Assam govt to send inputs on draft education policy to MHRD

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Assam govt to send inputs on draft education policy to MHRD

Saumya Mishra | July 20, 2019 13:47 hrs

GUWAHATI: The state education department will send its views and inputs on the Draft National Education Policy 2019 (DNEP) to the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) next month.

For this, a symposium was held in Guwahati recently to invite deliberations and discussions from academicians from across the state to give their suggestions on the new draft education policy. The symposium was attended by the state education minister Siddhartha Bhattacharya, vice-chancellors of different universities and principals of various colleges of the state.

The draft policy aims to bring reforms to the entire education system at all levels of education right from school level to higher education. 

Officials informed that the new education policy seeks to make the education system in tandem with the new millennium and aims to be a collaborative exercise between various stakeholders. 
    
The Ministry of Human Resource Development, in June 2017, constituted a committee to prepare the Draft National Education Policy. The committee submitted its report to the MHRD under the chairmanship of Dr K Kasturirangan on May 31, 2019. 
The report proposes an education policy which seeks to make the education system more accessible, equitable, affordable and accountable. 

Further, it also seeks to increase the focus on early childhood care, reform the current examination system, strengthen teacher training, and restructure the education regulatory framework.  It also seeks to set up a National Education Commission, increase public investment in education, strengthen the use of technology and increase focus on vocational and adult education, among others. 

Speaking during the symposium, state education minister Siddhartha Bhattacharya asked for written suggestions from the academicians and told them that the state government will be carrying forward their views and suggestions to the Ministry of Human Resource Development.

“All of your suggestions will be collated and compiled and they will be presented before the Centre during a consultation process where all the state education ministers will hold a meeting with the HRD minister to be held next month,” said Bhattacharya.     
  
Additionally, advisor to the Assam government on education, Mihir Kanti Chaudhuri, elaborated on the salient features of the draft national education policy. He stated that the policy seeks to rechristen the MHRD back to ministry of education and multi-disciplinary educational institutions will be the thrust. 
       
“There are three types of educational institutes foreseen in this document which include research with significant quality of teaching, second type will be more focussed on teaching with cutting edge research and it also seeks to declare all the colleges autonomous and will be able to give out degrees,” mentioned Chaudhuri. 

He added that the state educational institutions should begin its preparations for the implementation of the draft education policy.      

Another important suggestion made in the draft includes merging of all kinds of specialised education like medicine, law and B Ed under one umbrella. 

The new draft education policy also aims to make the lower education bi-lingual. Apart English, the second language in which education will be imparted will include the major language spoken in the place where the institute is housed. 

Chaudhuri also stated that on the agricultural front, the draft mentions that agricultural education should not be bookish but need to be need-based, hi-tech and should focus more on local issues.
       
He further added that a recommendation includes constituting a regulatory body which will be called National Higher Education Regulatory Agency. It will govern all education disciplines whether it is general education, legal, technical or medical education.

In order to ensure better quality of teaching, stringent criteria have been put in place and a tenure track has been suggested for faculty members in the draft in order to fix accountability of teachers.   
    
Additionally, reservation and promotion of Indian languages is also emphasised in the draft education policy. 

Further, the draft policy recommends that the recent amendments to the RTE Act on continuous and comprehensive evaluation and the no detention policy must be reviewed. It states that there should be no detention of children till class eight.  Instead, schools must ensure that children are achieving age-appropriate learning levels.

Also, the draft suggests setting up of a national education commission (NEC) which will be headed by the Prime Minister and each state will also have a separate state education commission. The NEC will keep a check on educational goals of the country. 

Speaking during the symposium, Chaudhuri added that the draft policy also suggests setting up of 10 new liberal arts education universities and said that the state government should put up a claim to set up one of them in Assam. 

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