Govt told to expedite new education policy
Published on March 21, 2017

NEW DELHI: A parliamentary panel has asked the Centre to expedite formulation of a new education policy, making a host of suggestions for improving quality of education in schools.

“The committee would like to be apprised of the action taken by the government in the matter within three months of the presentation of the report,” it said.

In its report to Parliament on March 16, the committee on petitions noted that the government was making “concerted efforts” to improve the quality of education.

 “However, no clear-cut guidelines in this regard have been laid down. The committee desires that the government should clearly spell out the guidelines to improve the standard of education being imparted in schools,” it said.

The government should also bring in an appropriate feedback mechanism to have “the best possible human resources” for the job of teaching, it said. The Ministry for Human Resource Development (HRD) is yet to come up with a new education policy even as its formulation process was set in motion in January 2015.

The panel, headed by BJP’s Lok Sabha member Bhagat Singh Koshyari, underlined that “a pragmatic mechanism” should be brought in place to “scientifically and comprehensively” assess the performance of teachers. “So that the intention of introducing the ‘no detention’ clause in the Right to Education Act does not get diluted on the premise of dissemination of quality education in schools,” it pointed out.

The panel, however, appreciated the Centre’s decision to retain the ‘no detention’ policy up to Class V in schools. “However, a two pronged strategy for enhancing the quality of education in schools — government and/or private — should be adopted, whereby, the evaluation of the performance of teachers be made more rigorous,” it said.

The internal assessment of students carried out through holding of periodic examinations should also be made more rigorous, it suggested. “The committee would like to be apprised of the outcome of renewed strategy worked out by the HRD Ministry for the purpose,” it said. The panel also called for streamlining the process of issuing the certificate of recognition to schools.

The government should look at both the learning outcome and infrastructure of private schools while granting or renewing recognition to them, it suggested.

 “Both the aspects — learning outcome and schools’ infrastructure — are important complementary ingredients for imparting quality education in the schools and, therefore, cannot be seen in isolation. The government should focus on learning outcomes of the schools under the act and simultaneously provide a time frame to the schools to develop a specified infrastructure required under the RTE Act,” it said.

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