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Higher Education Essay

The report is based on information and impressions which the delegation obtained during the study tour. Information was also gathered from sources such as the websites of the organisations and institutions visited and from agencies including the National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition (NOOSR) in Australia, World Education Services (WES) in the USA, IAU and UNESCO/IAU among others. At several places in the text, sources have been specifically mentioned. An additional list of sources can be found in the appendices. 3 The report describes the system of education in India and the quality assurance system.

Chapter 1 introduces the administration of the school system and the organisation of primary, secondary and higher secondary education, while Chapter 2 provides information about technical and vocational education. Chapter 3 outlines the system of higher education by reviewing the institutional structure with a discussion of both public and private education. Information on degree structure and grading systems is included, as well as examples of some bachelor degree programmes. In Chapter 4, teacher training at higher secondary level and at university level is described.

Chapter 5 presents India’s response to globalisation in the higher education sector. The last chapter deals with the quality assurance work in education, both at secondary and higher level. Impressions and reflections about the education system and how it functions are incorporated into the report in frames where appropriate. Country Profile India is one of the world’s oldest civilisations, dating back to 2,500 B. C. Aryan tribes from the northwest invaded the country in about 1,500 B. C. ; their merger with the earlier Dravidian inhabitants created the classical Indian culture.

Arab incursion starting in the eighth century and Turkish in the twelfth century were followed by those of European traders, beginning in the late fifteenth century. By the nineteenth century, Great Britain had assumed political control of virtually all Indian lands. Mohandas Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru helped end British colonialism through non-violent resistance. India achieved independence in 1947. The Republic of India was established in 1947 and comprises 32 states and Union Territories, the latter controlled by the central government. The country covers about 3.

3 million square kilometres with a population of 1. 029 billion and dominates southern Asia. It is slightly larger than one-third the size of the United States. India is home to 17% of the world’s total population, accommodated in an area that is 2. 4% of the world’s total area. India has the world’s twelfth largest economy and the third largest in Asia behind Japan and China, with a total GDP of around $570 billion. Services, industry and agriculture account for 50. 7%, 26. 6% and 22. 7% of GDP respectively. The United States is India’s largest trading partner. Bilateral trade in 2003 was $18. 1 billion.

There are some 16 official major languages and 844 dialects. Among these languages, English enjoys associate status, but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication. Hindi is the national language and primary tongue of 30% of the people. The other official languages are Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, and Sanskrit. Hindustani is a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu spoken widely throughout northern India but is not an official language. Hinduism (80. 5%), Islam (13. 4%), Christianity (2.3%), Sikh (1. 9%) are the major religions in the country.

The literacy rate is 52% (of the total population of age 15 or older). 4 Chapter 1 General Education Administration of Education The central and the state governments have joint responsibility for education, with freedom for the state governments to organise education within the national framework of education. Educational policy planning is under the overall charge of the central Ministry of Human Resource Development which includes the Department of Elementary Education and Literacy and the Department of Secondary and Higher Education.

The Ministry is guided by the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) which is the national level advisory body. The education ministers of all the different states are members of the board. The National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) (1961) defines the National Frame Curriculum for classes I – XII. It also functions as a resource centre in the field of school development and teacher education. State Councils of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) are the principal research and development institutions in all the states.

At secondary level, school boards at state level affiliate schools and set examination standards in accordance with the national framework. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) cover all India besides the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS). National Policy on General Education Under the national constitution, education was a state matter until 1976. The central government could only provide guidance to the states on policy issues. In 1976 the constitution was amended to include education on the concurrent list.

The initial attempts of designing a National Education Policy were made in 1968 but it was only in 1986 that India as a whole had a uniform National Policy on Education. The National Policy on Education 1986, modified in 1992, defines the major goals for elementary education as universal access and enrolment, universal retention of children up to 14 years and substantial improvement in the quality of education. The National Policy of Education of 1992 also aims at vocationalisation of secondary education and greater use of educational technology.

