New Delhi: From academic session 2017-2018, specific benchmarks related to learning levels of students from class I to VIII will be included in the rules and implemented, Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday said.
"By March, we will finalise the Learning Outcomes for all classes from I to VIII. From the academic session 2017-18, these learning outcomes will be implemented because they will be included in the rules and become mandatory," he said.
Javadekar said the quality of education, especially at primary levels, was an area of concern and the government was paying special attention to it. He said while the Right to Education is in existence and there is a mention of Learning Outcomes but they had not been defined.
A major gap in the education system will be filled, he added. "We have done a lot of work on what should be the learning benchmarks and the learning outcomes are ready. We as a democratic practice have sought suggestions from the public," he added.
The Learning Outcomes define the level of learning which a student is expected to have when he or she is in a particular class. Javadekar also said his ministry was paying special attention to the training of teachers and the lack of quality in this regard to conduct BEd etc will not be tolerated.
He said as teaching is the main job of a teacher, aspiring teachers would take classes in government schools and they will evaluated by not just the supervising teachers but also on basis of feedback by the students being taught.
"This is a major change we are going to usher in," Javadekar said. He said the 'No Detention Policy' will be amended as many states complained that because of the policy, according to which no student should be failed till class VIII, has turned schools into just mid-day meal schools with no accountability and education, he said.
Javadekar said exams will be held in classes V and VIII and those who fail in March examination will get a chance in June and after that it will be left to the states whether to fail the students or not.
"The Bill is ready and I'm hopeful that it will be introduced in this Parliament session," Javadekar said. He said another key decision taken is that there will be class X board exams for all Central Board of Secondary Education students who were earlier given the option to appear for the examination or not.
The minister stressed that the move to introduce compulsory class X exams for CBSE students had met with widespread approval.
Javadekar said the government has planned several other measures to raise the standard of learning at the primary level and was moving ahead with a plan. He said the government was also planning to work on service training of teachers and wants that university and colleges should be included. He said he also wants to include a culture of mentoring in various institutions.
"A lot needs to be done but it is not that nothing is being done," Javadekar said as he listed the work undertaken by the government.
Meanwhile, officials said the HRD Ministry is considering having a single entrance examination for B Ed. This may be a screening process, sources said, adding that the states may still have their entrance mechanisms in place. He was speaking at the launch of a 'Shagun' portal launched by the HRD ministry which ShaGun a web portal (from the words Shaala and Gunvatta) would be a repository of best practices in education.