Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, on Monday, advocated for improving the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education while delivering his speech at the 54th annual convocation of Bangalore University.
Naidu began his speech in Kannada and congratulated all the toppers and gold medal winners for “graduating from the Bangalore University which has a reputation for excellence”.
Thereafter, Naidu cited the report of National Knowledge Commission which states that India’s gross enrollment ratio in higher education stands at 27% as compared with 85.8% of the US and 43.4% of China. He mentioned that the figures were a telling indicator of our underutilized potential in higher education. He further stressed on improving MOOCs, distance education, etc.
Underlining the importance of higher education in a democracy like India, Naidu said, “Higher education is instrumental in building up a knowledgeable citizenry which possesses critical consciousness, the most vital requirement of a democratic nation”.
“The digital revolution must make possible the wider accessibility of higher education for all and greater emphasis has to be accorded to a skill-based education by incorporating a three-pronged strategy of ‘skill, reskill and unskill’ as well as ‘learn, relearn and unlearn’,” he explained.
Further, he recommended how the system of higher education must work towards preparing the youth to be competent enough to serve the current techno-capitalist world system and its knowledge economy.
To realize it in real sense, he mentioned how affordability and accessibility of higher education to all, would come across as the foremost challenge. “Access parity is at stake due to commercialization of education and commoditization of #knowledge,” he added.
He concluded maintaining that it is highly significant to keep the principles of social equity and gender as the topmost concern when dealing with higher education segment.