Implementing NEP: Govt forms panel to restructure school education

The Indian Express | 2 weeks ago | 17-01-2023 | 03:45 am

Implementing NEP: Govt forms panel to restructure school education

Maharashtra government has formed an inter-departmental committee for implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP), which will draw up the roadmap for converting the existing structure of school education from 10+2 to 5+3+3+4 under which for the first time, three years of pre-primary will be brought under the formal education system.Representatives from different departments such as school education, women and child development, social welfare, tribal development and skill development, among others, will work together in the inter-departmental committee. The school education department issued a Government Resolution (GR) in this regard on Monday.In the new structure, as per the GR, the first five years will include three years of pre-primary, Class I and II. While the focus will be to enable children of these classes to read and write, an innovative ‘Happiness Curriculum’ will be developed for these classes with the help of local games and languages. Thereafter, for Class III to V, activity-based interactive curriculum will be developed for students’ intellectual growth. The three years after that, Class VI to VIII, will focus on application-based practical knowledge, including skill-oriented courses.In Class IX to XII, the final four years of school education, students will get a chance to learn subjects of their choice from a pool of 40 subjects. While the importance of board exams will be diluted, the practice of asking students to choose a stream for Class XI and XII will be removed by offering a multidisciplinary approach.As the curriculum will be designed to focus more on holistic development than on marks, the evaluation practice too will evolve with a multidimensional approach, which will include self as well as peer assessment. An overall assessment will include cognitive, functional, emotional and social development of a student along with academic evaluation.Talking about the need for an inter-department committee, an official from the school education department said, “The women and child development department is currently looking after ‘Anganwadi’ and ‘Balwadi’, which are pre-school classes for government schools, currently starting from Class I. The social justice and special assistance department and tribal development department run ‘Ashramshalas’ as well as government hostels for students. In order to implement the NEP effectively, integration is required in all these departments, which calls for the inter-departmental committee…”The committee, which will be headed by the principal secretary of the school education department, will comprise commissioners from all other departments along with a few directors from the school education department.

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Times of India | 1 day ago | 31-01-2023 | 04:43 am
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MUMBAI: With increasing focus on research, enrolment in PhD courses in Maharashtra has more than doubled (109%)in the last five years. Nationally, the number has grown by 50% in the same period, shows data from the All-India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE) 2020-21 report, released in New Delhi on Monday.Enrolment in postgraduate courses in the state has seen a decent growth of 30%, with girls outnumbering boys significantly. More than half the students pursuing their master's programmes are girls in Maharashtra. In undergraduate courses, which involve the maximum number of students, enrolment has gone up by less than 10% in five years.The figures contradict the general perception that enrolment across courses dropped in the first pandemic year of 2020-21. Both national and state data from the report paint a completely different picture.‘Better results followed online exams, boosted enrolment’Even as the All-India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE) 2020-21 report showed more enrolment in the first year of the pandemic in 2020-21, S Mali, former vicechancellor of North Maharashtra University, said the pandemic impacted the assessment process across universities and more students may have cleared exams. “There was no significant impact on enrolments,” he said. A state government official said as more students cleared the class XII exams, enrolment may have gone up in the undergraduate courses. Online exams could have boosted scores at undergraduate level as well, leading to an increase in postgraduate enrolment at some places, said a principal. Maharashtra has the second highest enrolment numbers in higher education, after Uttar Pradesh. Compared to 2016-17, students pursuing PhD went up by 109% in the state in 2020-21. The official said PhD has become important in recruitment of faculty members, for career advancement schemes and other incentives. “Many teachers have realised it and are completing their degrees. The state government is also emphasising on having qualified teachers in colleges for sponsored schemes,” said the official. PhD enrolment went up by 31% in the pandemic year (from 2019-20 to 2020-21), showed the AISHE report; nationally, it was up less than 5%. In Maharashtra, research centres in autonomous colleges would have largely contributed to the drastic increase in numbers, said a vice-chancellor. Mumbai University has the highest numbers of autonomous colleges in the state. Over the last few years, an increasing number of girls in the state are pursuing postgraduate courses. In 2016-17, a thousand more boys were in PG courses compared to girls. Then the numbers started tilting, with over 75,000 more girls enrolled in PG programmes in 2020-21. “This increase is possible because of the rural regions in the state,” said Mali, who was also on the state’s committee to draft the statutes of the Maharashtra Public Universities Act of 2016. “In rural regions, we have seen an increase in the number of colleges, better transportation and more hostel facilities. All these could have boosted the numbers of girl students pursuing higher studies. It is a big plus for them,” he said. In Shivaji University, Kolhapur, Mali said, he has seen girls comprising 70-80% of the total admissions in some departments. More coverage of institutions under AISHE could be another reason for the rise in numbers, he added. Though the state has done better in both postgraduate and PhD education, the numbers in undergraduate education has not seen a significant growth. Nationally, enrolment rose by 15% in undergraduate programmes, as opposed to the state’s 9%. Speaking about the increase in enrolment numbers in 2020-21, an official from the Centre’s higher education department said it showed students continued with their education online despite the uncertainty. “There is a possibility the vulnerable sections of society in some states may have taken a hit, but better enrolment in other regions may have compensated. Positive initiatives in some states for better coverage of AISHE may have helped in the increase in enrolment. Government scholarships also largely covered the vulnerable section, who were financially hit in the pandemic,” said the official.

PhD enrolments in Maharashtra grow 109% in 5 years: Report