Focus to provide high quality higher education in the country



Kochi: The focus of the 12th plan would be to provide quality higher education for children, Union HRD Minister Pallum Raju said on Sunday.

Speaking at a function here, the minister said "in the 12th plan the whole focus will be on quality of education for kids. We need to make quality education," he said.

Colleges and universities will be encouraged to get accredited, Raju said.

"We are encouraging colleges and universities to get accredited. We even had brought a bill which will make accreditation compulsory. Unfortunately, because of certain other issues in Parliament, it was not passed," he said.

There was 30 percent shortage of faculty in higher education and there was need to consolidate these aspects, he said.

"There are standards we will benchmark in terms of quality of faculty. Mobility of faculty was another aspect which the government was contemplating, i.e the faculty going abroad and those from abroad coming here. This would bring in the element of multiple experience," the minister said.

Pointing that there were several challenges and opportunities for India, he listed the young population of 55 crore kids below the age of 24 as the opportunity the country had.

These children can make significant difference not only for the country but all over the world. They can also contribute to the growth of the economy, Raju said.

Technology was playing a very enabling role in education, he said, adding, what was important was how you use the technology for personal and professional growth, he said.

Raju inaugurated the 'Vidyajyothi Educational Encouragement Programme' at the St Teresa's college here under which 250 free tablet PCs were distributed to students from 6 Assembly segments in Ernakulam district who had scored 'A plus' in all the subject in the last SSLC examination.

The Right to Education Act makes it compulsory for every child to go to school. All states and centre are working towards this by 2013. Schemes like Mid day meals have been implemented which has led to gross enrolment ratio, especially of girls, going up.

PTI