Education in India has seen several positive changes in terms of policy practices. The last few years saw a series of reforms being proposed which have been eulogized for their revolutionary role in this segment. As many as nine bills for reforms in the higher education sector have been proposed. The latest budget of 2012 has increased the spending on education by 18 percent.
With all the reforms and policy documents put in place, now is the time to also look back and mull over the actual implementation and realities.
The focus of the Government to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio, with a major thrust being given to educational institutes, was all in good intention. But the fallout of this has been a series of educational institutes that have sprung up without proper regulatory approval and with students now facing the problem of having to do with a degree which is of no relevance anywhere.
The Right to Education Act completed two years of existence on 1st April 2012, but several issues are still to be addressed. No grievance redressal mechanism has been instituted yet, in order to facilitate smooth operation. Accountability is an aspect that has to be seriously considered here.
Use of ICT in education has gained increased momentum with Government policies that have encouraged the integration of ICTs in schools across India. It is for us to see how the well intentioned policies are going to play out in the coming years. In this issue, we put our focus on technology trends that have strengthened the teaching and learning process and have provided a tool that can be replicated across different sectors. Interactive Whiteboards and interactive solutions are now creating waves in the education sector, with innovative technologies also being a part and parcel of the overall education policies. Technology is sure to act as a leveller in the coming years.
I am also proud to announce the World Education Summit (WES) 2012, which will carry forward the incredible success of the same Summit held in the year 2011. The education platform, this year, will highlight innovations and best practices in the education sector. The Summit will gather together ministers and secretaries of education from across various countries, stakeholders from civil society organisations, educationists, academia, Communities of Practices (CoP), corporate houses, International and national developmental organizations, donor and funding agencies, and decision-makers from the education industry. It will aim at enriching global efforts at inclusive education and at analysing the role of governments in the development and implementation of education policies.
With the able mentoring from Prof S S Mantha, Chairman, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and key participation from United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS); Ministry of Labour and Employment; National Council for Education, Research and Training (NCERT), the WES platform is hinged to become a one of a kind platform that will gather education leaders from across the globe deliberations on issues that are pertinent to the education community.
I invite all to join in this platform and be a part of the resurgence in the education sector.