‘When every sector has embarked upon a meaningful change, education cannot lag behind'
Union Minister of State for Human Resources D. Purandeswari has called for bold reforms in the education sector in tune with the transformation in other sectors across the country.
Addressing the concluding function of the 12th State conference of United Teachers' Federation (UTF) here on Wednesday, she said when every sector embarked upon a meaningful change, education could not lag behind.
In fact, education was the most sensitive aspect of all due to its importance in the nation building.
Even countries that have to handle a small size of target group were worried about their policies while India had the gigantic task of providing education to a large chunk of 120 crore population. She said many countries could offer higher education to 40 to 70 per cent of its population while India lagged behind with only 12.4 per cent. Even China, which started late like India could achieve 20 per cent success.
Reiterating the commitment of the Centre to the cause of education, she said the budget allocation during the 11th Plan was increased to 19 per cent from nine per cent in the past. Also, the Centre planned to target six crore women during the next phase of adult literacy programme.
On the request for intervention of the Centre to set right the policies of the Andhra Pradesh government, Ms. Purandeswari said States had the freedom to alter Central schemes to suit their needs.
She expressed concern over teachers preferring to work in urban areas and not serve in rural areas.
Rationalisation of deployment was being suggested to address the problem. She said the Centre was ready to fund any potential project proposed by the State governments and it was up to the States to utilise Central funds.
MLC Chukka Ramaiah urged the Minister to frame policies using education as a tool to remove inequalities. He called for uniform education system in the country.
The meeting was presided over by UTF leader Samyukta. UTF State president N. Narayana, general secretary I. Venkateswara Rao, and MLC Geyanand spoke.