New Delhi: As Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes oath for a second time Thursday, outcome-based quality education, a new education policy, more seats at IITs and IIMs, and reduced regulatory environment may get steady attention.
Authorities in the human resource development ministry believe that BJP’s 2019 manifesto will be a guiding document in policy formulation for the education sector that caters to nearly 300 million youth and feeds the manpower requirement of the economy.
“While keeping the education system in pace with modern trends…our efforts will continue towards an outcome-focused, knowledge oriented and students focused education system,” the BJP manifesto has underlined.
On the school sector, the party manifesto mentioned that having achieved near universal access to schooling emphasis will be “on quality of learning”. The human resource development ministry in the last five years attempted to identify learning outcomes for various classes, and priority in the next five years may be aimed at ensuring that children achieve these learning outcomes.
“The biggest task for the new government will be to increase public investment in the school sector to improve the quality of education. Along with the investment, teachers training will be key for improving learning outcome in our schools,” said Kiran Bhatty, a senior fellow at think tank Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi.
India spends around 3% of the GDP on education as against 6% demand from academics and experts for the last few decades.
The BJP in its manifesto has said once a new government is in place, it will initiate a Prime Minister Innovative Learning Program to bring talented children from all over the country and provide them with required facilities to improve their thinking skill, a move if implemented could help in inculcating research and innovation mindset among youngsters.
The new government may establish 200 more central and Navodaya schools, an HRD ministry controlled school chains whose performance are even better than top end private schools in the country. The BJP manifesto also speaks about establishing National Institutes of Teachers’ Training, to bring sanity in the teacher education sector that is largely plagued by poor quality education in private institutions.
The party manifesto suggests that while the continuing focus on tech-enabled learning, the government may provide smart classrooms to a needy student in elementary and secondary schools. However, the lack of electricity and basic infrastructure in rural public schools will pose a significant challenge to achieve this.
Besides, the union government may increase the intake capacity of central engineering, management, science, and law institutions by 50% over the next five years. Central institutions encompass Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institute of Management (IIMs), All Indian Institutions of Medical Science (AIIMS), national law universities, Indian Institute of Science Technology and Research (IISER) among others.
Unlike 2014, when the party had spoken about dismantling education regulators, BJP in 2019 was soft on the subject but said the new government “will relook the role of existing regulatory institutions” and make necessary changes in the legislation to ensure a regulatory overhaul.