New Delhi, September 21, 2015: Speaking at CUTS – UNESCO Roundtable discussion on New Education Policy, Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on HRD Satyanarayan Jatiya today said that until early education is not done in the mother tongue quality will continue to suffer.
The roundtable which was organised in the backdrop of ongoing consultations on New Education Policy and Sustainable Development Goals dealt with the issues of measuring quality and role of states in charting out the future of education and dealt with local to global concerns that India needs to take into account in the new policy.
Some of the concerns expressed included mandatory requirement of annual reporting of progress in education to the international community. This necessitates developing quality indicators which are both globally and locally relevant.
India currently lags far behind compared to its peers in the education sector. The six percent goal of public spending espoused by previous national policies has never been achieved. While some Roundtable discussants expounded that there is a link between learning outcomes and spending on education, some others provided evidence that the increased public spending in INDIA HASN’T LED to any significant change in quality of education.70% of spending in education is done by states.
The roundtable also brought out the urgent need for better coordination between Ministry of Women and Child Development and HRD Ministry.
While speaking on the need to have quality indicators experts also stated that while measurement must happen to improve quality, not all indicators can be quantifiable. Experts also felt that alongside learning, there is a need to measure other indicators which have significant bearing on learning.
Concerns were also expressed with regards to the education data. It was pointed out that despite much of the future of education being in the hands of state, the DISE data is hardly relevant to their needs.
Experts from UNESCO and Brookings also elaborated on a possible framework to compare education system across different states in India. Roundtable also saw active participation of Parliamentarians. Mani Shankar Iyer pointed out the need to embed school managing committee and village education committee into the Panchayti Raj system to improve quality. He said this will also improve resource allocation and monitoring.
BJP MP R. Ramakrishna suggested establishing a link between quality and quantity. The discussion also saw participation from NITI Aayog, World Bank, Centre for Policy Research, Delhi University and Ambedkar University amongst others. This was the third Roundtable conducted by Jaipur based CUTS International Public Policy Centre. The first two were conducted by CUTS alone while this was in collaboration with UNESCO.
Pradeep Mehta, Secretary-General, CUTS International and Mitrasen Bhikajee, Programme Specialist, UNESCO delivered the opening address.
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