The draft education policy released by the union human resource development ministry last week has been approved by the Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal (BSM), an offshoot of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) that was at the forefront of pushing the previous Narendra Modi government to draft a new policy.
The BSM, however, wants the government to ensure that academics and not bureaucrats are in charge in key positions in the education sector. It has cited the example of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) that is headed by a scientist.
“Just as ISRO is headed by scientists, education too needs to be free from the clutches of bureaucracy. Teachers should be encouraged to become administrators and vice-chancellors should be secretaries in the ministry,” BSM’s organising secretary Mukul Kanitkar said.
The BSM has welcomed the suggestion in the draft policy – drawn up by the K Kasturirangan committee to set up an apex body for education, Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog (RSA), and to promote Indian languages. The RSA would be headed by the Prime Minister and have the mandate to develop, articulate, implement, evaluate, and revise the vision of education in the country on a continuous and sustained basis.
“RSA will be a game-changer. It will solve many problems in the designing and implementation of the education policy,” Kanitkar said.
The BSM had campaigned for indigenisation of teaching pedagogy, curriculum drafting and changing the name of the ministry from HRD to education ministry.
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“Most of the suggestions that we, at BSM, had made have been accepted, including the one about primary education in the mother tongue and popularizing Indian languages that are part of Schedule VIII of the Constitution,” Kanitkar said.
The BSM, which had suggested opening more gurukuls in the country without structured syllabi, has also proposed making teachers accountable for students’ performance.
“Evaluation should be revamped — it should be teacher-centric instead of examination-centric. As of now, teachers are not held accountable even if half their class does not perform well. Instead of a centralized board, teachers who spend more time with students should be responsible for evaluation, too,” Kanitkar said.
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