The HRD ministry has initiated a move to introduce a system for assessment of children’s aptitude at Class IX, results of which will help students realise their potential and inherent skills and also guide parents in planning a “realistic” career for them. A task force has been constituted by the ministry to work out the format of the test, to be conducted by the CBSE.
A DISE report released by NUEPA in association with the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development states that 71.17 per cent of the government schools in Karnataka do not have internet connection. While 28.83 per cent schools in Karnataka have internet connectivity, it is 78.69 per cent in Tamil Nadu, 92.16 per cent in Kerala and 33.41 per cent in Andhra Pradesh, according to the report.
Policy & Governance
The Delhi government is planning to enact a law that will include provision for imprisonment up to 10 years if any school or person subjects any child to screening for admission to an entry-level class. The government is also planning to de-recognise schools that fail to comply with the directions of the director (education). A proposed draft of “the Delhi Education (Amendment) Bill, 2015 to amend the Delhi School Education Act, 1973 (18 of 1973)” says that the new amendments will be applicable to the whole of the national capital.
The West Bengal government has written to the Centre in its support for scrapping the no-detention policy in schools.
Under the New Education Policy proposed by the Centre, students of classes 1 to 6 may be taught in their mother tongue. The education ministers of the southern states made a recommendation to this effect at a meeting in Bengaluru, Karnataka, chaired by Union HRD minister Smriti Irani.
Vyjayanthi Sankar, international consultant for learning quality and assessments, discusses the need for a learning approach that will enable us to leverage assessments, which loop back to curriculum, pedagogy and targeted teacher training together in an integrated manner to address the quality of student learning.
Since Maharashtra started implementing the Pragat Shaikshanik Maharashtra scheme three months ago, almost 100 per cent schools, which enrolled for it, qualified for being advanced within three-four months. This has led the state government to make amendments to its earlier definition of ‘Pragat Shaikshanik’ (educationally advanced).
Maharashtra begins process of forming fee revision panels, invites nominations. The process has to be completed by October 31 after which the names would be scrutinised and the local-level committees would be finalised by the state government.
Schools in Nashik, Maharashtra, are compiling data of progressive and non-progressive students after conducting the baseline test. Naunath Autade, education officer (secondary) of the Zilla Parishad said that the baseline test is conducted by the government for class 2-8 students across the state as per the directives of the State Council and Research Training (SCRT) to gauge the competency level of the students in English and Mathematics.
National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) will conduct an all-India survey to ascertain the demand and supply ratio of teachers with regard to the different subjects. NCTE that formally oversees standards, procedures and processes in the Indian education system has chosen Karnataka to pilot the project. Teachers of the state are being surveyed online to know which subjects need more teachers.
The Telangana school education department is all set to hold a massive training programme for government school teachers to improve their skills in English language and new education initiatives like Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE). A new training module has been prepared by the SCERT that aims to engage the teachers in a 15-day off-line training programme in Hyderabad and a six-month online training at their respective mandals. The training would begin from December and continue up to May next.
In a major relief for over 1.72 lakh shiksha mitras in Uttar Pradesh, the National Council for Teacher Education has withdrawn a clause that makes it mandatory for para teachers to clear the Teachers’ Eligibility Test.
A Government Resolution (GR) was issued by the Maharashtra government asking schools to fill vacancies for 5,055 instructors in 1,835 high schools with instructors who are ready to work voluntarily, without pay. The state government’s decision came after the High Court’s orders to follow the RTE guidelines, which mention the appointment of temporary instructors in high schools to enhance the learning experience of students.
Anurag Behar, CEO of Azim Premji Foundation says that there is no difference in the learning outcomes across private and public schools. Social and cultural factors (not educational) have driven up enrolment in private schools from about 17% to 30% of the school-going population. But, learning outcomes have not improved; in fact, they have declined on certain measures. This has not diminished the continued chanting of markets-will-fix-education mantra by the faithful.
With the demand for English medium schools on the rise among the parents and students, the Telangana government has decided to turn all the government schools into English medium. The new mode would be introduced from the next academic year to bring reforms and to make students compete at the global level.