The new education policy proposed by the Union ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) is aiming at bringing a uniformity in education system across the country. However, teachers in Telangana feel that the process of framing this education policy lacks direction. N Narayana, national president of School Teachers Federation of India (STFI), says the theme mentioned in the draft of the policy left many important issues uncovered. He felt that the feedback should have been sought from stakeholders, only after the Central government had prepared the model guidelines for the policy.
Do you think, the new education policy would revamp the whole education system in India?
The new education policy aims at bringing a uniformity in education system across India. But, it looks the policy lacks a proper direction. Unlike the previous two education policies, this time there are no model regulations prepared by the Central government. No committee has been appointed to study the requirements in education sector. Merely asking opinions on some themes will not help revamping the education system.
What are the major aspects that this policy focuses on?
Going by the themes mentioned by the government, the policy seems to be focusing more on improving learning levels among schoolchildren. It also encourages teachers to use technology for effective teaching. But, it focuses more on secondary education, while pre-primary level education remains neglected. The enrolment at pre-primary is higher than at other levels. But retention percentage is less than 35. The new education policy must address this issue.
What were the suggestions made by teachers in Telangana?
There is a severe shortage of teachers in Telangana. We recommended the government to improve teacher-student ratio, so that the new initiatives can be implemented effectively. Regulation of private schools and pre-primary schools, setting up pre-primary schools in government sector, were among the suggestions made in the feedback.
Telangana school education system has seen many new initiatives this year. Do you think they are effective?
Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) is one of the major initiatives that Telangana school education department introduced in recent years. It is a good idea. But its implementation is affected due to shortage of teachers in government schools.
If we have one teacher for each school, we can draw good results out of it. We are also opposing the detention policy, proposed by the Central government. Detention might lead to high drop-out among children from rural areas, especially those from backward communities. We strongly recommended the government not to introduce detention policy.
Does the new education policy support the implementation of Right to Education (RTE)?
Surprisingly, there is no mention of RTE in all the themes of the new education policy.
We feel that RTE must be implemented. Though, both the Telugu states failed to implement it for past few years, we hope to see it in future.