August 22, 2012 1:44:26 am
A third National Education Policy is on the anvil with the government all set to announce the constitution of a new Education Commission. To be headed by leading sociologist Prof Andre Beteille,a 15-20 member Commission packed with academicians and experts will soon be set up by the HRD ministry.
The third Education Commission will do a threadbare status report on the present day education system,review the 1986 National Policy on Education and 1992 Programme of Action and their impact,and draft its own vision and policy option keeping in mind the changed social,economic and technological context.
Beteille,incidentally,was a member of the Sam Pitroda-led National Knowledge Commission set up by UPA-I,but had resigned in protest against the 27 per cent OBC quota which he did not view as genuine affirmative action. While the first Education Policy was introduced in 1968 under the Indira Gandhi government following recommendations of the Kothari Commission,in 1986 Rajiv Gandhi announced the National Policy on Education that resulted in Operation Blackboard. In 1992,P V Narsimha Rao modified this policy. The Beteille Commission is expected to evolve a National Education Policy.
The focal areas identified by the ministry for the Commission include challenges that implementation of the Right to Education Act have thrown up. Linked areas of concern like need for quality teachers,huge vacancy in teaching positions,need to empower teachers and at the same time bring in more accountability in the profession will be looked at. There is an emphasis on working towards a rights-based approach in the schooling sector. An overhaul of the school education system,integration of academics with sports,art and culture,engaging local bodies in teacher training will be reviewed by the Commission,said sources. On higher education,it will suggest reforms that permit autonomy and restructure the university affiliation system.
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