Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Indian Educational Reforms

It all started with the assignment of the HRD portfolio to Mr.Kapil Sibal. In a couple of months of assuming his post he created a national debate on need of educational reforms and his view of the reforms. Based on his vision CBSE is abolishing the Standard 10th board exam from 2011.

Under the new scheme a grading system will be introduced starting this year and then the students who will appear for the 2010 Standard 10th board exam will be graded based on continuous and constant evaluation from the schools. Though nobody knows what is the meaning of continuous and constant evaluation!

If the students wish to leave one school and join another then it will become compulsory for the student to appear for the online/off-line exam to be held more than once a year for the students. The students will also be able to appear for the exam multiple times to improve the grades. Will this turn out to be a boon or a curse for the students, parents and teachers?

In the documentary 2 Million Minutes researchers from USA surveyed students in India, China and USA. They found that the Indian and Chinese students have the advantage over their American counterparts and they applaud the Indian Education for preparing the students for the 21st century especially our 10th board examination pattern which they explain in their article in details. Although we need to understand that there is a lot of pressure on the students due to this board exam pattern and should welcome a change. The entire change should be well balanced and should be based on a logical thought process based on India's position in the 21st century.

Also according to the new law Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2008, there will be a 25% reservation in the private and unaided schools for the children from the weaker sections of the society and economically disadvantaged groups. This has also raised a debate in the country on various fronts about how will these groups of children adjust with the elite group of children in the schools. Also there will be a burden on the school based on the fee structures for these poorer children.

The bottom line is that with the advent of educated ministers managing various portfolios in our country we are looking forward to debates which are required if India needs to maintain its position especially in the area of education in the 21st century. I think even if we make the changes which are not right for us at the moment this revolution will help us as a country towards developing a vision for our children in the future. As Albert Einstein once truly said:
"The only person who never made a mistake never tried anything new".

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