Thursday, 2 June 2011

National Policy on Education, 1968

1.     Education has always been accorded an honoured place in Indian society. The great leaders of the Indian freedom movement realised the fundamental role of education and throughout the nation's struggle for independence, stressed its unique significance for national development. Gandhiji formulated the scheme of basic education, seeking to harmonise intellectual and manual work. This was a great step forward in making education directly relevant to the life of the people. Many other national leaders likewise made important contributions to national education before independence.
2.     In the post-independence period, a major concern of the Government of India and of the States has been to give increasing attention to education as a factor vital to national progress and security. Problems of educational reconstruction were reviewed by several commissions and committees, notably the University Education Commission (1948-49) and the Secondary Education Commission (1952-53). Some steps to implement the recommendations of these Commissions were taken; and with the passing of the Resolution on Scientific Policy under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru, the development of science, technology and scientific research received special emphasis. Toward the end of the third Five Year Plan, a need was felt to hold a comprehensive review of the educational system with a view to initiating a fresh and more determined effort at educational reconstruction; and the Education Commission (1964-66) was appointed to advise Government on " the national pattern of education and on the genera l principles and policies for the development of education at all stages and in all aspects." The Report of the Education Commission has since been widely discussed and commented upon. Government is happy to note that a consensus on the national policy on education has emerged in the course of these discussions.
3.     The Government of India is convinced that a radical reconstruction of education on the broad lines recommended by the education commission is essential for economic and cultural development of the country, for national integration and for realising the ideal of a socialistic pattern of society. This will involve a transformation of the system to relate it more closely to life of the people; a continuous effort to expand educational opportunity; a sustained and intensive effort to raise the quality of education at all stages; an emphasis on the development of science and technology; and the cultivation of moral and social values. The educational system must produce young men and women of character and ability committed to national service and development. Only then will education be able to play its vital role in promoting national progress, creating a sense of common citizenship and culture, and strengthening the national integration. This is necessary if the country is to attain its rig htful place in the comity of nations in conformity with its great cultural heritage and its unique potentialities.
4.     The Government of India accordingly resolves to promote the development of education in the country in accordance with the following principles:
1.     Free and Compulsory Education: Strenuous efforts should be made for the early fulfilment of the Directive principle under Article 45 of the Constitution seeking to provide free and compulsory education for all children up to the age of 14. Suitable programmes should be developed to reduce the prevailing wastage and stagnation in schools and to ensure that every child who is enrolled in schools successfully completes the prescribed course.
2.     Status, Emoluments and Education of Teachers:
a.     Of all the factors which determine the quality of education and its contribution to national development, the teacher is undoubtedly the most important. It is on his personal qualities and character, his educational qualifications and professional competence that the success of all educational endeavours must ultimately depend. Teachers must, therefore, be accorded an honoured place in society, Their emoluments and other service conditions should be adequate and satisfactory having regard to their qualifications and responsibilities.
b.     The academic freedom pf teachers to, pursue and publish independent studies and researches and to speak and write about significant national and international issues should be protected.
c.     Teacher education, particularly in-service education, should receive due emphasis.
3.     Development of languages:
a.     Regional Languages: The energetic development of Indian Languages and literature is a sine qua non for educational and cultural development. Unless this is done, the creative energies of the people will not be released, standards of education will not improve, knowledge will not spread to the people and the gulf between the intelligentsia and masses will remain if not widen further. The regional languages are already in use as media of education at the primary and secondary stages. Urgent steps should now be taken to adopt them as media of education at the university stage.
b.     Three-Language Formula: At the secondary stage, the State Governments should adopt, and vigorously implement, the three-language formula which includes the study of a modern Indian language, preferably one of the southern languages, apart from Hindi and English in the Hindi-speaking States, and of Hindi along with the regional language and English in the Non-Hindi-speaking States. Suitable courses in Hindi and/or English should also be available in universities and colleges with a view to improving the proficiency of students in these languages up to the prescribed university standards.
