Time to depoliticise education: Hamid Ansari

Vice President Hamid Ansari on Thursday sought quick steps to rebuild professional identity and skills of teachers.

Last Updated: Mar 02, 2012, 18:44 PM IST

Bhubaneswar: Vice President Hamid Ansari on Thursday sought quick steps to rebuild professional identity and skills of teachers and to depoliticise education to improve the quality of teaching.
"The key to improving quality of education system is to bring the focus back on teachers. It is a matter of concern that our society and polity today does not accord that primacy and reverence to teachers," Ansari said in his address to the 44th Convocation of Utkal University here.
Recalling that people in ancient India believed that the guru was Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara, he said "we are inheritors of a civilisational legacy that accords the highest place and respect to teachers."

Seeking concrete steps to depoliticise education and cease to view teacher appointments as patronage or largesse, Ansari said politically empowering teachers, while professionally dis-empowering them, was a disservice to the cause of education.

He said the current system of teacher recruitment, teaching methods, performance assessment, incentive and reward pattern and way of accountability raised many questions.

"Far too often the focus, regrettably, is on completing the syllabus rather than on cultivating critical thinking skills and competencies. This needs to be
corrected," the Vice President said.

The need of the hour was to painstakingly rebuild the
professional identity of teachers, nurture their skills and
professional competence through continuing education, he said
adding it must be ensured that their work reflected
Constitutional values and society needed to recognise their
work and reward them appropriately.

Referring to Yashpal Committee tasked to suggest
measures for rejuvenation of higher education, Ansari said its
report pointed out that universities remained under-managed
and badly governed with constricted autonomy, internal
subversion within academia and multiple and opaque regulatory
systems.

PTI