The gap between policy and practice and how practice with its detailed knowledge of implementation can enrich policy was discussed at the 60th meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) held in New Delhi.
The meeting, a first since the change in guard at the ministry of human resource development, was ‘enriching’ according to HRD minister Pallam Raju. Some proposed legislations that might become policies and a review of existing progress were on the meeting’s agenda.
Out of the proposed legislations, while CABE endorsed the draft bill to curb unfair practices in school, it said the proposal to bring pre-primary and secondary schools within the ambit of the RTE will require “further deliberation with stakeholders”, with many expressing concerns about funding. The Unfair Practices Bill will penalise schools for directly or indirectly demanding or accepting capitation fee or donations during admission, among others.
The new funding proposal for state universities — Rashtriya Uchchatar Shikshya Abhiyan (RUSA) — was ‘approved in-principle’, while other university reforms like a national framework in higher education would be discussed in the next CABE meeting. The meeting provided a platform for 18 state education ministers to share ideas and space with educationists and those more involved in the day-to-day implementation of policies.
Educationist Vinod Raina argued that “regulatory mechanisms need to be strengthened in order to enforce the existing law”, pointing out that the proposed changes in the said Bill were already present in the clause by which schools are recognised but these need to be implemented properly. He said the existing statistical data is not in tune with RTE because it is state-based, rather than school-based.