NITI Aayog, the Centre’s public policy think tank, has suggested 11 measures to improve the country’s school education system, especially learning outcomes, for effective implementation of National Education Policy, 2020.
The recommendations, released as part of a report Systemic Transformation of School Education on Tuesday, are based on findings of NITI Aayog’s Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital (SATH-Education) initiative, which was launched in 2017 to identify and build three ‘role model’ states — Jharkhand, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh — for the school education sector.
Officials familiar with the matter said the interventions undertaken by these states under the initiative resulted in an average 20% improvement in the education system in the past few years. The report referred to an instance in which the learning level of 15-25% children in Madhya Pradesh was found to have increased in the two months between baseline and midline (far more than what was seen in the same duration in previous years).
The experiences of these states and learnings from measures taken by four other states, namely Rajasthan, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, has helped NITI Aayog chalk out 11 implementable measures to fix problems in their education system, a senior official said, seeking anonymity.
“It is imperative that we make school education, especially, at the preschool level, more inclusive. In our school-level learning process, no one should be left behind or have disadvantage,” NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar said while addressing a webinar on SATH-E initiative.
The report proposed interventions in five key areas, i.e, focus on academic reforms, strengthening human capacity, strengthening administrative systems, driving accountability and creating a shared vision for change.
While the implementation of the Right to Education Act resulted in providing “near-universal access to education with over 96% enrolment of students in age group 6-10 years”, the report said that learning outcomes did not reflect the improved quality of education.
The report suggested that states prepare a Learning Outcome Framework (LOF) to resolve this issue.
For instance, Haryana has created a unified LOF called Saksham Taalika for classes I to 5 for English, Mathematics and Hindi. Similarly, In Jharkhand, the Learning Tracking Format has been developed to track student-wise learning levels on key competencies for classes 1-8, the report said.
It also suggested the need to simplify the assessment process and the need for learning enhancement programmes.
To bridge the learning gap, remedial measures are essential, but it is not a long-term solution, the report said. “States need to implement remediation in campaign mode for 4-5 years to bring all children to grade-level,” it added.
“The problems in most states are almost similar. These implementation toolkits can be used by state governments to address specific problems. We have given in detail how these measures can be implemented. All the solutions suggested are based on the experience of these seven states (mainly three states part of SATH-E initiative),” an official said on condition of anonymity.