The national policy will be made public only after approval from all the states, says HRD minister Smriti Irani
Here are few things we expect from the draft policy that has been submitted by a five-member committee headed by former cabinet secretary TSR Subramanian. The committee formulated the new education policy and submitted it to the HRD ministry last month. The last policy on education was made almost three decades ago, in 1986.
- Education experts have been emphasising the need to cover pre-schooling under the right to free and compulsory education Act. The Act currently applies to children between six and 14 years i.e. from Class 1 to 8. The CABE sub-committee in its report submitted in 2012 had also identified issues such as entry age for pre-school under the extended framework.
- The controversial no-detention policy, under the RTE Act 2009, could also be on the list of amendments. The policy has been largely criticised by several states and has been considered a prime factor for poor learning outcomes.
- Reservation for economically weaker section in private schools (25 percent seats at entry level) has not been implemented well on ground. There have been several news reports about how schools have tried to escape the mandatory provision. This could also be one of the major concerns in the draft policy.
- In state boards like the Bihar board, where a topper doesn’t know about the subject, speaks the current state of education and how examinations are conducted. Thus, overhaul of examination system, which primarily tests and promote rote learning, should also be a concern in the draft policy.
- While India has the largest higher education system, the quality and the standard of education they provide are far from satisfactory. It would be interesting to see what the draft policy proposes for the improvement in quality of education these higher education institutions provide.
- Quality of teacher training has also been a major concern after the implementation of the RTE Act. Despite all efforts, there have not been any major improvements in it.
- Inclusiveness in education, i.e. including children with special needs has not received much attention. This must also be addressed under the new policy.
- There has been a lot of emphasis on teaching children in primary classes in their mother tongue in order to improve the learning levels. There have been pros and cons on this debate.
Read: TSR Subramanian, former cabinet secreatary's interview