The policy has been accompanied by several programmes such as the District Primary Education Program (DPEP) launched in 1994 and the National Campaign for Education for All (Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan) launched in 2001/2. A proposed bill on the right to education (draft, November 2005) stresses the right of all children from age 6 until their 15th birthday to receive elementary education either in school or non-formal education (NFE). The Indian government is preparing the universalisation of secondary education (USE).

The main aim is to provide high quality secondary education to all Indian adolescents up to the age of 16 by 2015, and senior secondary education up to the age of 18 by 2020. 5 Crucial problems in India are teacher absenteeism, noted by UNESCO in 2005; high teacherpupil ratios; and inadequate teaching materials and facilities, particularly in rural areas. At the other end of the scale, children attending urban schools, especially middle and upper class children in private schools, are subjected to extreme competition from a very early age in order to qualify for admission into the best schools.

In 1979-80, the Government of India, Department of Education launched a programme of Non-Formal Education (NFE) for children of 6-14 years age group, who cannot join regular schools – drop-outs, working children, children from areas without easy access to schools etc. The initial focus of the scheme was on ten educationally backward states. Later, it was extended to urban slums, and hilly, tribal and desert areas in other states. Source: – UNESCO: India, updated August 2003 and Annual Report 2004/5, Ministry of Human Resource Development, India (overview).

– Newsletter, October-December 2005, International Institute for Educational Planning, UNESCO. Learning without Burden, NCERT, 1993, reprinted 2004. – Annual report 2004/5, Ministry of Human Resource Development, India (annexes). School Education A uniform structure of school education, the 10+2 system, has been adopted by all the states and Union Territories (UTs) of India following the National Policy on Education of 1986. Elementary school, Class I – VIII, is recognised as the period of compulsory schooling, with the Constitutional amendment making education a fundamental right.

A majority of the states and Union Territories (UTs) have introduced free education in classesI-XII. In states/UTs where education is not free for classes IX and above, the annual fee varies considerably. The pre-school covers two to three years. The elementary stage consists of a primary stage comprising Classes I-V (in some states I-IV), followed by a middle stage of education comprising Classes VI -VIII (in some states V-VIII or VI -VII). The minimum age for admission to Class I of the primary school is generally 5+ or 6+.

The secondary stage consists of Classes IX-X (in some states VIII-X), and a senior secondary stage of schooling comprising classes XI-XII in all states. In some states/UTs these classes are attached to universities/colleges. The number of working days of school education in a year is generally more than 200 days in all the states/UTs. Participation in primary and secondary education The Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER), which indicates the number of children actually enrolled in elementary schools as a proportion of child population in the 6-14 years age group, has increased progressively since 1950-51, rising from 32.

1% to 82. 5% in 2002-03, according to statistics published by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in India. The rate of increase in GER of girls has been higher than that of boys. The dropout rate at the primary level (Classes I-V) declined from 39% in 2001-02 to 34. 9% in 2002-03. However the GER only covers 61% of children from classes VI to VIII. 6 In 2002/3 the dropout rate was estimated at 34. 9% at the end of lower primary classes and 52. 8% at the end of upper primary. The dropout rate was 62. 6% at the end of secondary school (Class X).

There are wide disparities among the different states in the number of children completing primary and secondary school from less than 20% to more than 80%, according to the central statistics from the Ministry of Human Resource Development. Source – Selected Educational Statistics 2002-03. Provisional. Ministry of Human Resource Development, India – Annual Report 2004/5. Ministry of Human Resource Development, India – Secondary Education. Department of Secondary and Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development, India (information on the Department’s website) National Curricula.

The National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) formulated the first Curriculum Framework in 1975 as a recommendation to the individual states. NCERT was accorded the responsibility of developing a binding National Curriculum Framework through the National Policy on Education (NPE) (1986). NCERT reviews the curriculum every five years on the basis of consultations within the whole school sector. The core areas of the curriculum are common. Teaching of English is usually compulsory in classes VI-X in most of the states/UTs. NCERT published a New National Curriculum framework in 2005.

