effectiveness and accountability will guide the functioning of the education system.
While outlining implementation framework, linkages between education and other related services like child care, nutrition, health, sports, sanitation and water resources etc. will be suitably factored so as to ensure commonality in achieving the outcomes. There is a perceived need for greater coordination amongst the relevant multiple agencies and functionaries also between education and other departments. Accordingly, appropriate coordination mechanisms will be developed.
Learning from the past experiences, it will be the endeavour of each operating unit to devise appropriate monitoring methods, mechanisms and systems, so that periodic assessment and evaluation of the progress made in achieving the outcomes and outputs of each actionable point can be undertaken. The monitoring will take place from the micro to macro level at both the state and central government. This will provide an enabling and systematised procedure that allows mid-course corrections, revisions in implementation strategies for optimised results. This will also pre-empt any systemic breakdowns that result in failure to realise the vision and overarching goals articulated in this policy.
Notwithstanding the above, given the size, variety and dimensions of our country; the resulting educational sub-structures that operate; and the dynamic nature of a knowledge and information based society, several challenges will be arising on a continuous basis, which does necessitate periodic review. Hence, a five-year periodic review of the policy will be carried out to keep up with the emerging national and global trends.
My comments are as follows: I have had the opportunity to study some of the important issues related to the National Education Policy in a one day symposium recently held at the Azim Premji University at Bangalore. I listened with great interest to the erudite speakers and their views on this important subject.
It would be interesting to point out some of the tensions that have obviously prevailed in the formulation of the papers under discussions; they hint at the uneasy relationship that existed between the then MHRD Minister, the redoubtable Ms Smiti Irani and Mr TSR Subramanian, Chairman of the Committee for the evolution of the new Education Policy. That Mr TSR Subramanian (referred to as TSR henceforth) was appointed at all, seems to have been against the grain of the thinking of the then Minister. That he found the earlier consultation processes inadequate for the purposes of the new committee and proceeded to start the consultation processes on his own, would also have been galling. And when the report was submitted by TSR on 30th April 2016, it took the Ministry about two months for it to be placed in the public domain, and that too after the matter was threatened to be escalated by TSR. It has been rumoured that the Minister remarked somewhere that the National Education Policy cannot be the prerogative of one individual.
It is also important to note that the document separately prepared by the MHRD called “Some Inputs for draft National Education Policy, 2016”(hereinafter called the Input document) and released a good two months later, (end June 2016) makes no mention of the TSR report anywhere in its contents. This too is telling about the nature of the relationship between the Minister and TSR. One wonders why paramount policy declarations such as this National Education Policy, that could affect the future of the nation, should be subject to the whims and vagaries of individual personalities in the arena. I have a hunch that the new Minister, the more mature and seasoned man that he is, will try to find the middle path and take the necessary steps to smooth things over.
Before leaving this subject, I consider it necessary to mention that in my opinion, the TSR document is far more structured and methodical in its analysis and, offers, in many of its recommendations (if not in all of them), clear suggestions and practical solutions to some of the burning issues of the sector. The Input Document, on the other hand, is more vague and verbose and seems no different from a Ministry handout for the benefit of the media. However, I fear that the damage has been already done. What is clearly in the public domain is the Input document, with its dilatory language and fuzzy recommendations and not the TSR document, which has not been as widely distributed as the former. All the debate and discussions will be on the Input Document and not the TSR document. Indeed, the symposium too largely referred to the Input document and there was but passing reference to the TSR document.
Anyway, that being stated, the first question that arises is the manner of the articulation of the broad objectives and aims of the policy. There are some natural queries from a perusal if the policy as to whether it articulates a certain political philosophy that could be interpreted as Hindutva, focusing as it does on Takshila and the superior nature of the learning at NalandaUniversty as well as the contributions made by Indian scholars such as Charaka and Pathanjali. The historical narrative at the introduction to the Policy, thereafter, directly cuts to the developments in education in the colonial period and then to the 1968 and 1986 national polices on Education. The undue importance given in the draft Input document for the creation of a knowledge based economy and society seems to ignore the broader aims and objectives of education. A moot point was raised that the departmental directives that would be issued in time in pursuance of the national policy, important through they are, will make no sense until the broad principles of Education’s aims and objectives are not well articulated and reflect the concerns of the sector. According to one of the main speakers, the main purpose of Education is to seek knowledge and to develop a critical and enquiring mind that will hold the student in good stead throughout life. The need for social equity and justice in the spread of education has also not been fully addressed in the document. These critical elements have not been brought out well in the mission and vision statements of the Policy.
Doubts were also expressed by a speaker about the proposed management structures which emphasised strict monitoring and supervision of the schools, as well as, contradictorily, advocating local autonomy and initiative. These two objectives seem to be against each other and there is no attempt to reconcile these differences. The continuing emphasis on accountability, transparency and quality education, was also mentioned.
