Chennai: Expressing concern at the ratio of
school passing students joining colleges, Union Human Resource
Development Minister Kapil Sibal today favoured Public-Private
Partnership to tackle this as the government "lacked financial
resources and wherewithal to achieve the tall order."
While the present Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) is 12.4 per
cent, government`s target is around 30 per cent by 2020 and to
realise this, the participation of private players and other
stake-holders is important, Sibal said while delivering the
First Kuruvila Jacob Memorial Oration here.
The task of achieving 30 per cent is a "tall order" and
not an easy task considering that India presently had 400-500
universities and 5,000 colleges. To achieve the said rate,
over 700 universities and 25,000 colleges are required, he
"How will that happen. Who will build them. The
government cannot do it alone; there are no financial
resources and the wherewithal. We require the PPP method. Open
up universities to private sector. Allow private entrepreneurs
set up universities," the minister said.
Private players must be encouraged in this process by
setting up an `Education Finance Corporation` to allow easy
access to credit for those who want to set up educational
institutions, Sibal said, adding they should be given certain
Stakeholders such as the Centre, state governments,
panchayat, parents and NGOs should work together in developing
the education scene, as that alone would help "teach children
in Naxal-affected areas or hinterland or Orissa, Jharkhand or
Chattisgrah" among other places, he said.
Sibal said though one million teachers had been recruited
through `Sarva Shiksh Abhiyaan` scheme, that was not enough as
there was a shortfall of 1.3 million.
He also rued lack of quality in teaching and said that
some states had even recruited Class X passed students as
teachers. He, however, said the Right to Education, among
others, would address such anomalies.
Interacting with the audience, Sibal said the Centre was
considering a scheme wherein state governments would be asked
to have a teachers` trainers cadre.
"University teachers will train them so that we have a
whole range of high quality people who will train teachers in
schools. We are moving forward in that," he said.
Responding to a specific question on reservation, Sibal
said his government believed in reservation as a policy.
"Unless you bring the marginalised community in the
system you will not get that critical mass of people creating
intangible wealth in colleges," he said.
To a question on students preferring professional courses
to Arts or science subjects, he opined that economic
opportunities were galore in these areas and parents wanted
their wards to become doctors and engineers.
With an aim to boost Arts, he said there were plans to
introduce five aspects of English in Class XII, but did not