c.     Hindi: Every effort should be made to promote the development of Hindi. In developing Hindi as the link language, due care should be taken to ensure that it will serve, as provided for in Article 351 of the Constitution, as a medium of expression for all the elements of the composite culture of India. The establishment, in non-Hindi States, of colleges and other institutions of higher education which use Hindi, as the medium of education should be encouraged.
d.     Sanskrit Considering the special importance of Sanskrit to the growth and development of Indian languages and its unique contribution to the cultural unity of the country, facilities for its teaching at the school and university stages should be offered on a more liberal scale. Development of new methods of teaching the language should be encouraged, and the possibility explored of including the study of Sanskrit in those courses (such as modern Indian languages, ancient Indian history, Indology and Indian philosophy) at the first and second degree stages, where such knowledge is useful.
e.     International Languages: Special emphasis needs to be laid on the study of English and other international languages. World knowledge is growing at a tremendous pace, especially in science and technology. India must not only keep up this growth but should also make her own significant contribution to it. For this purpose, study of English deserves to be specially strengthened.
4.     Equalisation of Educational Opportunity:Strenuous efforts should be made to equalise educational opportunity.
a.     Regional imbalances in the provision of educational facilities should be corrected and good educational facilities should be provided in rural and other backward areas.
b.     To promote social cohesion and national integration the Common School System as recommended by the Education Commission should be adopted. Efforts should be made to improve the standard of education in general schools. All special schools like public schools should be required to admit students on the basis of merit and also to provide a prescribed proportion of free-studentships to prevent segregation of social classes. This will not, however, affect the rights of minorities under Article 30 of the Constitution.
c.     The education of girls should receive emphasis, not only on grounds of social justice, but also because it accelerates social transformation.
d.     More intensive efforts are needed to develop education among the backward classes and especially among the tribal people.
e.     Educational facilities for the physically and mentally handicapped children should be expanded and attempts should be made to develop integrated programmes enabling the handicapped children to study in regular schools.
5.     Identification of Talent: For the cultivation of excellence, it is necessary that talent in diverse fields should be identified at as early an age as possible, and every stimulus and opportunity given for its full development.
6.     Work - Experience and National Service: The school and the community should be brought closer through suitable programmes of mutual service and support. Work-experience and national service including participation in meaningful and challenging programmes of community service and national reconstruction should accordingly become an integral part of education. Emphasis in these programmes should be on self-help, character formation and on developing a sense of social commitment.
7.     Science Education and Research: With a view to accelerating the growth of the national economy, science education and research should receive high priority. Science and mathematics should be an integral part of general education till the end of the school stage.
8.     Education for Agriculture and Industry: Special emphasis should be placed on the development of education for agriculture and industry.
a.     There should be at least one agricultural university in every State. These should, as far as possible, be single campus universities; but where necessary, they may have constituent colleges on different campuses. Other universities may also be assisted, where the necessary potential exists, to develop strong departments for the study of one ore more aspects of agriculture.
b.     In technical education, practical training in industry should form an integral part of such education. Technical education and research should be related closely to industry, encouraging the flow of personnel both ways and providing for continuous co- operation in the provision, design and periodical review of training programmes and facilities.
c.     There should be a continuous review of the agricultural, industrial and other technical manpower needs of the country and efforts should be made continuously to maintain a proper balance between the output of the educational institutions and employment opportunities.
9.     Production of Books: The quality of books should be improved by attracting the best writing talent through a liberal policy of incentives and remuneration. Immediate steps should be taken for the production of high quality textbooks for schools and universities. Frequent changes of textbooks should be avoided and their prices should be low enough for students of ordinary means to buy them.

The possibility of establishing autonomous book corporations on commercial lines should be examined and efforts should be made to have a few basic textbooks common throughout the country. Special attention should be given to books for children and to university level books in regional languages.