Before I get into my own comments about the Policy, I would like to make a passing reference to the concepts of accountability and autonomy which has been mentioned by the speakers. The one single measure taken several years ago to transfer accountability as well as autonomy to lowers echelons of the system was the 73rd and 74th constitutional amendment. The XIth Schedule listed out the 29 subjects for transfer to the local urban bodies and the panchayati raj institutions, and, education was one of them. Today, in the new dispensation, these provisions of the Constitutions have been forgotten. No one talks of the XIth Schedule any more. In fact, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj’s budget at the Centre was reduced from about Rs. 7000 crores to just about Rs. 100 crores. Is that the end of delegation of responsibility, accountability and autonomy, at least in terms of concept and theory? Could we not have conceived of the principles of delegation and autonomy as espoused in the NEP 2016 in the light of the 73rd and 74th Constitutional amendments which may have better ensured that these goals are achieved. Or have we given the final burial to the amendments?
And now, I would like to elaborate on my thoughts on this subject of the NEP here, irrelevant though they may be in the general context of the discussions on the policy. And, as hinted at earlier, I am going to make my points on the basis of the TSR document, which I have stated appears to address many of the issues in a much more concrete and practical manner. The TSR document makes recommendations on a wide variety of subjects: among them the real game changers, according to me, and if implemented in the right spirit, are:
- Creation of autonomous Teacher Recruitment Board: This will address the wide variations in the process and systems for teacher education in the states of the country: even though education is a concurrent subject in the Constitution, I thinkthe subject of teacher recruitment deserves a national imprint to bring about uniformity, reduce discretion and impart a sense of transparency and accountability.
- Constitution of Standing Education Commission for continuous evaluation: The TSR report recommends this to be at the National level. But, in fact, all the action is taking place at the state level; and therefore, it is important that such a standing commission should be in every state. These state level Education Commissions should be mandated to present to the State Legislative Assemblies a detailed report on the state of Education in the states every year, focussing not on statistics, but on the quality of education imparted and the measurable and demonstrable improvements from time to time.
- Creation of All India Education Service: a long felt need, and I am fully in favour of it. However, I do feel that the specific duties of the officers of the IES needs to be spelt out clearly, indicating the levels of the hierarchy to whom they will be reporting and the extent and scope of their powers to issue directions to the school administration in the state.
- Central and State Administrative Tribunals for litigation in education: Absolutely vital. The quantum of litigation in the state education department is humungous and the departmental officers spend much of their time battling out trivial issues in the courts, both local as well as the High Courts. While the creation of the Administrative tribunals will bring down work load gradually and considerably free the departmental officers from this burden, it is also necessary that the departmental litigation staff, trained legal officers who will fight these cases, (as distinct from Education Department staff such as DEOs, BEEOs, Principals, HMs etc) are also put in place so that the teaching and administrative staff are insulated from this workload to the extent possible.
- ECCE for children of 4-5 years to be declared a right: A worthy idea. But, it has been recommended that this component of Education will be under the Women and Child Ministry/ Department. I have my doubts here. The WCD is not been able to execute its own ICDS nutrition programme with any degree of credibility or achievement. The levels of mal-nourished children are, in fact, rising. And if we burden them now with this additional duty of ECCE, will we not be creating a massive administrative structure that increases revenue cost without delivering the desired results?
- Expenditure of 6% on GDP, with additional funding for ECE and vocational education: This could well turn out to be a dud, as we have so far not reached anywhere near this figure despite the huge cash expenditure programmes such as the SSA and UEE.
Some of the other recommendations in the TSR report are also worthy of taking a closer look.
- Special coaching assistance to children in three phases so as to improve their learning skills: a: at primary level; b: at class 11; c: and at early period in technical courses. (Exactly, what is needed. The quality of the inputs for such special coaching, however, will have to be exemplary to make any headway.)
- Merger of non-viable schools: (much debatable as it is against the concept of the neighbourhood school and universal access to education.)
- A 4-year integrated teacher education programme (BA/B.Sc/ B.Ed ) after 12th or 5 years course after 10th. (No comments)
- a. 2 year compulsory training every five years.
- b. Learning outcomes for each class to be mapped and teachers to be held responsible for failure of students to achieve learning: Norms for teacher accountability to be finalised
- c. Compulsory certification for all teachers, based on independent external testing.
- d. Revamp of SIERTs/ DIETs.
- e. Separate cadre for teachers trainers to be created.
- f. Norms for fair and equitable deployment of teacher (Transfer norms)
- g. Strong will to improve teacher absenteeism and indiscipline
I have much to say in the above issue of “teacher matters”. We have spent almost 70 years in the growth of this country virtually in a continuous mode of apology for the role of the teacher. If you think about it, we are forced to take this stance in the light if the considerable clout that the teacher community as a whole, wields in the society they live in. Almost half of the strength of the total government employees in any state are teachers. When I was Principal Secretary Education in Rajasthan, I remember that the total government employees in the state were about six lakhs and the teachers constituted almost 50 % of them. They are irretrievably politicised, unionised and holds the Department to ransom. The general absenteeism amongst teachers in any state is about 25%, whereas the normal percentage of absenteeism in any other department is not more than 10 % on any given date. The very prospect of taking strong action against proven wrong doing will invite the combined wrath of the union. Officers who wish to do a good job are threatened and made impotent. Soon enough, they are made ineffective and they seek to leave their postings and take refuge in a sinecure. Yes, I know that we cannot paint all teachers with the same brush; and indeed there are many teachers who still hold high ideals very dear. But the numbers of such teachers who do not recognise their profession as a noble work, who do not think of education as a vocation, is unfortunately, inordinately high. Their clout is so high that they can hold the Education Department, especially the Minister and the political representatives at all levels of the political hierarchy, to ransom.
