Niti Aayog has pitched for reforms in the education sector like enforcement of minimum teacher standards through rigorous eligibility tests, while advocating that government spending on education should be doubled to at least 6 per cent of GDP by 2022.
At present, allocations to the education sector by the Centre and states remains close to 3 per cent of GDP, while according to the World Bank, the world average is 4.7 per cent.
The government think-tank, in its 'Strategy for New India @ 75' document unveiled Wednesday, recommended that a committee should be set up to develop transparent and rigorous criteria to recognise institutions.
It said the accreditation system developed should ensure the closure of fraudulent or dysfunctional teacher education institutions, besides enforcing minimum teacher standards through rigorous teacher eligibility tests and criteria for the induction of teachers.
"A specially devised aptitude test must be conducted in the IX grade and re-checked in the Xth grade, based on which students should be given the option of choosing a 'regular' track versus an 'advanced' track," the Aayog said.
"These two tracks would differ in the difficulty level and choice of subjects. Those pursuing the 'regular' track should be given the option of completing the 'advanced' track syllabus through open schooling at a later point in life".
It also called for designing of pre-primary and primary syllabus on competency-based continuum. It recommended increasing teacher accountability for learning outcomes of students and addressing the problem of teacher vacancies and absenteeism.
On higher education reforms, it suggested ensuring effective coordination of roles of different higher education regulators, such as the UGC, All India Council for Technical Education and National Council for Teacher Education, and restructuring or merging these where needed.
It called for increase the gross enrolment ratio (GER) in higher education from 25 per cent in 2016-17 to 35 per cent by 2022-23.
The 'Strategy for New India @ 75' document, with an aim to accelerate growth to 8 per cent, has been prepared after extensive consultations with over 800 stake-holders from within the government -- central, state and district levels.
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