HRD Minister Kapil Sibal on Tuesday harped on a national mission to increase the enrolment rate in higher education from 12 per cent now to 30 per cent by 2020 and asked institutions and policy makers to work towards this goal.
There will be additional 40 million students in institutions of higher learning if the country achieves 30 per cent of gross enrolment ratio by 2020, he said at a function organised by DAV College Management Committee here.
Currently, about 220 million students enrol into schools.
Of them, only 26 million opt for higher studies. That means a whopping 194 million do not reach colleges, he said.
“That negates our country’s advantage of having the largest number of youth in the world as they cannot be properly utilised and many of them find it difficult to find a job,” Mr. Sibal said.
Vocational training and diploma courses will help students to find avenues in semi-skilled sector and these programmes should be part of higher secondary curriculum, he said.
Mr. Sibal said students should be allowed to choose their own field.
“Each and every student cannot become a doctor or an engineer. They should be allowed to choose their own field. If the student gets a chance to learn the subject of his choice, then he cannot fail,” Mr. Sibal said.
He said the requirements of education have changed with the global changing scenario. The education system should change so that students are no longer a passive recipient but they actively participate in the process, he said.
“Presently in classrooms, teachers are doing 90 per cent of the talking and students only 10 per cent. It should be reversed. Students should contribute to 90 per cent of the discussion while teachers should do the role of guides,” the minister said.
Mr. Sibal asked the state governments to study their local requirements and then revise curriculum accordingly. “We will also include their recommendations in ICSE and CBSE syllabus,” he said.
Mr. Sibal justified his ministry’s move to scrap Class X board examination to reduce stress on students.
The ministry is planning to start a national testing scheme which would be a type of entrance test into university education in the subjects of science and commerce.
“The basis should not be marks (for admission). They should acquire knowledge from outside the classroom on issues like pollution and climate change. So their burden should be reduced to make learning more interesting and ensure their active participation,” he said.