And even when their performance in class, measured by the learning capabilities of the children, is weak and unpardonable, other reasons are assigned for the poor performance of the children and the teacher is forgiven with an admonition to make better efforts next year. Accountability of the teacher is an unknown concept in the government educational system: indeed, no one wishes to even talk about it. Let me say that the Input report of MHRD, apart from uttering some platitudes, does not seem to think this is a major problem. That is why I think that the TSR report, in contrast, has made an attempt to tackle this issue with some determination. And that is why I think that all the recommendations made by TSR in the report in the context of “teacher matters” are very important and absolutely necessary to implement. I will place special emphasis on b, c and g: namely:
b. Learning outcomes for each class to be mapped and teachers to be held responsible for failure of students to achieve learning: c: Norms for teacher accountability to be finalised; g. Strong will to improve teacher absenteeism and indiscipline
Some of the other important issues high-lighted by TSR are also mentioned below in passing, which I think will have a positive impact on the quality of education. I am not making any comments on each of them.
Autonomy with accountability for schools: school evaluation systems ICT for school mapping to be usedNo detention policy only upto Class V.RTE to be amended to determine norms for quality, infrastructureAn independent Board in the states to implement education programmes for Children With Special Needs (CWSN): state education Acts to provide for this.Specific non-divertible head for sports in schools: Yoga to be taughtOn-line on-demand Board examinationsClass X Board examinations in Maths and Science to be on two levels: Part A: for those who wish to continue on to higher classes: Part B a lower level, for those who wish to complete their education at Class X.Counselling to enable placement at local industriesMid day Meal programme to be extended to secondary alsoTeachers not to be burdened with cooking etc for MDMEquivalence of Adult Education exams with formal education exams
In the symposium the emphasis was on getting the big concepts right, that the broad aims and objectives of education as articulated in the Input Document of MHRD should not miss out major concepts such as the development of the critical mind, the aspects related to equity and justice, the issues related to the nature of the management structures, of transparency and accountability and so on.
One fine day, when the Policy would have been discussed threadbare, when the debates are stilled, all that we discuss and finalise will ultimately get converted into a set of directions or orders that will issued by the MHRD to the states and then from the States, to the district and block level functionaries, the Principals and the Headmasters, and the nameless millions who are supposed to convert them into practical and doable actions. And then who cares what is lost in translation, in the transit from the corridors of the MHRD to the classrooms of India, that is Bharat.
That is why I think that for a moment at least, we have to get out of this airy stratosphere and wonder what all this would mean for the child, for whom we are all concerned, to whom the policy is dedicated. If the policy is to be really effective and lead to the enhancement of the child’s cognitive abilities and learning skills, then we have to think about how the policy, in practical terms, would impact on the life of the child, studying probably in some rural government school in Bihar or Jharkhand or in a slum in Mumbai.
We have to brood over how the policy would genuinely make a difference to her life and her future. A perturbed parent may really ask questions about whether the policy is to help his child acquire a critical mind; or whether it is to help him or her get an earning job so the family can be sustained and later, will lead to a permanent employment and the economic stability of the family. The marriage of the daughter and sending her off is more essential to her father than seeking educational and intellectual self-fulfilment for her. This is not to state that the acquisition of a critical mind is unimportant. It is. In the luxury of the fat pension I get (further fattened by the 7thPay commission recommendations) I have the indulgence to think about the need for a critical mind and questions of equity and social justice. But in the basti where the poor people reside, or even in the normal middle class circumstances of most of India, the real emergent need is for jobs, for financial security, for getting three square meals a day. If these everyday dreams tie in well with the overall principles and objectives of the New Education Policy, well and good, but then how is Everyman concerned with all this, including the squabbles between the Ministry and the Committee, or the hullabaloo that the document has generated in the debating halls and intellectual circles of the country?
And that is why, I am again filled with doubts about the fate of the NEP 2016; will it be different from 1968 or 1986 or 1992? Frankly, I do not see the NEP sparking off any great revolution in the education sector of the country either now or in the near future. I do not see the bridging of the gap between the best educated children of the country and the worst off. I do not even see the direct impact of the policy on the fortunes of the burgeoning middle class of the country and the achievement of their dreams.
I hope I am wrong.
(These are the personal views of Mr CK Mathew, a retired IAS officer of the 1977 batch of the Rajasthan cadre, currently working as Senior Fellow at the Public Affairs Centre and Visiting Professor at the Azim Premji University, Bangalore. )