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Panelists look at the state of education in the country, and especially in UP

Kerala has emerged on top among 20 large states in terms of quality of school education, followed by Rajasthan and Karnataka, while Uttar Pradesh was ranked at the bottom position in 2016-17, according to a report released by the Niti Aayog.  The report is titled: “The Success of Our Schools-School Education Quality Index” (SEQI).APN’s popular debate Mudda discussed the issue. Anchorperson Neha Dubey posed the questions to panelists including the BJP’s Vikram Singh, DU Prof Sapna Bansal, educationist Rita Singh, noted scribe Shekhar Kapur, and APN consultant Govind Pant Raju.

Vikram Singh said:”It’s a huge nation with a huge population. It is not just about basic education alone. It has a lot to do with the quality of teachers as well. The gram pradhans, administration and the bureaucracy have to inform about the loopholes. Mindsets need to change. All this needs to be done with speed.”

Bansal said: “Ninety per cent of teachers are working on ad hoc basis. Teachers are a troubled lot, they are unsatisfied.”

Rita Singh: “We associate teachers’ satisfaction with permanency of jobs. I am happy that the NITI Ayog report examined various parameters. I would like to propose that all profiles should be contractual, like it is abroad. “

Bansal said: “Ad hoc teachers are denied basic rights. Either have all teachers on ad hoc basis so there is a sense of equality…”

Kapur said: “Even the PM represents the State of UP in Lok Sabha. We are going abroad and proclaiming victories. Should we not be setting our own house in order first?”

Vikram Singh said: “Education policy is assailed by bureaucracy. The New Education Policy will handle such issues. Education is of three kinds: Full government, part government, self-finance or private education–all these are different, their fee structures are different, and the social profile of students are also different. There is no doubt that education has to improve. New education policy will probe such issues so that even science students are allowed to study non-science subjects of their interest, and so on.”

Raju said: “This report looks at 2016-17 as base years. This is the first-of-its-kind report. Ensuring attendance is important, fee structure of teachers also needs to be looked into.”

Rita Singh said: “Quality of teachers is a big issue. Number of teachers is far less. At a workshop, I noticed that the main trigger was to collect certificates and not to focus on learning outcomes. Processes have become so diluted that the standard of education has gone down. The main issue is of implementation.”

Kapur said: “The future rests on the shoulder of students. Kerala is on top, UP is at the lowest. Why is this so? Teachers are diverted for other duties? That must be so with teachers in other states as well. How are we appointing teachers?”

Bansal said: “Remove politics out of education to improve the system. Teachers are working on paltry sums. Government should hold training workshops to improve efficiency.”

Vikram Singh said: “The UP government has launched the Prerna app to ensure better attendance of students and teachers.”

 Raju said: “If you have a system that bribes need to be paid to get jobs of teachers, and so on, education will suffer. This issue should be handled in a non-partisan manner.”

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