Session 3 | Policy : Examining regulatory frameworks

Speakers: Anil Swarup, Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, CB Sharma

With the introduction of the RTE, the policy landscape in school education has shifted decisively towards attaining targets of enrolment and the public provision of free and ‘compulsory’ education. The latter condition of compulsion has proven to be a contentious ground for parents and advocates of alternative education. Alternative education pedagogies lend greater autonomy and self-direction to children, recognising students as capable of exercising choice in their own learning process. How can we revise the RTE framework to instill this vision of active, engaged learners who can access and participate in varied pedagogical frameworks and modes of schooling beyond formal, recognised models of ‘schools’?

Simultaneously, does this require a re-think of school recognition and affiliation norms as well? Entrepreneurs in education and private unaided schools have highlighted the difficulty of meeting the recognition norms laid down by the government, the added expenses of affiliation to various curriculums, and the constraints placed by straitjacketing of schooling requirements. As government schools continue to function as exempt from these requirements, how can we alter the policy framework to encourage innovation, experiments, and incubation of alternatives?

Anil Swarup

Shri Anil Swarup is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the State Development Council, Government of Jharkand. Prior to this, he served a two year tenure as the Secretary of Education, Government of India from November 2016 to June 2018. He handled policy issues relating to school education in the country, promoted use of technology to improve quality of education, and encouraged engagement of NGOs to build public-private partnerships with a view to leverage quality work in their respective domains. Mr Swarup has an illustrious service record to his name, comprising of tenures as the Export Commissioner, as the Director General of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, and as Additional Secretary, Government of India.

Geeta Gandhi Kingdon

Prof Kingdon holds the Chair of ‘Education Economics and International Development’ at UCL Institute of Education, University College London. Her research is based mostly on statistical analysis of education datasets. Based on this research, she advises governments and donor agencies such as the World Bank, European Union (EU) and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) on their education-related aid to developing countries. She has frequently been a member of the Union Human Resource Development Ministry’s ‘Joint Review Missions’ of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and of the Secondary education programme (the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan), a member of the Uttar Pradesh Secondary Education Board (Madhyamik Shiksha Parishad), and also serves on the Government of UP’s Advisory Committee on Basic Education.

Chandra Bhushan Sharma

Professor Chandra Bhushan Sharma is serving as Chairman, National Institute of Open Schooling(NIOS).He is Professor of Education on deputation from the School of Education, Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi. He has been the Director of the Distance Education Programme of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan (DEP-SSA) an MHRD-IGNOU project. As an academic he has planned, designed and developed curriculum of many courses and been on the curriculum design committees (CDC) of various central as well as state universities. He also designed and developed a series of audio programmes for in-service trainee teachers of IGNOU.

NIOS, under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, offers a wide spectrum of courses of study up to the pre-degree level for all categories of learners, and works as a nodal institute for carrying forward the open school movement in the country in order to achieve the objective of developing an inclusive learning society.