In a first, education dept opens policy making to public, sets up special cell

The cell will study and monitor various project reports and pilot schemes on education.

Written by Mihika Basu | Mumbai | Updated: August 7, 2014 1:35 am

The state’s school education department has, for the first time, decided to have public participation and contribution in its policy and decision-making. It has set up a dedicated quality education cell, which will look at proposals and suggestions from schools, teachers, educationists and NGOs on issues ranging from out-of-school children and curriculum changes to the Right to Education (RTE) Act.

“The government is looking to rope in the services of academicians, NGOs and intellectuals in the field of school education to work towards improving the education standards in the state. Several initiatives are being taken by teachers, NGOs and academicians at their level. At present, however, there is no mechanism which can look at the best practices being implemented at schools or by individuals. But we felt that the state government must have a dedicated platform, which can give focussed attention to the ongoing initiatives and new proposals, see if they can be replicated in Maharashtra and facilitate public participation,” said state school education secretary Ashwini Bhide.

The cell will study and monitor various project reports and pilot schemes on education being undertaken by other states as well as schools and educationists and work to see how these can be incorporated by the state. It is in the process of studying recommendations being made by NGOs, education forums, private organisations and institutions, and seeing how these can be adopted. A review report will have to be prepared every fourth Friday on the work being done by the quality cell. It will ensure coordination between schools and the local administration.

“This is just the beginning. We want to see how it progresses. We want the state machinery to take some time off from their routine administrative work and focus on improving the quality of education with various stakeholders,” said Bhide.

The seven-member cell will discuss and undertake projects with the help of organisations like UNICEF, experts and educational organisations. A government resolution (GR), issued recently, recommends that such cells can also be set up at the district level and by schools, both government-aided and private, across the state.

mihika.basu@expressindia.com

On Agenda

* Panel will look at proposals and suggestions made by schools, teachers, educationists and NGOs on issues ranging from out-of-school children and curriculum changes to the RTE Act

* State government is looking to rope in the services of academicians, NGOs and intellectuals in the field of school education to work towards improving the education standards in the state

* Cell will study and monitor various project reports and pilot schemes on education being undertaken by other states as well as schools and educationists and work to see how these can be incorporated by the state

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