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Why in news?

The Finance minister announced a slew of measures for the education sector as a part of the ~20 lakh crore economic package.

The key principles behind the education sector reforms are equity and access for students.

Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER)

  • Of the total population in the age group of 18-23, which is around 150 million, only 26.3% (37 million) are enrolled in the education system in India.
  • China and India had the Same Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in 1990s, and Now, China’s GER has increased to 48%.
  • Hence, we need a paradigm shift in the manner of in which youth can access the education system.

Equal Learning Opportunities

  • In a diverse country like India, we need to look at how to provide equal opportunities for learning so that a student in a rural setting gets the same education material as that of a student in an urban one.
  • India has 504 million active Internet users, riding on the success of Digital India, the ministry of human resource development (MHRD) has launched a comprehensive initiative called PM e-Vidya which unifies all efforts related to digital/online/on-air education for further expansion of e-learning in higher education.,
  • Digital learning through the PM e- Vidya and Open Distance Learning (ODL) in higher education will create equal access to teachers in integrating technology into their curriculum for students of varied geographies and backgrounds.

Aiming Key Changes

The policy’s vision includes the following key changes to the current system:

  1. Moving towards a higher educational system consisting of large, multidisciplinary universities and colleges, with at least one university or college in or near every district.
  2. Building of free boarding facilities in the form of hostels.
  3. Revamping curriculum, pedagogy, assessment, and student support for enhanced student experiences across schools and higher education.
  4. Strengthening of open schooling.
  5. Substantial increase in scholarships at private/philanthropic universities for disadvantaged and underprivileged students.
  6. Creation of a gender-inclusion fund.
  7. Creating a cohort of highly motivated and rigorously trained teachers for all learners.

Click Here to read more about the e-VIDYA scheme (3rd Article)

-Source: Hindustan Times

December 2023