10.  Examinations: A major goal of examination reforms should be to improve the reliability and validity of examinations and to make evaluation a continuous process aimed at helping the student to improve his level of achievement rather than at 'certifying' the quality of his performance at a given moment of time.
11.  Secondary Education:
a.     Education opportunity at the secondary (and higher) level is a major instrument of social change and transformation. Facilities for Secondary education should accordingly be extended expeditiously to areas and classes, which have been denied these in the past.
b.     There is need to increase facilities for technical and vocational education at this stage. Provision of facilities for secondary and vocational education should conform broadly to requirements of the developing economy and real employment opportunities. Such linkage is necessary to make technical and vocational education at the secondary stage effectively terminal. Facilities for technical and vocational education should be suitably diversified to cover a large number of fields such as agriculture, industry, trade and commerce, medicine and public health, home management, arts and crafts, secretarial training, etc.
12.  University Education:
a.     the number of whole-time students to be admitted to a college or university department should be determined with reference to the laboratory, library and other facilities and to the strength of the staff.
b.     Considerable care is needed in establishing new universities. These should be started only after an adequate provision of funds has been made for the purpose and due care has been taken to ensure proper standards.
c.     Special attention should be given to the organisation of postgraduate courses and to the improvement of standards of training and research at this level.
d.     Centres of advanced study should be strengthened and a small number of 'cluster of centres' aiming at the highest possible standards in research and training should be established.
e.     There is need to give increased support to research in universities generally. The institutions for research should, as far as possible, function within the fold of universities or in intimate association with them.
13.  Part-time Education and Correspondence Courses: Part time education and correspondence courses should be developed on a large scale at the university stage. Such facilities should also be developed for secondary school students, for teachers and for agricultural, industrial and other workers. Education through part-time and correspondence courses should be given the same status as full-time education. Such facilities will smoothen transition from school to work, promote the cause of education and provide opportunities to the large number of people who have the desire to educate themselves further but cannot do so on a full-time basis.
14.  Spread of Literacy and Adult Education:
a.     The liquidation of mass illiteracy is necessary not only for promoting participation in the working of democratic institutions and for accelerating programmes of production, especially in agriculture, but for quickening the tempo of national development in general. Employees in large commercial, industrial and other concerns should be made functionally literate as early as possible. A lead in this direction should come from the industrial undertakings in the public sector. Teachers and students should be actively involved in organising literacy campaigns, especially as part of the Social and National Service Programme.
b.     Special emphasis should be given to the education of young practising farmers and to the training of youth for self-employment.
15.  Games and Sports: Games and sports should be developed on a large scale with the object of improving the physical fitness and sportsmanship of the average student as well as of those who excel in this department. Where playing field and other facilities for developing a nation-wide programme of physical education do not exist, these should be provided on a priority basis.
16.  Education of Minorities: Every effort should be made not only to protect the rights of minorities but to promote their educational interests as suggested in the statement issued by the Conference of the Chief Ministers of States and Central Ministers held in August, 1961.
17.  The Educational Structure: It will be advantageous to have a broadly uniform educational structure in all parts of the country. The ultimate objective should be to adopt the 10+2+3 pattern, the higher secondary stage of two years being located in schools, colleges or both according to local conditions.
5.     The reconstruction of education on the lines indicated above will need additional outlay. The aim should be gradually to increase the investment in education so as to reach a level of expenditure of 6 per cent of the national income as early as possible.
6.     The Government of India recognises that reconstruction of education is no easy task. Not only are the resources scarce but the problems are exceedingly complex. Considering the key role which education, science and research play in developing the material and human resources of the country, the Government of India will, in addition to undertaking programmes in the Central sector, assist the State Governments for the development of programmes of national importance where co-ordinated action on the part of the States and the Centre is called for.
7.     The Government of India will also review, every five years; the progress made and recommend guidelines for future development.

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