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CARE India calls for free education for all children from 0-18 years,

CARE India calls for free education for all children from 0-18 years, a gender transformative approach and emphasis on quality teachers in a safe, secure environment under new National Education Policy
14 November, National Children’s Day 2016

CARE India calls for free education for all children from 0-18 years,

India 11 November 2016: The National Policy on Education was formulated in 1986 and then underwent modifications in 1992. Over the years there have been many calls for a comprehensive revision of the Policy. The Government of India is now working to develop a National Education Policy to meet the changing dynamics of the population requirement with regards to quality education, innovation and research. This revision with inputs from several key stakeholders aims to make India a knowledge superpower by equipping India’s students with need-based and necessary skills, information and knowledge to increase skilled manpower in the fields of science, technology, academics and industry.

CARE India’s Girls Education Programme, on the occasion of 14 November, Children’s Day recommends:

·         Children in 0-6 and 14-18 years age group should come under the ambit of RTE. Education should be free from 0-18 years for all children in a safe and secure environment. Education must be strictly owned by the state.

·         School curriculum should be localized for a diverse country such as India where mother tongue- based education is promoted in both urban and rural areas.

·         In view of the large number of out-of-school children in the country, there is a need to spell out a systematic and clear approach or strategy to address their needs and how they will be mainstreamed into formal schools. It is important to recognize that these children are out of school due to social, pedagogical and systemic factors, hence customized and contextualized education needs to be developed, inclusive of an empowering gender, social inclusive curriculum and teacher development programme based on it.

·         In the new education policy, a gender transformative approach needs to be articulated at all levels including education functionaries and administrators, teacher training and curriculum development in school teaching.

·         The new National Education Policy must focus on ensuring that children learn in a time-bound manner where classroom processes are equitable and promote learning. There must be a focus on comprehension in pedagogy, with highlighted use of multilingual resources and pedagogy to help children acquire early literacy and language skills. In India, more than 50 percent children who are attending school, not able to read with comprehension due to poor quality of teachers, ineffective classroom processes and lack of basic provisions of classrooms and schools.

·         One of the important focus areas has to be on recruitment of quality teachers with adequate resources to implement a complex early literacy and language programme with a strong gender and equity component at all levels.

·         The draft policy mentions that a teacher should be held accountable for children’s absenteeism, out of school children and the learning abilities of children. However, the policy must focus on fixing the accountability of education administrators and higher level officials.

About CARE India

CARE India is a humanitarianand development organization working to alleviate poverty and social injustice by empowering women and girls from marginalized communities across India. CARE has been working in India for more than 65 years. CARE India works to bring measurable change in the lives of the marginalized communities through sustainable and scalable solutions from our health, education, livelihood and disaster relief and recovery programs, which have a lasting effect on the lives and livelihoods of poor communities, particularly women and girls.
CARE India supports priorities of Government of India with technical expertise to implement policies and schemes. Our key programs are supported by the range of corporate and institutional donors. CARE India works with focus in some of the least developed states, while our humanitarian response programs are implemented across the country in collaboration with partners and networks. CARE India’s Girls’ Education Program’s goal is to empower dalit and adivasi girls and women by building capacities, self -esteem and leadership skills, that enable them to influence change at individual, social and systemic level. With an explicit focus on girls’ empowerment, advocating for an environment that facilitates safe and secure education has remained a cornerstone of CARE India’s programing in education projects.