The Government has initiated the consultation process of formulating a New Education Policy to meet the changing dynamics of the population’s requirement with regard to quality education, innovation and research, aiming to make India a knowledge superpower by equipping its students with the necessary skills and knowledge. A multiple level consultative process involving all stakeholders, such as, educationists, teachers, and students across all levels is being undertaken. Two themes in School Education, namely, “Accelerating rural literacy with special emphasis on Women, SCs, STs & Minorities through adult education and National Open Schooling systems” and “Enabling Inclusive Education – education of Girls SCs, STs, Minorities and children with special needs and other children out of school” and two themes in Higher Education, namely, ‘Addressing regional disparity” and “Bridging gender and social gaps” are aimed at ensuring equality in educational opportunity to all students.
The extant National Policy on Education (NPE) provides for a National System of Education which implies that, up to a given level, all students, irrespective of caste, creed, location or sex, have access to education of a comparable quality. It includes a common educational structure, a national curriculum framework and minimum levels of learning for each stage of education. It envisages, inter alia, a National System of Education to bring about uniformity in education, making adult education programmes a mass movement, providing universal access, ensuring retention and improving quality in elementary education, special emphasis on education of girls, establishment of pace-setting schools, like Navodaya Vidyalayas in each district, vocationalisation of secondary education, synthesis of knowledge and inter-disciplinary research in higher education, starting more Open Universities in the States, strengthening of the All India Council for Technical Education, encouraging sports, physical education, Yoga and adoption of an effective evaluation method. The existing policy clearly implies that there is no dual education system in the country.
This information was given by the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Smt. Smriti Irani in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha question.