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Schools to Skills to Universities – Has Maharashtra Imbibed the New India Spirit?

maharashtra education promises delivery

This article is part of a series on Maharashtra – Promises and Delivery

Part 1: Infrastructure

Part 2: ‘Water For All’ 

Part 3: Urban Development

Part 4: Economy and Employment

Part 5: Farmers

Part 6: Education

Part 7: Health For All

Part 8: Women Empowerment & Safety

Part 9: Cultural Heritage

Part 10: People-Centric Policies

Part 11: Social Justice

Part 12: Safety and Security

In this sixth article in the Maharashtra series, we do a fact check on the promises of education. Education is the base for any developing state. Unless skilled labour is available locally, the industries cannot develop in that region. The progress in the field of education in the last five years in Maharashtra has been average, with much scope in the future.

Promise

  • Special emphasis will be given to skills development. New ITIs will be set up in every Tehsil with campus placement facility.
  • A new skills training scheme for students in 8th, 9th and 10th standard will be set up with the help of National Skills Development Mission to ensure employability.

The Economic Survey 2018-19 of Maharashtra states that under the Pramod Mahajan Kaushalya va Udyojakta Vikas Abhiyaan, 171 MoU have been signed with industrial groups to impart skills to the youth. A total of 9.87 lakh youths have got training in the last three years.

A Kaushalya-Setu scheme has been launched for 10th standard fail students so that they pick up skills and can gain employment despite educational failures.

Promise Computer education in rural Maharashtra will be introduced to make the dream of ‘Digital India’ come true.

In 2015-16, Pragat Shaikshanik Maharashtra programme was launched aimed at transforming the education. Use of digital technology, discovery-based learning and activities in schools are taken up.

The success of the scheme since 2015-16 is as follows-

  1. 47,973 schools have been declared Pragat Schools
  2. 63,458 schools have become Digital Schools
  3. 15,452 schools have activity-based learning
  4. 5,07,440 teachers have received demand driven training

 

(As seen from Economic Survey of Maharashtra 2018-19)

Promise Human Resource Development Scheme- An earn and learn scheme enabling 10th pass or 12th fail students to complete their technical diploma while working, will be introduced.

An Earn and Learn Scheme for under-graduates has been launched by University of Pune. But no specific scheme for 10th and 12th fail students.

Promise A special mission called M-Scope (Maharashtra Society for Creation of Opportunity through Proficiency in English) will be rolled out for helping Marathi students learn English.

While no specific scheme has been launched in that name, the government has endured to improve English proficiency of the students as well as teachers.

Maharashtra has introduced spoken English classes in the Marathi medium schools. It has also endured to convert tribal Ashram schools to English medium to make them take up better career opportunities. Even teachers aren’t left behind. British Council, Tata Trust and Maharashtra government have launched Project Tejas to make 51,000 school teachers proficient in spoken English.

Promise Students from rural background will be provided with the special option of opting for courses like agriculture, water conservation, agro-based industries at SSC level.

Maharashtra’s Open Schooling Policy has allowed students to take subjects like Agriculture Science and Technology, Agriculture Allied Vocations and Animal Husbandry for 10th and 12th standard exams for students pursuing open schooling.

Promise Undergraduate programmes such as B.A, B.Com and B.Sc will be supported with practical and on-field training programmes of six months duration.
A new university will be established to conserve rural folk art.

No decision has been taken yet.

Promise Marathi schools will get more grants. At the same time, a new scheme `Marathi Shala Aarthik Sablikaran Yojana will be launched with an objective of nurturing leadership skills among the school staff. The staff trained under this scheme will be able to develop alternate sources of revenue for the schools.

No such scheme has been launched. Marathi schools are getting financial aid just like any other schools under various schemes.

Nevertheless, to promote Marathi, a decision was taken to make Marathi compulsory in all the schools, including CBSE and ICSE.

Promise A new law will be in place for administering universities in Maharashtra. The law will bring focus on research, streamline examinations, ensure accountability, and promote institutional development of universities.

A Maharashtra Public Universities Act 2016 was passed by the government. It brought structural reforms in the governance structure, ensures more autonomy to the universities, limits over-charging of fees and re-introduces student council elections. Interestingly, the law was pending since 2011 but never was passed by the earlier government.

Promise Long-pending grants of the residential schools for Dalit, tribal and physically challenged will be cleared on a priority basis. