Since universalisation of elementary education has become a Constitutional mandate, it is absolutely essential to push this vision forward to move towards universalisation of secondary education, which has already been achieved in a large number of developed countries and several developing countries.
Paras 5.13 – 5.15 of the National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986 (as modified in 1992) deal with Secondary Education. Para 5.13 of the NPE, inter- alia, stated that, “Access to Secondary Education will be widened with emphasis on enrolment of girls, SCs and STs, particularly in science, commerce and vocational streams……..”.
Keeping this vision in mind, we may achieve the following targets: Education provided in a Model school should be holistic and integral touching upon physical, emotional and aesthetic development in addition to academics. New schools may be established or existing schools may be converted in to Model schools.
Adequate infrastructure should be provided in each such school for satisfying teaching needs, also for sports and co-curricular activities. The curriculum should cast the local culture and environment Learning should be activity based. These schools should have adequate ICT infrastructure, Internet connectivity and full time computer teachers.
The Teacher Pupil Ratio should not exceed 1:25 and the classrooms will be spacious enough to accommodate at least 30 students. Classroom Students Ratio will not exceed 1:40. Schools will provide Arts and Music Teachers besides subject specific teachers as per the usual norms. These schools will also create facility for activities emphasizing Indian heritage and art & craft. Special emphasis may be given on teaching of Science, Maths and English.
If required, bridge-courses may be introduced for weak students. The school curricula should include the material / items that inculcate leadership qualities, team spirit, participation abilities, development of soft skills and ability to deal with real life situations. Health Education and health check up will be introduced. A good library with books and magazines for students and teachers will be provided. Field trips and Educational tours will be an integral part of the curriculum.
Medium of instruction will be left to State Governments. However, special emphasis will be given on English teaching & spoken English. Affiliation of these schools to a particular examination board will be left to State Governments. Selection of students will be though independent selections test.
An independent process to be developed in consultation with State Governments for selection of Principals and Teachers will also be through.
To cater the need of Universalization of Secondary Education (USE), the paradigm shift in the conceptual design of Secondary Education will become necessary. These may be the guiding principles in this regard - Universal Access, Equality, Social Justice Relevance and Development Curricular and Structural Aspects Move towards equity .
These values are to be established in the system with participation of all types of schools (including unaided private schools) having contribution towards Universalization of Secondary Education (USE) by ensuring adequate enrollment for the children from under privileged society and the children Below Poverty Line (BPL) families.
In this goal achieving exercise following will be the main objectives :
To ensure that all Secondary Schools have physical facilities, staffs and supplies according to the prescribed standards through financial support from appropriate regulatory mechanism.
To improve access to Secondary Schooling to all young persons according to norms – through proximate location (say, Secondary Schools within 5 kms, and Higher Secondary Schools within 7-10 kms) Efficient and safe transport arrangements/residential facilities, depending on local circumstances including open schooling. In hilly and difficult areas, these norms can be relaxed. Preferably residential schools may be set up in such areas.
To ensure that no child is deprived of Secondary Education of satisfactory quality due to gender, socio-economic, disability and other barriers.
To improve quality of Secondary Education resulting in enhanced intellectual, social and cultural learning.
To ensure that all students pursuing Secondary Education receive education of good quality.