(GIST OF YOJANA) Successful Education Transformation [APRIL-2018]


(GIST OF YOJANA) Successful Education Transformation

[APRIL-2018]


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).

Study Material for IAS (UPSC) Pre 2018

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.

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