CHENNAI: The Education Promotion Society of India (EPSI) has urged the government to include quality assessment for schools. It conducted the first Regional School Quality Conclave, along with the National Accreditation Board for Education and Training (NABET), here on Saturday. At the event, Telangana Governor and Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan launched the school grading index, a voluntary assessment method for schools. She said a grading system for schools is necessary.
"I plan to visit 75 schools in Puducherry as part of the 75th Independence Day celebrations. I have visited 28 so far, and feel grading and accreditation is the need of the hour. In India, 28 crore people are in schools - that's 20% of our population. It's unfair not to give them accreditation," she said.
Soundararajan added that the current policy of mandatorily passing students till Class 9 is not right. Speaking to the media later, she said it is the politicians, not students, who are objecting to exams. When asked about possible dropouts, especially among the underprivileged, she reiterated that assessment is important.
Dr G Viswanathan, founder and chancellor of Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), said assessing lakhs of schools and crores of students is no ordinary task. He said India lags in school education and performs poorly in assessments like the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). To compete with other nations, we have to asses our weaknesses and rectify them, he said.
Citing educational systems in South Korea and Finland, Viswanathan said India should spend more on education, adding that the government's dream of a $5 trillion economy cannot be realised without education for all. He further urged the government to reduce the regulatory costs.
NABET is a constituent board of the Quality Council of India (QCI), an autonomous body set up by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.