The Government of India is to instigate a new education policy, which is being formulated in inclusive, participatory and holistic manner with “top to bottom approach”, says Ranjana Arora, professor in education with NCERT, National Council of Educational Research and Training, New Delhi in Amritsar on Friday.
Arora, also a part of the NCERT expert panel, which have been assigned the responsibility for making the consultation report for the new education policy at the cluster, district, state-level and finally submit it to the Centre.
Ranjana and other experts, with help of district education officer (DEO, SE) Satinder Bir Singh and administrative officers, were preparing a live report at Guru Nanak Dev University here, where hundreds of stakeholders in education from 12 districts of Punjab had given their suggestions on various aspects of school education to be included in the national education policy.
The eleven themes on which various group heads spoke included — Ensuring learning outcomes in elementary education, Extending outreach of secondary and senior secondary education, Revamping teacher education for quality teachers, Reforming school education systems, Strengthening of vocational education. Sharing their action plan, Arora told Hindustan Times: “This responsibility of making the consultation report at various levels has been conducted by the Regional Institute of Education (NCERT), Ajmer, from where Sudhir K Kataria and Patanjali Sharma have come. Padmna Yadav and I are from Delhi. Our panel has recorded and jotted five recommendations each from various themes given to eleven groups, and now we will compile it and further refine it.”
For Punjab, two sessions have been conducted in SAS Nagar (Mohali) and Amritsar. Now, the state-level recommendation will be refined, improved and then laid it at the national level.
IMPROVE QUALITY OF TEACHING-LEARNING PROGRAMME
Talking about major concerns shown in Punjab, she said: “There is a need to improve the quality of teaching-learning programme, which is not able to retain a child till Class 8 and resulting in the decline of education system. Many suggestions were regarding children’s health, which included medical camps and good quality mid-day meal. They suggested that not only the teachers, but the administration and the community at large should take the responsibility and emphasised on giving intensive space to the information and communication technology system (ICT).”
Ranjana said after they were done with the compilation, they would include the recommendations to the ministry of human resources and development (MHRD).
“While framing the education policy, the government has sought recommendations from the grass-roots level, for which we need to involve clusters, districts and states. I have observed that every state has different problems still there are a few common concerns like teachers overloaded with non-teaching work, quality of education declining, about educators’ quality, and many have demanded strict policies regarding teachers’ recruiting. Many states have also talked about recruiting good English teachers,” said Ranjana.
Another major demand by various states is to have uniform syllabus, but Ranjana feels that except science and math, it is tough to get uniformity in diversity.
There has also been emphasis on comprehensive education and inclusive education for girls, SCs, ST’s, minorities and children with special need.