The New National Curriculum will be introduced in textbooks in three phases: Phase one, 2006-07: classes I, III, VI, IX and XI. Phase two, 2007-08: classes II, IV, VII, X and XII Phase three, 2008-09: classes V and VIII NCERT has gradually been changing the curriculum from traditional information provision to be more learner-oriented and competence-based. National Curriculum Framework 2000 The National Curriculum Framework 2000 operates with the concept of the Minimum Levels of Learning (MLLs) identifying certain essential levels of learning for each stage of school education.

Pre-primary education The National Policy on Education defines the objective of early childhood care and education (ECCE) as being the total development of children in the age group 0-6 years. Early Childhood Education (ECE) or pre-primary education (2 years), part of the ECCE, shall prepare children for school. Teaching at this stage, according to the National Curriculum Framework, comprises group activities, play–way techniques, language games, number games and activities directed at promoting socialisation and environmental awareness among children. Formal teaching of subjects and reading and writing are prohibited.

However, NCERT strongly criticised the actual pre-school programmes for exposing children to structured formal learning, often in 7 English with tests and homework, in the introductory notes to the new National Curriculum Framework 2005. The competition for the best education starts at a very early age. Newspapers from September 2005 in India report of tremendous pressure on three-year old children being prepared by their parents for nursery interviews and competing with a huge number of other children for places in the most prestigious private pre-schools.

The newspapers report on private persons/institutes that offer help to parents in preparing their children for nursery interviews. Other newspapers report the need for psychological support for children having developed speaking difficulties after having been exposed to onerous preparation by their parents for nursery interviews. Primary education At the primary stage, emphasis is on the process of understanding, thinking and internalising. The National Curriculum contains the following subjects: Subject Language(s) Lower primary Classes I-II The mother tongue/regional language.

Lower primary Classes III-V The mother tongue/regional language Upper primary Classes VI-VIII Three Languages — the mother tongue/the regional language, a modern Indian language and English All kind of creative activities including the child’s own creations Essentials of mathematics for every day activities, including geometry – Art education Mathematics Art of healthy and productive living Woven around the world of the learner Creative education, health and physical education, work education, value inculcation Integrated approach Environmental studies – Health and physical education

– Science and technology Social sciences – Work education – Integrated approach to music, dance, drama, drawing and painting, puppetry, health and physical education, games and sports, yoga and productive work Experiences to help socio- emotional and cultural development with a realistic awareness and perception of phenomena occurring in the environment Games and sports, yoga, NCC and scouting and guiding Key concepts across all the disciplines of science, local and global concerns Social, political and economic situation of India and the world, including Indian cultural heritage.

Academic skills social skills and civic competencies Agricultural and technological processes including participation in work situation Source: National Curriculum Framework 2000 8 In all language education programmes, the stress is placed on the ability to use the language in speech and in writing for academic purposes, at the workplace and in society in general. The duration of a class period may be around 40 minutes and, according to NCERT, the school year should be a minimum of 180 days, and “…A primary school should function for five hours a day out of which four hours may be set aside for instruction.

For the upper primary and secondary schools, the duration of a school day should be six hours out of which five hours should be kept for instruction and the rest for the other routine activities. ” Secondary education (2 years, grades IX-X) In grades IX-X the scheme of studies should include the following subjects: three languages (the mother tongue/the regional language, a modern Indian language and English), mathematics, science and technology, social sciences, work education, art education, health and physical education.

Foreign languages such as Chinese, Japanese, Russian, French, German, Arabic, Persian and Spanish may be offered as additional options. The curriculum in mathematics should take into account both the learning requirement of learners who will leave school for working life, and of students who will pursue higher education.

According to the NECRT Secondary School Curriculum 2002-2004 (Vol.1, Main Subjects) the suggested number of weekly periods per subject in grade X is as follows: Subject Language I Language II Mathematics Science and technology Social science Work education or pre-vocational education Art education Suggested number of periods in grade X 7 6 7 9 9 3 + 2 to 6 periods outside school hours 2 The boards, however, according to NCERT, often offer limited or no optional courses: two languages (one of which is English), mathematics, science and social sciences are the typical examination subjects.

