Insurance, housing schemes for 60L school teachers

Nearly 60 lakh school teachers in the country are likely to get insurance and housing facilities with state education ministers today welcoming the proposal.

New Delhi: Nearly 60 lakh school teachers in
the country are likely to get insurance and housing facilities
with state education ministers today welcoming the proposal.

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, who held discussions with state
education ministers at the meeting of National Foundation for
Teachers? Welfare (NFTW) in this regard, said the proposed
scheme has got "in principle" approval at the meeting.

"I discussed with state education ministers today on the
plan for starting insurance and housing schemes for 60 lakh
teachers. In principle approval has been given by them for the
schemes," he said at the State Education Ministers conference

HRD Ministry is mooting life insurance and health
insurance cover and a group housing cover for the 60 lakh
school teachers in the country.

The insurance schemes will require financial contributions
from the Centre, the states and the teachers. The group
housing scheme will be administered at the central level but
will not require financial contribution from the Centre or the
State Governments.

The Health and Life Insurance Schemes are proposed to cost
premium wise, far less for teachers as compared to individual
schemes or even schemes run at the state level.

The State Education Ministers welcomed the proposal and
the immense benefit that will accrue to teachers, but said
they would be able to communicate formal approval after
discussing it with their Finance Ministers.

The life insurance cover would guarantee a minimum of
about Rs five lakh on retirement and Rs two lakh on death
during service.

The health cover, limited to hospitalisation of the
teacher, spouse, two children and parents, is being worked on
two options, either on a maximum cover of Rs 1.25 lakh, which
would mean lesser premium and another option of cover of Rs
three lakh, which would mean a higher premium.

The group housing scheme is being envisaged to be
centrally administered through a portal, with construction to
be done by NBCC, land to be bought at institutional rates and
group housing societies to be formed by teachers.

"I am happy that Delhi government has identified land for
the housing scheme," Sibal said.
Grading experiment at Class-X in CBSE successful, says Sibal

A year after deciding to introduce
grading in Class-X CBSE board exam, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal
today said the experiment has been "successful" and has paid
dividends in making the tests stress free and reducing the
rate of suicides among students.

The introduction of grading system and Continuous and
Comprehensive Exam (CCE) have proved beneficial for students,
he said at the state education ministers conference here.

"There was a lot of misgivings on introduction of
Continuous and Comprehensive Exam and our decision for
abolition of board exam (from 2011). The grading system has
made the exam tension free. The experiment has been
successful," Sibal said.

The Class-X results in CBSE this year has been better than
last year, he said. While 89.28 per cent students cleared the
Class-X test, the pass rate was 88.84 per cent last year.

Sibal took a bold step last year by deciding to abolish
Class-X board exam from 2011. Besides, he replaced grades by
marks in the Class-X exam in CBSE.

He said the rate of suicide of students due to exam stress
has also come down this year.

Sibal appealed to education ministers in states to follow
the model and make the exam system more student-friendly.

"I hope state boards will take this experiment forward,"
he said.

Sibal harped on examination reforms and change in course
content at school level. He said the exams should aim at
testing raw talents of students.
Sibal favours common entrance for admission into varsities

Critical about holding of multiple
entrance exams for admission into higher educational
institutions, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal today pitched for
uniform entrance test.

To start with, the CBSE, a premier school education board
under the HRD Ministry, will merge the All India Engineering
Entrance Exam and All India Pre-Medical Test, Sibal said.

The merger of AIEEE and AIPMT will help students
immensely. While Physics and Chemistry will be common for
both, the medical students can answer only the Biology paper
and the engineering students can answer the Mathematics

Addressing the Education Ministers Conference, he said his
Ministry was presently debating whether it is possible to have
one common exam after class XII that will test general
awareness and aptitude.

The universities will give weightage to the Class-XII
marks and entrance marks of students while giving admission.

For entrance to institutions, class XII marks and this
test could be the criteria. The marks of different Boards
could be equalised through a mathematical formula for

This will give an opportunity to children from
economically weaker sections who are not able to avail of
coaching and get through the current system of entrance exams.

Sibal underlined that this was just being debated at
present, as the current system is being seen as unfair for the
poor and the under privileged.

"We are trying to prepare a system under which students
will not have to appear in exam after exam," he said.

The Council of Boards of School Education (COBSE) has
already prepared a common curriculum in science and
mathematics. He said the state boards should adopt the
curriculum which would help in holding a common entrance test.


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