February 23, 2015 4:17:12 am
As the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) creates an online discussion forum inviting suggestions and ideas on the National Education Policy (NEP), the Gujarat Education Department plans to carry a parallel discussion, though at the grassroots level on issues of primary, secondary and higher education in the state.
The move comes after the the MHRD asked the state to present its own point of view on the education system. The Education Department has initiated the process of forming groups right from state, district to taluka and village levels involving all possible stakeholders that could carry out a well planned comprehensive backhand preparatory note on education.
“As per the instructions in a recent letter written by the HRD Minister Smriti Irani to the state education minister to prepare discussions and also to have a backhand preparation at the lowest level,” said the Additional Chief Secretary (Education) Arvind Agrawal.
Though the online discussion opened by the MHRD for public and stakeholders is divided into 33 key points — 13 for the school education and 20 for higher education — involving both tasks and discussions, separate key points for discussions in Gujarat would be sent by the ministry. However, these 33 points will be taken as guiding parameters for discussions.
“The process will involve establishing a committee by the Centre only after deciding upon the broad purview and preamble for this committee that will then work on the education policy. The states are to assist in these modalities for the NEP,” added Agrawal.
The NEP was framed in 1986 and modified in 1992. The MHRD is in the process of bringing out a new policy which it claims is the call of the day to meet the changing dynamics of the population’s requirement.
The Education Department just prior to the Vibrant Gujarat Summit has even hired a private consultant, KPMG, for preparation of the state education policy but it seems that the move could hardly yield a satisfactory result as the draft policy was slated to be tabled during the summit for discussions but was not.
So, now the state government has decided to go ahead with the idea of forming groups involving district education officers, district primary education officers, school management committees and other stakeholders right till the village level.
The online discussion, which has opened on January 26 and will continue till March 31, is based on 13 themes for school education, which include improving learning outcomes, extending outreach of secondary and senior secondary education, strengthening of vocational education, reforming school examination systems, revamping teacher education, accelerating rural literacy with special emphasis on women, among others.
There are 20 themes on higher education. These include governance reforms, ranking of institutions and accreditation, quality of regulation, pace setting roles of central institutions, improving state public universities, integrating skill development in higher education, promoting online courses and technology enabled learning, addressing regional, gender and social disparities, linking higher education to society, among others.
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