Got over 1 lakh suggestions on reducing NCERT syllabus, says Prakash Javadekar
Source: Hindustan Times
On Teachers’ Day, Union human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar spoke to Neelam Pandey about the big issues confronting the education sector — from staff recruitment to syllabus and the recent row over institutes of eminence to UGC reforms. Edited excerpts:
What steps are you taking to improve teaching standards in the country?
For law, you choose a five-year law course; to become a doctor, you do an MBBS; and you do an engineering course if you want to become an engineer. But to become a teacher, you do any course. At times, when you don’t get anything at all, you simply decide to become a teacher. We need to change that thinking, which is why we have decided to start a four-year integrated B.Ed programme such as BA (B.Ed), BSc. (B.Ed) and B.Com (B.Ed). So only those who want to become teachers join this course. In the new course, they will be taught skills required for the teaching profession. We are doing extensive teacher training programmes for existing teachers.
You had announced earlier this year that the NCERT syllabus will be reduced in the coming one or two years.
We they have received more than 100,000 suggestions from across the country. I hope this year (new academic session) 10-15% of syllabus will be reduced and then next year further reduction can happen. So it is a two- to three-year job.
There was a controversy over the Institutions of Eminence (IoE), especially regarding the greenfield category …
There are three categories under the IoE scheme – government, private and greenfield. Many institutes that are not established have applied with a vision, investment plans.. the empowered committee held their presentations and then recommended them for giving letters of intent. After assessing them in the next three years based on their performance, that they will get IoE status.
It was proposed to create a new body as part of reforming the University Grants Commission. What happened to the scheme?
When UGC was formed, there were only 20 universities, 500 colleges and 200,000 students. So, at that time, UGC worked as a regulator and a funding body. Now there are 900 universities over 40,000 colleges and 38 million students. Now we want to separate the two functions and both will be headed by academicians.
It will be an academic body, as it is currently. But the funding aspect will be done by a separate agency that, too, will be headed by academicians.