Revision of no-detention policy, promotion of Sanskrit, and bringing back Class X board examinations are some of the key changes that the central government may include in its new education policy, the human resource development ministry said on Wednesday.
The HRD ministry released a 43-page document detailing several inputs for the new policy due after a gap of three decades on the www.mygov.in website.
The document also focuses on addressing gender discrimination, creation of educational tribunals and a common curriculum for science, mathematics and English.
The education policy aims to ensure “quality education and lifelong learning opportunities”.
On the face of it, the release seems to be the HRD ministry’s inputs to the committee drafting the education policy. It does not appear to be a summary of the over 200-page report submitted by a five-member committee, headed by former cabinet secretary T.S.R. Subramanian, who said he would respond only after seeing the release.
The committee submitted its report to the government last month. The new education policy, India’s first in three decades, is expected to address various critical issues in the education sector, which, while it has grown in scale and complexity, suffers from several problems related to quality and relevance.
Earlier this month, a controversy broke out over the new policy when Subramanian wrote to the HRD ministry, urging it to make the report public, and threatened to do so himself. Union HRD minister Smriti Irani had then responded saying she would not release the report without feedback from the states and that she did not want to make it “the legacy of one individual”.
Under the “policy framework” head, the inputs list 21 pointers, including pre-school education, curriculum renewal, school assessment, quality assurance, internationalization, faculty development in higher education, and language and culture in education.
The release also recommends a five-year review of the policy to “keep up with the emerging national and global trends”. It also sets the target of at least 90% of the adult population meeting literacy and numeracy skills prescribed by adult education programmes.
The main objective of the draft policy, the release says, is to ensure that all preschoolers (children between the ages of 4 and 5) attain the learning and developmental readiness required for smooth transition to primary education. The policy also aims to achieve universal elementary and secondary education and ensure that anyone who clears the secondary level has access to higher secondary education.
With the aim to make education accessible, inclusive and responsive to the needs of diverse groups of children and young people, the release talks about special focus on students from disadvantaged population groups.
It seeks to eliminate social, regional and gender gaps in education.
The document also stresses the need to reform the higher education system to ensure equitable access to tertiary education, including technical and professional education, end inequalities in access to higher education, and improve teaching and research, promote innovation and generate new knowledge across all higher education institutions.