STARTING EXAMS for classes 5 and 8, formation of a single board at the national level and holding aptitude tests were among the recommendations made at a state-level consultative meeting for the new education policy being prepared by the Centre. It was also recommended that mid-day meals be stopped in Haryana.
The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development had sought suggestions from every state for the formation of the new education policy. In a first, suggestions were sought from the grassroots sections, too. In Haryana, meetings were held in 6,072 villages, followed by meetings in 119 blocks and then the 21 districts. The suggestions compiled at all these levels were discussed at the state-level meeting Friday and recommendations made. Educationists, officials and NGOs were part of the process.
Experts said that after the abolition of exams and introduction of no-detention policy, students had become careless and irregular in attending school. It was observed that absenteeism and disrespect towards teachers had increased. The performance of the teachers was also affected. It was recommended that the old system of having exams in classes 5 and 8 be revived. The formation of a single board at the national level was suggested. The experts were of the opinion that different boards were given different kind of weightage.
It was suggested that a mix of grading system and marks be introduced. Citing an example, the experts pointed out that a student scoring 92 per cent and another scoring 100 per cent were given the same grade. This was discouraging for meritorious students, they said. It was felt that the there should be grades for extracurricular activities and marks for subjects.
The need for having teachers for different subjects in primary schools was highlighted. Problems that were being encountered due to Continuing and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) were discussed. During the meeting it was stated that the view from most places in Haryana was that mid-day meal was not required to be given in schools in the state. If the mid-day meal has to be given, packed food should be provided instead of cooking it in the schools.
Haryana Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma, while addressing the gathering, said that in the past 20 years, “commercialisation of education”. He said that the government was spending Rs 28000 on each student in a government school when the private were not spending more than Rs 19000.
Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar said that only a child having good education and high moral values could contribute in nation building. He said that only reading, writing and mathematics is not education and unless moral values are not included in it, it has no relevance.
Khattar also announced an increase in minimum wages of unskilled labourers from Rs 5,900 per month to Rs 7,600 per month and of Skilled Labourers from Rs 6536 per month to Rs 9,699 per month.