(GIST OF YOJANA) Successful Education Transformation
Successful Education Transformation
The Indian education landscape is witnessing a major reform across the
sector. On the one hand, the development of the New Education Policy, through a
consultative process, is underway and on the other, there is a thrust towards
strengthening and expanding high quality institution (various legislation
amendments/bills related to IIT, IIM, School of Planning and Architecture,
Central Universities and Higher Education and Research have been prepared). The
education system, however, has always been plagued with one shortcoming or the
other: infrastructure, teacher, policy, budget etc.
The recently announced budget has been one of a kind in the last decade or
so. This year’s budget has laid clear emphasis on education as the words
‘education’, ‘educational’, ‘teacher’, ‘teachers’ have been used more than 35
times -perhaps the highest in the last decade. The speech lays clear emphasis
upon taking a holistic approach and thus invoking much needed system thinking.
This is evident from important initiatives such as bringing integration in the
school education sector and integrated B.Ed. The budget speech also focused on
the training of untrained teachers which reminds us of the fact that the
‘quality of school education can be no better than the quality of its teachers’.
The investment in education now should not only be perceived as just ‘financial
investment’ rather investment of resources and optimizing the available budget.
After sustained capital investment in programmes like SSA and RMSA for a long
time to ensure that money is invested in areas to strengthen quality.
Re-appropriation of funds from one scheme to another is not currently
possible at the implementation level even if one scheme urgently requires
additional funds while these funds may be sitting idle in another scheme
-leading to shortage of funds in some schemes and unspent funds in others. At
the grassroots (institution level) the situation is even graver eg. a Government
school having classes I-Xll will have to follow different norms (SSA, RMSA, MDM,
State) for various interventions in the school and also maintain separate
accounts for all schemes and provide separate monitoring related information to
multiple authorities. These ‘multiple structures’ can be seen from school level
to the highest level (national level; MHRD).
The merger of educational schemes would be useful in many ways and can be
expected to (i) optimize the use of funds available for the sector (ii) cater to
the diverse needs of States /UTs through a cafeteria approach (iii) lead to
streamlined and efficient management, monitoring and supervision (iv) reduce
administrative efforts and costs (v) bring fluidity in inter-component fund
flows and (vi) institutionalize systems of financial control and discipline.
Quality improvement in education is a much needed outcome for India to remain
competitive in the global sphere. This would require the education policy to
acknowledge that context spans a wide range of aspects encompassing the size of
the schools, their financial capabilities, continuous professional development
of teachers and assessment of learning standards. It also needs to pave the way
for greater transparency in decision making at the institutional and local
level. These intricacies would help in robust implementation of interventions
for a successful educational transformation.