18 months on, no sign of state’s school edu policyUpdated: Feb 04, 2020, 21:56 IST
The Capt Amarinder Singh-led Congress government is about to complete three years in power, but its new school education policy remains a work in progress.
The 12-member committee headed by Punjabi University vice-chancellor Professor BS Ghuman constituted by the state government in June 2018 is still to give the blueprint for the new school education policy. The committee comprising renowned academicians and education administrators was given a timeframe of one-and-a-half months by principal secretary, school education department, Krishan Kumar to formulate the policy, but the expert panel has already taken more than 18 months with three extensions.
The latest extension of two months was granted three days ago on the committee’s request, allowing it time till March 31, 2020. Ghuman, who had initially given January-end 2019 as the likely timeframe for submitting the policy to the state government, did not respond to calls or text messages.
However, school education department sources said the committee had already held consultations with the various stakeholders such as teachers, policymakers, education administrators, parents of schoolchildren, and representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with focus on early childhood care and education (ECCE), vocational education, quality of teaching-learning and strategy for enrolling out-of-school children, particularly never enrolled ones. “The panel members are in the process of giving final touches to the policy. Once submitted, it will require approval from the state cabinet,” they said.
The committee members include National University of Educational Planning and Administration’s (NUEPA) former professor Dr Marmar Mukhopadhyay, Panjab University professor Dr Kuldeep Puri, Central Square Foundation chairman Ashish Dhawan, Pratham director Dr Rukmani Banerjee, Centre for Civil Society senior manager, research, Diptasri Basu, Government Senior Secondary School lecturer, Punjabi, Dr Davinder Boha and retired teacher Sucha Singh Khattra, besides some officials of the school education department.
Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) chairman Manohar Kant Kalohia was also member of the committee, but he completed his tenure in November last year.
The panel was tasked with studying the decreasing enrolment in government and aided schools, interventions required for improving the quality of education and enabling inclusive education, existing infrastructure, participation of private/public corporate sector and NGOs, introduction of e-governance in school administration and the role of private schools along with the need to regulate them. Once finalised, it will be the third state education policy. The previous two policies were framed in 2002 and 2011.