Tamil Nadu would achieve the target of 50 per cent Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER), fixed in the National Education Police (NEP) 2020 for 2035, in the present academic year itself as the State’s present GER was 49 per cent, Minister for Higher Education K P Anbalagan said on Monday.
In a letter to Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank on the NEP, Anbalagan said: ‘We have taken various measures by opening new colleges, introduction of new courses, increasing the capacity of colleges by recruiting teachers, creating labs and other facilities and would continue to do the same and by 2035, Tamil Nadu can achieve an ambitious target of 65% GER.’
Pointing out that Tamil Nadu already has a teacher-student ratio of 1:17 as against the national all India ratio of 1:26, he made it clear that the State, which has always followed the "2 language policy" successfully, has already taken a decision to continue with it in future also.
Anbalagan said the NEP was discussed with the Chief Minister and all senior Ministers and the government had now appointed a seven-member committee, headed by the principal secretary of education, to go through the policy and offer comments and recommendations that could be adopted by the State.
Though the government would be in a position to submit its detailed remarks in due course of time, he wanted to put forth his initial remarks on the NEP, the Minister said, welcoming the proposed conversion of the B.Ed programme into a 4 year Integrated Degree Course, including two major subjects.
‘It will enable the students to complete the degree early and enter into the teaching profession quickly. This would help lot of students who have opted for the core studies,’ Anbalagan said.
However, on the proposal to conduct Entrance Examination by the National Testing Agency (NTA), he said the move would discourage rural students and Tamil Nadu was it. Further, it would be an added burden on the students, he added.
On Section 10 of the NEP talking about institutional re-structuring and consolidation and Section 10.3 suggesting that either a college should be an autonomous degree awarding college or a constituent college of the University, the Minister said ‘I would like to point out that this strategy of categorizing colleges only as Autonomous or Constituent Colleges, will deprive affiliated colleges the capacity or the capability of becoming autonomous degree granting colleges as they will lack, suitable guidance from the affiliated Universities.’
‘I would like to point out that in Tamil Nadu, out of 587 colleges across the State, only 53 colleges are autonomous colleges and all the other colleges are required to be nurtured suitably by the affiliated Universities and then improve their quality standards. Hence, the present model of Tamil Nadu may be allowed to continue,’ he said.
Referring to the NEP envisaging Higher Education Institutions offering degree courses in regional languages, he said that it was already being followed in the State....