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Governance

Extending RTE Act up to Class 12

  • 29 Oct 2019
  • 5 min read

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has tweaked the draft National Education Policy (NEP) to dilute the provision on extending the Right to Education (RTE) Act up to Class 12 and also include three years of early childhood education.

  • The existing NEP was framed in 1986 and revised in 1992.
  • The draft NEP was submitted by a group of experts, led by former ISRO chief K Kasturirangan, to the MHRD in June, and uploaded online for public feedback.

Key Points

  • The final NEP has tweaked the suggestion in the draft policy on starting a National Tutors Programme (NTP) and Remedial Instructional Aides Programme (RIAP). Both were meant to strengthen basic reading and mathematics skills.

Note: The 2018 ASER Report showed that more than half of Class VIII students cannot correctly solve a numerical division problem and more than a quarter of them cannot read a primary-level text.

Issues Draft NEP Final NEP
NTP and RIAP
  • Under NTP, the best performers in each school would have been roped in for up to five hours a week as tutors during school hours for fellow students who need help.
  • RIAP was a 10-year project to draw instructors, especially women, from local communities to help students who have fallen behind and bring them back into the fold.
  • The final NEP has endorsed only one-on-one peer tutoring.
Institutional System for Higher Education
  • The draft had proposed a new three-tier institutional system for higher education.
  • Under this, by 2030, all institutions will either become research universities or teaching universities or colleges running undergraduate programmes.
  • In the final NEP, the categorisation of institutions under a hierarchical structure has been given up.
  • In its place, classification based on the main purpose of the institution (research or teaching) has been retained.
Deadlines for Affiliation
  • The draft suggested that, by 2032, all colleges affiliated currently must develop into autonomous degree granting colleges or merge completely with the university that they are affiliated to, or develop into a university themselves.
  • The final document has removed the strict deadline prescribed by the Kasturirangan Committee.
  • It only speaks of gradually phasing out the system of "affiliated colleges".

    6 Point Roadmap for Implementation

    The MHRD has also laid down a six-point roadmap for its implementation and decided to conduct a comprehensive review of the implementation status in 2030.

    • The intent and the spirit of the policy must serve as the most important consideration
    • Implementation in a phased manner: It is important to implement the policy initiatives in a phased manner, as each policy point has several steps, each of which requires the previous step to be implemented successfully.
    • Prioritisation will be important in ensuring optimal sequencing of policy points -and that the most critical and urgent actions are taken up first - thereby enabling a strong base
    • Full-fledged implementation: As the policy is interconnected and holistic, only a full-fledged implementation and not a "piece meal" one, will ensure that the desired objectives are achieved.
    • Timely infusion of requisite resources - human, infrastructural, and financial - at the central and state levels will be key for the satisfactory execution of the policy.
      • Since education is a concurrent subject, it will need careful planning, joint monitoring, and collaborative implementation between the Centre and states.
    • Careful analysis and review of the linkages between multiple parallel implementation steps will be necessary in order to ensure effective dovetailing of all initiatives.

    Source: IE

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