Published: 03rd June 2022
Tamil Nadu's State Education Policy: Panel asked to draft tech-driven, job-focused policy in a year
The DMK-led state government aims to make the SEP a comprehensive document that brings educational reforms, ensures accessibility of education to all, and ensures employment
Almost two months after forming an expert committee, headed by retired judge D Murugesan, to formulate the State Education Policy (SEP), the State government has issued terms of reference for the committee, asking it to chalk out a holistic policy within a year keeping in mind the educational needs and future of the youth of Tamil Nadu.
The State government is opposed to the National Education Policy (NEP) framed by the Union government, and aims to counter it through the SEP.
As per the terms of reference issued on Wednesday, June 1, by School Education Department Secretary Kakarla Usha, "The committee should take inputs from educationists and subject experts and suggest reforms aimed at developing modern technology-driven and updated curriculum frameworks for early childhood care and education, school education, college education, teacher (both school and higher education institutions) education, and adult education in an integrated manner in keeping with the fast-changing global education and employment landscape."
The DMK-led state government aims to make the SEP a comprehensive document that brings educational reforms, ensures accessibility of education to all, and ensures employment.
'SEP should be drafted keeping in mind Tamil Nadu roots'
The 13-member panel will have to submit its final report within a year from the date of its constitution after consultation with all stakeholders. While some educationists and activists opined that framing a holistic SEP would be challenging, others felt the panel should bring out the report in phases to counter NEP.
"The SEP should be drafted keeping in mind the roots of Tamil Nadu and requirements of the international job market. We need to prepare our children for the future, and the policy should be a one-stop solution to all education-related problems The NEP is silent on how to ensure education if a pandemic-like situation arises. I hope SEP has an answer to all these issues," said educational consultant D Nedunchezhian.
General Secretary of the State Platform for the Common School System Prince Gajendra Babu said NEP is being aggressively pushed by the Centre, and it would be too late if SEP comes out after a year. "I feel the expert panel should bring out a preliminary report within a few months to restrict implementation of NEP, and subsequently bring out an interim, and a final report," he said.
As per the GO, the panel should also suggest ways to improve access, equity and quality of education by addressing issues related to on-field policy implementation, specifically with regard to learning outcomes and employment-ready skills.
The GO said it should suggest reforms in teacher/assistant professor recruitment and training and ensure their accountability. It will also suggest ways to incorporate life skills, soft skills, creative skills, language skills, and social justice values into education.
The committee has also been asked to recommend a mechanism to ensure all school pass-outs enrol in some stream of higher education such as polytechnic, professional, conventional, or vocational courses. Besides, it also ought to suggest ways to improve the quality of research in Higher Education Institutions (HEI) and tap resources from funding agencies.
The committee is authorised to form a sub-committee at the time of drafting the SEP. As per the GO, the director of matriculation schools is the member secretary of the committee and is authorised to organise meetings as and when needed.