Every child to have access to primary education by 2017
Quality of education would be the focus of the 12th Five Year (2012-17) plan, MM Pallam Raju said.
Hyderabad: The government was trying to resolve various impediments including shortage of teachers to ensure that every child in the country has access to elementary education by 2017, Union HRD Minister MM Pallam Raju said on Monday.
"We are hoping that by 2017 every child in this country would have access to primary education and every child would be able to go to school," Raju said after laying the foundation of HK Sherwani Centre for Deccan Studies on the campus of Maulana Azad National Urdu University here.
Quality of education would be the focus of the 12th Five Year (2012-17) plan, he said while expressing the need for working collectively towards raising education standards.
"Though shortcomings like acute shortage of teachers in states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Uttarakhand persist, all of us who are in education stream should consciously think about how we can address this crunch of teachers of primary education," the minister said.
Raju said education should become a "viable entity" and not be commercialised.
"We want to discourage people who are treating education as a profit. I think that should not be the approach...We definitely want education to be a viable entity and at the same time we want to discourage bad practices and hence we are working in unison in this regard," he added.
Raju informed that the University Grants Commission (UGC) is setting up special centres in universities to address capacity building of teachers in higher education and also for overall school education.
"There is a need for strengthening polytechnic and ITI institutes," he said while emphasising on an increase in spending in research and investments in the area of innovation.
UGC Chairman Ved Prakash said the future lies in inclusive education.
"We continue to live in a highly stratified society because we have not been able to make quality education available to all our children.
...And living in a stratified society is neither good from the economic prospective nor the political one and it can be overcome only through education which is only means of human empowerment," Prakash said.