CHENNAI: The Centre’s decision to allow the National Testing Agency to conduct entrance tests will put rural students at a disadvantage and the Tamil Nadu government is not in support of the move, Minister for Higher Education KP Anbalagan said in a letter to Union Minister for Education Ramesh Pokhriyal on Monday. “This move will discourage rural students and become a burden, and hence, we are not in favour of this,” he said.
Calling the contents of the letter as “initial remarks” on the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, Anbalagan said the State has already decided to continue with its two-language policy as it has been a “success”. Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had appointed a seven-member panel to be chaired by the Principal Secretary, Higher Education Department, to analyse the policy to make recommendations.
“The State will surpass the Centre’s target of 50 per cent Gross Enrolment Ratio by 2035 by aiming for 65 per cent enrolment, since it is set to achieve the Centre’s target by this year itself. Tamil Nadu has a teacher-student ratio of 1:17 against the All-India ratio of 1:26,” Anbalagan said.
Tamil Nadu would not be following the NEP with regard to allowing colleges to only be autonomous or be a constituent college of a University. Pointing out that a large number of colleges in the State are affiliated institutions, Anbalagan told Pokhriyal that this would affect lot of students.
“Out of 587 college across the State, only 53 are autonomous and all the others are required to be nurtured suitably by the affiliated universities and then improve upon their quality standards,” he said asserting that present model be allowed in the State.
The one point that Anbalagan did welcome was the NEP committee’s decision to convert the BEd programme into a 4-year Integrated Degree Course including two major subjects.