The Educator

article

As Union Minister for Human Resource Development, prakash Javadekar has the onerous task of giving shape to the future generations of our country by formulating the New Education Policy. In a session on “Education: Changing Paradigms”, moderated by Parliamentarian’s Editor-in-Chief, Tridib Raman, Javadekar didn’t parry a single question

You have the responsibility of changing the face of such an important ministry. What is your first priority?

There are 270 million students in the country – from KG to PG. There aren’t many countries in Europe with this kind of population. America’s entire population is almost equal to the number of students in India. Then we have their parents as well. If there are two children per household, half of the country is directly connected to me. We have an added sense of responsibility because of the fact that for a bright future of India, we need a good education. Prime Minister’s slogan is ‘sabka saath, sabka Vikas’. I have given a clarion call – ‘sabko shiksha, achchhi shiksha’ (good education to all). We wish to maintain this quality from primary to higher education.

Under the Right to Education, no student can be detained up to class eight. There are cases when a class nine student can’t read a class four book. It is a serious situation. Maintaining quality of education in such a situation in itself is a big challenge. Truth can’t be denied and acceptance leads to reforms.

I have studied in a Zila Parishad school. Most of our ministers have studied in such schools. Those schools used to be really good when we were students. Teachers used to be committed, parents used to be concerned, society used to encourage and everyone used to see education as a pious job. Today, Zila Parishad schools in many states are proving to be failures. We have broken down the education system.

To prevent the erosion, we have taken four steps – we made Learning Outcome, meaning what should be taught in which class and benchmarking of students’ learning in each class. We have not only defined Learning Outcome but also notified them. They are being implemented from 2017-18. We will hand it over to parents. Teachers too will be given handbooks. They too will be trained. If this succeeds, then complaints of below average students will stop because schools will be clearly told what is expected of a class first child and what is expected of class eight students.

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