MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT (DR. SHASHI THAROOR)
(a) to (c): The Government is aware of the imbalances that exist in the education sector in the country. These are instances of inadequate infrastructure facilities in the schools, an adverse pupil teacher ratio, the presence of a large number of untrained teachers in the system, the curriculum, syllabus and textbooks not being in sync with the principles of the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) - 2005 and the provisions of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act 2009, an excessive subject load on children, the absence of child-friendly and child- centered classroom processes, and the prevalence of traditional methods of memory based assessment systems.
The details of teachers’ recruitment & vacancies and Pupil –Teacher Ratio (PTR), State wise (as per DISE 2011-12) are at Annexure.
(d) to (f): Education reforms are a continuous process and the Government seeks to carry them forward through expansion, inclusion and rapid improvement in quality through institutional and policy reforms and by enhancing public spending. Education, being in the concurrent list, is the responsibility of both the Centre as well as the State Governments. Educational reforms are taking place after consultation with all the stakeholders including the State Governments and academics.
In the realm of elementary education, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 which has become operative with effect from 1st April 2010, lays special focus on improving the quality of education. Further, the Government has issued an Advisory to State Governments on the implementation of section 29 of the RTE Act for initiating curriculum reform, including, (i) formulating age-appropriate curricula and syllabi in keeping with the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) -2005, (ii) maintaining subject balance,(iii) initiating textbook content and production reform, (iv) ensuring continuous and comprehensive assessment for learning.
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act 2009, stipulates that the prescribed pupil-teacher ratio will be maintained in respect of every school. The States have, therefore, been advised to rationalize the deployment of teachers and expedite the recruitment of teachers against the posts sanctioned under the SSA as well as the State sector vacancies to address the problem of teacher shortage and urban-rural imbalance in teacher postings. Under the RMSA, 40,018 additional teacher posts have been sanctioned.
The Central Board of Secondary Education has introduced the scheme of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) in its schools in a phased manner for the improvement of quality in the schools affiliated to it. The Board has also made the Class X Board Examination optional for the students studying in Senior Secondary Schools and who do not wish to move out of the CBSE system after Class X.
At the level of higher education, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has been implementing a number of schemes aimed at the improvement of the quality of education in Indian Universities, such as the introduction of semester system, the regular updating of curricula, Choice Based Credit Systems (CBCS), reforms in admission procedure and in examination and evaluation systems. The All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) has also formulated a National Vocational Education Qualification Framework (NVEQF) for vertical & horizontal mobility between general education and vocational education.
The Government has already introduced four Bills in the Parliament aiming at reforms in higher education which include proposals for the prohibition of unfair practices in technical/educational institutions, medical educational institutions and universities; the mandatory accreditation of higher educational institutions; educational tribunals for adjudication of disputes; and legislation to regulate the entry and operation of foreign educational institutions.