- The Committee for Evolution of the New Education Policy (NEP) (Chair: Mr. T. S. R Subramanian) submitted its report on May 7, 2016. The Committee was constituted under the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) in October,2015. The report proposes an Education Policy, which seeks to address challenges faced by the current education system. Key features of the proposed Policy are summarised below.
- Broad objectives of NEP: The proposed Policy seeks to improve the quality and credibility of education by addressing the implementation gaps.
- Early Childhood Care and Education(ECCE): The Committee observed that the implementation of ECCE was inconsistent across states. It emphasised the need for all government schools to have facilities for pre-primary education. Hence, it recommended that ECCE for children from four to five years of age be declared as a right. This would facilitate pre-school education by the government instead of the private sector until children reach six years of age.
- The Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009: Currently, the norms for infrastructure and quality have been laid down only for private schools. The Committee recommended that the RTE should be amended to provide uniform norms for recognition of both, government and private schools.
- It also recommended extending the RTE provision of common curriculum to minority institutions, which are currently exempted.
- School exam reforms: The Committee recommended the usage of scaled scores and percentiles instead of the traditional marking scheme. It suggested that students should be given the choice to pick the difficulty level of the Mathematics and Science exams in class 10. To reduce the stress levels of students, the Committee proposed online on-demand board exams as opposed to year end exams.
- In addition, the Committee recommended that the policy of no detention should be upheld only till class five (age 11 years). This would reverse the existing policy of no detention till class eight (age 14 years).
- Teacher Management: The Committee observed that there has been a steep rise in teacher shortage, absenteeism and grievances. It recommended setting up of an Autonomous Teacher Recruitment Board. It also recommended that teaching license should be subject to renewal every 10 years. For teacher training, a four year integrated B.Ed. course should be implemented.
- ICT in Education: The Committee noted that the integration of information technology (IT) and the education sector was inadequate despite Computer Literacy and Studies in Schools. It recommended IT be taken up for teacher training, adult literacy, remedial education and as a learning tool in higher education. This would also include developing online skill based courses.
- Vocational education and training: The Committee recommended scaling up the existing National Skills Qualification Framework to include more students. It recommends expanding and revising the choice of vocational courses in accordance with local opportunities and resources. It also emphasised the need for formal certification by the various Boards of Education for vocational education at par with conventional education.
- Other institutional recommendations:
- (i) All India Education Service(IES): It would be established as an all India service;
- (ii) National Higher Education Promotion and Management Act (NHEPMA): NHEPMA would replace the existing separate laws governing individual regulators in higher education and redefine the role of existing regulatory bodies like UGC and AICTE; and
- (iii) National Accreditation Board(NAB): The NAB will subsume the existing accreditation bodies of National Assessment and Accreditation Council and the National Board of Accreditation and set standards for accreditation. The Committee also recommended mandatory accreditation for technical and medical institutions.