Lack of good faculty worries PM

Ten lakh more teachers needed to enforce Right to Education Act, says Manmohan


Manmohan Singh

The prime minister was echoing the apprehension expressed by academics, including a high-level expert committee on revamping of higher education, when he said lack of good teachers had been a problem particularly for the new IITs. Addressing the National Education Day function here to commemorate the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad,  India’s first education minister, Singh said: “We must find ways of attracting the best talent as faculty in our premier institutions.

“Today, we face difficulty in finding top level professors and lecturers in the newly created IITs, IISERs and other such institutions. This state of affairs cannot be allowed to persist and I urge all of you to work to address these problems of deficiency in the quality of teaching in our schools, in our colleges, and in our universities,” Singh said.

The prime minister said the country needed an additional ten lakh teachers to enforce the Right to Education Act, which seeks to provide free and compulsory education in the 6-14 age group.

Quality education

Speaking in the context of imparting quality education through the Right to Education Act, Singh emphasised the necessity of recruiting trained teachers with commitment to the profession.

UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsura, who was also present on the occasion, said India was on track to get most students in schools and achieve Education For All, a target set by all countries as part of the UN Millennium Development Goals to be achieved by 2015.

Outlay hiked

The outlay for higher education has been increased by ten times in the 11th Plan as compared to the previous plan.

The government has launched a new literacy initiative “Saakshar Bharat” to make 70 million people literate with focus on women’s literacy in the next five years.

The government has earmarked Rs 84,000 crore for higher education in the 11th Plan period. A Rs 5,000-crore National Mission on Education through ICT has been launched.
This will provide Internet connectivity to about 20,000 colleges and educational institutions.

Singh also expressed India’s willingness to share with Unesco the e-learning material prepared by the IITs under this Mission.

Access to education

“Improving access to education is not enough. It should be accompanied by efforts to ensure equity and improve quality. Our government stands committed to providing good and quality education to each and every child in our country, especially those who belong to the underprivileged sections of our society,” Singh added.

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