Ratnakar for integration of pre-primary, primary education

Ratnakar for integration of  pre-primary, primary education

Pre-primary and primary education in the State is presently looked after by two separate government departments.

However, Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Kimmane Ratnakar  wants to change all this by bringing in a system whereby the two could function in an integrated manner.

Speaking at the State-level consultation for the New Education Policy (NEP) here on Saturday, Ratnakar said: “While the Department of Women and Child Development is currently in charge of the anganwadis, the Education department runs schools. Integrating the two may help us to be competitive and reduce the threat of privatisation,” he said.

 Further, Ratnakar also made a suggestion on extending compulsory education for children from class one to class 8, presently ensured under the the Right to Free and Compulsory (RTE) Act, to the class 10 and even class 12.

Consultations on the NEP are being conducted at the gram panchayat, taluk and district levels on various themes on school and higher education for the formulation of the new policy. The first NEP was formulated in 1968 and the second in 1984 which was later modified in 1992. 

A number of Education department officials, educators, academicians and civil society groups and representatives were also present at the consultation.

 While supporting the plan of bringing pre-primary and primary education under one department, V P Niranjan Aradhaya, fellow at the Centre for Child and Law, National Law School of India University, however, said that there was no need for a policy to extend compulsory education from the primary level to the secondary level: “Bringing pre-primary and primary education under one head will definitely help the government against privatisation.

 Once parents admit their children to pre-primary schools they would like for them to continue it till the primary level and beyond. Section 11 of the RTE Act enables the government to  provide for pre-school education. As far as extending compulsory education to secondary level, I argued with the minister that a policy is not needed for this. Provisions are there within the Act itself and an amendment to it will suffice.” 

On the higher education front, B. Thimme Gowda, Vice-Chancellor, Bangalore University, batted for bringing a common syllabus across universities in the State to ensure uniformity.  Several vice-chancellors attended the consultation.

Kimmane Ratnakar , Minister for Primary and Secondary Education : While the Department of Women and Child Development is currently in charge of the anganwadis, the Education department runs schools. Integrating the two may help us to be competitive and reduce the threat of privatisation

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