Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi and Education Minister Manish Sisodia demanded on Saturday that a law be made to allocate at least 6 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) to education.
Speaking at the Special Meeting of Central Advisory Board of Education (Cabe), convened by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) to discuss and finalise the National Education Policy (NEP), Manish Sisodia said that the preamble to the policy should state that “providing good quality education would be the responsibility of government through government schools”.
While lauding few provisions of the policy, Manish Sisodia said, “Unless there is a law which binds the governments to allocate the fund, the policy per se will not result in the transformation of education in India.”
Manish Sisodia said that that “just like governments are bound by law to have ceiling on fiscal deficit or one country one tax system, similarly to implement the provision of the New Education Policy, the governments should be bound to spend at least 6 per cent of the GDP”.
Manish Sisodia said, “Quality of education provided in government schools should be at par with the private schools. Going to private schools should just be an option, not a necessity due to the lack of quality education in our government schools.”
NEED FOR PROVIDING QUALITY EDUCATION BY THE GOVERNMENT
Manish Sisodia stressed on the need to provide quality education in government schools of India.
“Only 5 per cent of children get access to quality education, the rest 95 per cent have been getting average quality education. It needs to change. It is the job of the government to provide education to all children,” Manish Sisodia said.
PRIVATE EDUCATION BOARD
Manish Sisodia opposed the proposal of private education board and called it a “dangerous idea” as these boards will promote private schools and further dilute the responsibility of government in school education.
Getting into the specifics, Manish Sisodia said, “While the idea of three years of preschool education is good but the clarity in the respective roles of Department of Woman and Child Development and Education be laid down.”
CHUNAUTI AND MISSION BUNIYAAD
Further, Manish Sisodia supported the recommendation of foundational literacy and numeracy and pointed that the “government of Delhi has been working on it already through Chunauti and Mission Buniyaad”.
HAPPINESS CURRICULUM OF DELHI GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS
Manish Sisodia talked of the idea of introducing “ethics” and “social emotional learning”.
Manish Sisodia said, “Idea of introducing ‘ethics’ and ‘social emotional learning’ has a model in Happiness Curriculum of Delhi government schools.”
Apart from these, several curricular and pedagogical reforms recommended in the draft policy is already operational in Delhi and Manish Sisodia offered to share the same with the Centre as well as other governments.
MANISH SISODIA ON HIGHER EDUCATION
On higher education, Manish Sisodia appreciated the idea of “research institutions” but cautioned against degree awarding autonomous colleges.
Manish Sisodia is also critical about exclusive “multi-faculty institutions”.
The institutions like All American Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) are niche specialised institutions and their primary character should not be diluted. “In fact, as we move in the era of hyper specialisations, the scope for specialised institutions should not be completely closed,” Manish Sisodia said.
Manish Sisodia concluded his observations by saying that Indian education system has been “highly regulated and poorly funded”. “This needs to change. Thus, proposal like RSA with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as its chair, which will add another layer of regulation, needs to be revisited,” Manish Sisodia added.