New Delhi, Feb 7 (IANS) Stressing that the quality of education in the nation's schools and colleges rested on sound teaching, Human Resource Development Minister M.M. Pallam Raju Thursday said the government would soon launch a national teacher's mission.
"Even with tremendous advances in technology, good teachers are needed to provide quality education," Raju said, addressing the One Globe Education Summit, focusing on South Asia, in the national capital.
"In view of the tremendous need for good teachers, we will undertake a national teacher's mission to address all issues related to teachers in a holistic manner, at all levels," the minister said.
Ministry officials explained that the mission would look at teacher education in a holistic manner and in a single continuum, covering school to university. It would suggest ways to strengthen institutional mechanisms at all levels, so that there are vertical and lateral linkages that could serve the community of teachers.
Speaking at the summit, the minister said that while the 11th five year plan focused on building infrastructure, the 12th plan was dedicated to improving the quality of education.
"During 11th Five Year Plan, large scale work on expansion had taken place, building new institutions of higher learning," Raju said, adding that it helped in taking the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) "from 10 percent to 15 percent".
"In the 12th Five Year Plan we will be focusing on the quality of the outcomes. During the 12th Five Year Plan, it is proposed to create additional enrollment capacity of 10 million students, including a million in open and distant learning. We need to ensure access to quality education to all," he said.
The need to improve quality of education has also been spoken of recently by President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
At a conference of vice-chancellors of central universities organised by President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rastrapati Bhavan Tuesday, the president said that India had seen a decline in the standards of higher education, a trend that needed to be reversed.
Speaking at the same conference, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had expressed concern that the expansion in higher education may be occurring with a simultaneous relaxation of standards.