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Make education free and compulsory for the children up to the age of 18 years: SIO

Bengaluru – Noted students’ organization- SIO of India- on Saturday urged Central Government to make education free and compulsory for the children up to the age of 18 years.

The SIO of India released an analytical report on the draft new education policy here at Press Club. The report was prepared after holding series of discussions at 19 cities with educationists across India and an online survey.

The report was released by the noted educationist Dr. VP Niranjanardhya of National Law School of India University.

The report further demanded that the educational policy should aim to imbibe the constitutional values, particularly the four core principles of constitution.

It also urged that the policy should aim to provide equitable quality education to all children without any stratification and discrimination.

Other recommendations:

  • To achieve social inclusiveness and national integration, curriculum should reflect the plural culture of India. It should cultivate scientific temper.
  • The policy should aim to provide free and compulsory education to all children up to the age of 18 years.
  • New Education Policy should ensure that physical activities in school are promoted for the health and wellbeing of pupils.
  • Mother tongue should be the medium of education in primary school.
  • New Education Policy should aim to address the issue of commercialization of education.
  • Protection of environment & natural resources should be the major objective of school curriculum.
  • Restructure and rebuild the Indian education system on the lines of the Neighborhood School System to ensure equitable and quality education to all children irrespective of their sex, caste, place of birth, social and economic status. Teacher Education
  • Undertake monitoring exercise in a mission mode across states to inspect teacher education institutes and make recommendations within a stipulated time frame.
  • Assist states in developing realistic estimates of requirement of institutional capacity to meet the growing demand for professionally qualified teachers at all levels of school education.
  • Take necessary steps to ensure that states augment institutional capacity for pre-service education through the expansion of the state system of DIETs and more importantly through the undergraduate system of higher education.
  • All new teacher education institutes should not be stand-alone. They should be located in colleges of undergraduate studies and in universities. In a recent initiative, Bihar has invited undergraduate colleges of education in the state to offer teacher education programmes.
  • Existing institutions that are essentially stand-alone will be required to make the transition within a stipulated time frame of a maximum of 3 years. Support will need to be provided towards such a transition within each state.
  • Deployment of faculty from departments of social sciences, sciences and other fields should be encouraged so that teacher education does not remain stand-alone even within undergraduate college and university campuses. Higher Education
  • Higher education should be focused in developing primarily the ‘core competence’, i.e. the skills necessary to live in a complex, very interacting and continuously changing society. Core competences are the capability of learning, listening, interacting, communicating, proactive, solving problems, understanding other cultures & religions, etc.
  • Curricula and the teaching methods need to be changed and shaped for the new objectives. A greater flexibility in curricula is necessary, as well as more personalised interactions between students and teachers. Education must not remain a theoretical learning but the transfer of knowledge must be integrated with practical experience.
  • Development of all young people is the National responsibility, be they in state run institutions or central institutions and there cannot be any discrimination between the two. All benefits are thought to be essential for a central university should be made available to the state universities (YPC 2009).
  • Private initiatives in the field of Higher Education are not driven by the sole motive of profit. They should not confine themselves only to commercially viable sectors of education such as management, medicine & accounts etc but should also encompass areas of social and natural sciences by establishing comprehensive universities (YPC 2009).
  • The system of higher education must recognise that there is bound to be diversity and pluralism in any system of higher education and avoid a uniform one size fits all approach.
  • Universities should be required to revise or restructure curricula at least once in three years (NKC, 2006)
  • Examinations, which test memory rather than understanding, should be supplemented with internal assessment system.
  • We should nurture the tradition of philanthropic contributions through changes in incentives for universities.
  • The UGC supports access & expansion by financing development of the central universities, recognition of new State Universities and Colleges, regulation of private and deemed to be universities & establishment of community colleges. According to UGC data there are total 39671 Govt. & Private Colleges are functioning in the country (data 2013-14). There is a need to examine the match between requirement, expansion of Higher learning institutions & quality of these institutions.
  • Since Government financing will remain the cornerstone, government support for higher education should increase.
  • There must be a well funded & extensive National Scholarship Scheme targeting economically underprivileged and students from socially disadvantaged groups.
  • The elements of infrastructure that support the teaching – learning process, such as laboratories, libraries and communication technology, need to be upgraded on a regular basis.
  • The government must facilitate and fund more research in humanities and social sciences to educate people to foster the personal & social growth.
  • NEP should aim at enhancing equity & inclusion in higher education by establishing more higher learning institutions in minority and backward community dominated areas.

 

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