A few boards encourage students to choose an optional course from a range that includes economics, music and cookery. Higher secondary/Senior secondary education (2 years, grades XI–XII) The curriculum at this stage is divided into an academic stream and a vocational stream. Academic stream The objectives of academic courses are to promote problem-solving abilities and convey higher levels of knowledge. The curriculum at this stage comprises foundation courses and elective courses. Foundation courses consist of (i) language and literature, (ii) work education, and (iii) health and physical education, games and sports.

The study of language prepares a student to both learn and use language in the classroom, the community and the workplace. The choice of the language to be studied is decided by the learner. Work education includes e. g. developmental projects in a village or city. Generic Vocational Courses (GVC) aim at developing employment-related generic skills regardless of the persons’ occupations. The student should choose three elective courses out of the subjects 9 prescribed by the boards. Elective courses may include bridging courses between the academic and vocational streams.

The list of courses may include modern Indian languages, Sanskrit, classical European languages and their literatures, English (academic and specialised), other foreign languages, subjects in the sciences and mathematics, computer science, accountancy, business studies, engineering, political science, history, sociology, psychology, philosophy, fine arts and others. NCERT prescribes that courses should be listed together without dividing them into mutually exclusive groups. Nonetheless, several boards restrict the combinations in the form of a ‘science stream’, ‘arts stream’ and ‘commerce stream’.

Some schools tailor their classes to medical and engineering courses. Universities restrict admissions based on the subjects and combinations of courses studied in the +2 stage. Sixty percent of the instructional time is devoted to the instruction of elective subjects and forty percent to the foundation course. Vocational stream The introduction of the vocational stream was recommended by the central Kothari Commission (1964-66). The National Policy on Education, 1986 (revised 1992) set a target of twenty-five percent of higher secondary students in vocational courses by 1995.

So far, enrolment is far below this. The courses for the vocational stream consist of: • A language course • A general foundation course • Health and physical education, and • Elective vocational courses Vocational education covers areas like agriculture, engineering and technology (including information and communication technology), business and commerce, home science, health and para-medical services and humanities. Language courses are organised to cover the grammatical structures and additional vocabulary particular to the trade or vocation.

The general foundation course for the vocational stream comprises general studies, entrepreneurship development, environmental education, rural development and information and communication technology. Vocational electives are organised according to employment opportunities. Practical training is an essential component of the vocational courses, according to the National Curriculum Framework, with seventy percent of time devoted to vocational courses. The certificate issued should mention the competencies acquired and the credits earned. Organisation The organisation of teaching is based either on an annual or semester system.

In most cases, a year’s course is divided into two parts to be covered in the two halves of an academic session in the annual system. Marks are accorded to a certain number of periods; the total mark is an average of marks accorded to the different parts of curriculum in an annual or semestrial examination (e. g. a paper corresponding to a 3-hour written examination). 10 The example below copied from the Senior School Curriculum 2007 (Central Board of Secondary Education) illustrates a typical curriculum (in history) and the maximum marks accorded to the different parts of the curriculum.

History/Class XI Paper One Unit Part A – Ancient India 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. ……. 30. Total Introduction Paleolithic Cultures and Beginning of settled Life Harappan Civilization The Early Vedic Period Later Vedic Phase and Iron Age South and North-East India Religious traditions Mahajanapada Mauryas Society, Economy and Culture during Mauryan period Post-Mauryan India The age of India from Guptas and after The Society and Culture in the age of Guptas and Harsha … Project Work 100 marks 8 4 8 8 5 2 10 4 10 6 6 8 8 … …. 5 8 9 5 2 7 7 Time: 3 Hours Periods 100 Marks Marks.

