Union minister Satya Pal Singh said on Monday that a new education policy will be brought out in December this year in order to “correct” the current “colonial” mindset-based education system. He announced that discussions are being held on the new system which is now in its final stages.
“The NDA government’s new education policy is in its final stages and the same will be out in December. The policy envisages correcting the education system that has followed a colonial mindset,” Singh said.
He adds that most academicians followed the footsteps of British and western scholars, “deliberately” denigrating Indian culture, after the country gained independence. He noted that the India needs to keep pace with the rest of the world in the challenge of decolonising the Indian mind.
The minister was at the inauguration of the National Academic meet in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, where he stated that among some of the more important issues to be addressed are the improvement of education quality at the primary level, affordability of higher education and growth in access to education.
He noted that student were looking to universities outside the country for quality higher education and said that institutions in india need to focus on improving standards to match those of international excellence. He further added that the government needs to give attention to skill development.
He pointed to the accessibility to higher education internationally and noted that, while USA had 86 per cent, Germany had 80 per cent and China had 60 per cent, India is lagging behind with only 25.6 per cent accessibility. He stated that the removal so social and regional disparities and improving access and affordability is a challenge the government must accomplish.
“In some places access to higher education is as low as nine per cent, but in others it is 60 per cent…higher education is very expensive and has to be made more affordable to all sections of the society,” Singh said, pointing out that 50 per cent of teachers posts in universities were lying vacant.
There are 4,000 vacancies for teachers in Delhi and even though though the country produces 30,000 to 40,000 PhD holders each year, India’s contribution remains at 0.2 per cent to the global economy, he said. This makes it clear that research and development in India require a lot of improvement, he stated adding that the Right to Education Act “lacked teeth”.
“The Act provides the right to compulsory primary education. But what is the remedy if parents do not send their children to school? So many things have to be done to improve primary education in the country,” said Singh.