Make law to allocate 6% of GDP to education, says Sisodia
Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia on Saturday lauded a few provisions of the draft New Education Policy (NEP) but opposed its preamble seeking a change into it with emphasis on providing a good quality education through government schools.
Speaking at the special meeting of Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) convened by the Union HRD Ministry to discuss and finalise the National Education Policy, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader demanded that the Centre should make a law to allocate 6 per cent of GDP to education.
“Preamble to the policy should state that providing good quality education would be the responsibility of government through government schools,” he said.
While lauding a few provisions of the policy, Sisodia pointed that unless there is a law which binds the governments to allocate the fund, the policy per se will not result in the transformation of education in India.
“Just like governments are bound by law to have a ceiling on fiscal deficit or one country one tax system, similarly to implement the provision of the New Education Policy, the governments should be bound to spend at least 6 per cent of GDP on education,” he said.
Emphasising that the quality of education provided in government schools should be at par with the private schools, he said going to private schools should just be an option, not a necessity due to lack of quality education in our government schools.
“Only 5 per cent of children get access to quality education. The rest 95 per cent are getting an average quality of education. It needs to change. It is the job of the government to provide education to all children,” he said.
Sisodia, who is also the Deputy Chief Minister, opposed the proposal of a Private Education Board and called it a “dangerous idea”.
“These boards will promote private schools and further dilute the responsibility of the government in school education,” he said.
He hailed the idea of three years of preschool education but sought clarity in the roles of the Department of Woman and Child Development and Education Department.
He also supported the recommendations on foundational literacy and numeracy and pointed out that the Delhi Government is already working on it already through “Chunauti” and “Mission Buniyaad” initiatives.
On higher education, he appreciated the idea of “research institutions” but cautioned against degree-awarding autonomous colleges.
He was also critical about exclusive “multi-faculty institutions.”
The institutions like AIIMS, IITs, and IIMs are niche specialised institutions and their primary character should not be diluted, he said.
Sisodia observed that Indian education system has been “highly regulated and poorly funded.”
“This needs to change,” he said, seeking to revisit the proposal of Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog with the Prime Minister as its Chair. “This will add another layer of regulation,” he said.