In the semester system, recommended by NCERT, students take a number of credit hours corresponding to their requirements and capacity, and at their own pace. However, only a few institutions have adopted the semester and credit system. National Curriculum Framework 2005 The National Curriculum Framework 2005 points out the need for plurality and flexibility within education while maintaining the standards of education in order to cover a growing variety of children. The Framework recommends that learning shifts away from rote methods and that the curriculum reduces and updates textbooks.

Peace education is included as a dimension in education. The new curriculum proposes a broader spectrum of optional subjects, including the revalorisation of vocational options. Courses may be designed to offer optional modules, rather than trying to cover everything and overfilling courses too much. The National Curriculum Framework 2005 also proposes changes within the examination system (examinations for classes X and XII) allowing reasoning and creative abilities to replace memorisation. The children should be able to opt for different levels of attainment. Textbooks 11

Most states have legislated to create bodies for the preparation of syllabi and textbooks. The states have established various mechanisms for the preparation and approval of textual materials. However, a study in 2005, undertaken by the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE), of textbooks used in government schools (not following the CBSE syllabus) and in nongovernment schools (including social and religious schools) showed that many textbooks reinforce inequalities and neglect rural, tribal or female realities. According to NCERT’ Newsletter, in 2005, CABE proposed the institution of a National Textbook Council to monitor textbooks.

Source: – National Curriculum Framework 2000, National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT), India – National Curriculum Framework 2005, National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT), India – Newsletter July 2005, National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT), India – Senior School Curriculum 2007, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), India, 2005 Examination and Assessment In all the states and Union Territories, public examinations are conducted at the end of classes X and XII by the respective State Boards of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education.

Ministry of Human Resource Development has published a list of recognised state boards for secondary and higher secondary education. The minimum age for admittance to the Secondary School Examination generally varies from 14+ to 16+. The minimum age for Higher Secondary School Examinations varies from 16+ to 18+ years. Some states/UTs do not have an age restriction. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), established by a special resolution of the Government of India in 1929, prescribes examination conditions and the conduct of public examinations at the end of Standard X and XII.

The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), Delhi, was established in 1958 by the University of Cambridge, Local Examinations Syndicate as a self-financing national examination board. The Council conducts the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (Standard X) and the Indian School Certificate (Standard XII) examinations. CISCE affiliates schools using English as a medium of instruction. The title of the final qualification varies depending upon the examining body. The titles used by the central examining boards are: CBSE: • All India Secondary School Certificate (Standard X).

• All India Senior School Certificate (Standard XII). 12 CISCE: • Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE Standard X). • Indian School Certificate (ISC Standard XII). • Certificate of Vocational Education (CVE XII). Information from the procedure of the All India Senior School Certificate (Standard XII) (extract): The Board conducts examination in all subjects except General Studies, Work Experience, Physical and Health Education, which will be assessed internally by the schools based on cumulative records of students periodical achievements and progress during the year.

In all subjects examined by the Board, a student will be given one paper each carrying 100 marks for 3 hours. However, in subjects requiring practical examination, there will be a theory paper and a practical examination as required in the syllabi and courses. A candidate may offer an additional subject that can be either a language at elective level or another elective subject as prescribed in the Scheme of Studies, subject to the conditions laid down in the Pass Criteria. A candidate will get the Pass Certificate of the Board, if he/she gets a grade higher than E in all subjects of internal assessment unless he/she is exempted.

Failing this, result of the external examination will be withheld but not for a period of more than one year. In order to be declared as having passed the examination, a candidate shall obtain a grade higher than E (i. e. at least 33% marks) in all the five subjects of external examination in the main or at the compartmental examinations. The pass marks in each subject of external examination shall be 33%. In case of a subject involving practical work a candidate must obtain 33% marks in theory and 33% marks in practical separately in addition to 33% marks in aggregate in order to qualify in that subject.

A candidate failing in two of the five subjects of external examination shall be placed in compartment in those subjects provided he/she qualifies in all the subjects of internal assessment. A candidate who has failed in the examination in the first attempt shall be required, to re-appear in all the subjects at the subsequent annual examination of the Board. A candidate who has passed the Senior School Certificate Examination of the Board may offer an additional subject as a private candidate provided the additional subject is provided in the Scheme of Studies and is offered within six years of passing the examination of the Board.

