The department of school education and literacy (SEL) of the union ministry of human resource development (MHRD) has pointed out flaws in the education system of Punjab.
The report of a recent meeting of the MHRD's Project Approval Board (PAB), a copy of which is with HT - has called for reforms in various spheres of education.
In the PAB report, SEL officials stated that the curriculum of classes 6 to 8 was 'unevenly' distributed and there was an urgent need for a review of the textbooks prescribed in these classes.
In the state, the Punjab School Education Board is the academic authority for curriculum and development of textbooks, while the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) is the authority for training of teachers. The PAB report has questioned the working of both authorities, saying that, "There is no convergence between them. Moreover, the state has failed to bring about curricular renewal as per the National Curriculum Framework since 2005."
The Continuous Comprehen-sive Evaluation (CCE) system, which was started in 2011, also faced criticism due to anomalies in the curriculum.
The report said, "The CCE can be done in true spirit only after the curriculum is renewed." The report also questioned the methods through which students were evaluated under the CCE. In the CCE process, tests of each subject are conducted every alternative month. A student has to take 30 to 36 class tests in a year.
The report recommended, "Teachers should be trained and empowered to conduct the tests and take corrective action at their own level."
In their presentation at the meeting, education secretary Husan Lal and other officials highlighted the trends and structure of the education system in the state.
SEL secretary Anshu Vaish rued that in the presentation on special training centres, the state failed to mention any teaching learning material and there was no focus on the learning process. The state merely mentioned that each centre was manned by a warden, educational volunteers, cook, helper, washerman and watchman.
"The pedagogical part of these centres is very weak. All the available money is being spent on manpower (washerman, helper, watchman), which is not crucial to run the centre and should hence be
Vaish advised the state authorities to use resources on the teaching process instead of paying money to the support staff. Husan Lal could not be contacted. Sushma Sharma, additional project director, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, who attended the PBA meeting, declined comment.