A candidate who has passed an examination of the Board may reappear for improvement of performance in one or more subject(s) in the main examination in the succeeding year only; however, a candidate who has passed an examination of the Board under Vocational Scheme may reappear for improvement of performance in one or more subject{s) in the main examination in the succeeding year or in the following year provided he/she has not pursued higher studies in the mean time. He /she will appear as private candidate.

Candidates who appear for improvement of performance will be issued only Statement of Marks reflecting the marks of the main examination as well as those of the improvement examination. Central Board of Secondary Education Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is one of the three national boards of secondary education in India. CBSE has affiliated around 8,300 schools including government and independent 13 schools. It also affiliates schools in some 20 African and Asian countries. About 200 new schools are affiliated each year. Study teams conduct regular inspections of the affiliated institutions.

CBSE has a central office and 6 regional offices. Permanent affiliation is obtained after a number of years. Affiliation is granted according to strict criteria. A list of affiliated schools can be found on CBSE’ s website: http://www. cbse. nic. in. The major objective is to prescribe conditions of examinations and conduct public examinations at the end of Classes X and XII and to grant certificates to successful candidates of the affiliated schools. All affiliated schools follow the national scheme of 10+2. Here is an example of testimonial for All India Senior School Certificate Examination from 2000:

CBSE is regulated but not financed by the central government. Financing is assured by fees from the affiliated schools. CBSE accepts private candidates. CBSE develops its curriculum on the basis of the national curriculum framework. The curriculum is revised every 5 to 10 years. Two of the front line curriculum subjects are revised every year. According to CBSE, it strives notably to adapt current teaching methods and content of teaching to an innovative and creative society in the form of subjects such as functional English, bio-technology, entrepreneurship, life skills education, and disaster management.

An important objective is the destressing of education, including no homework or examinations in grades I and II and only achievement reports in grades III-V. Information technology is compulsory in grades IX +X. Language studies include a possible 27 different languages besides Hindi and English. One teacher may teach four subjects up to grade X. The board uses the term learner (for student) with emphasis on the learner’s role in learning. Two subjects undergo a performance analysis (marks, questions, learning) each year to cope with poor performance.

14 Examination is monitored and organised to avoid fraud. CBSE issues duplicates of certificates under certain conditions. CBSE also organises in-service training of teachers and special programmes for new principals. Grading Both Standard X and XII are normally marked on a percentage basis. The minimum passmark varies depending upon the subject. According to the UK NARIC, the following marking scheme is used in most states for the Standard XII examinations, in comparison with that used by the central boards.

Performance CBSE assessment 85%+, 80-85%, 70- Excellent, Superior, Very A1-A2, B1 80% good 60% – 70% Good B2 50% – 60% Satisfactory C1 40% – 50% Average C2 35% – 40% Pass D Percentages Source: India, International Comparisons, UK NARIC CISCE One, two, three Four Five Six seven Documents The pass-document is issued by the relevant Board of Secondary Education. It shows the type of programme (academic or vocational), the subjects passed and the marks obtained out of total marks as well as the aggregate marks, percentage obtained, and result as well as the overall grade/division.

National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) National Institute of Open Schooling (previously known as the National Open School) was established in November 1989 as an autonomous registered society. The institute provides basic programs such as secondary education courses and senior secondary education courses on an open education basis. NIOS conducts examinations twice a year and candidates can appear in one, two or more subjects. Credits are accumulated until the certification criteria are fulfilled. NIOS has at its disposal a network of accredited study centres all over India providing support to learners.

Source – India, International Comparisons, UK NARIC (Website) – Secondary Education. Department of Secondary and Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development, India (information on the Department’s website) 15 Islamic Education India also has a system of Islamic education. Several different sects have their own schools where they teach Islamic subjects and Arabic to mainly (but not only) Muslim children.


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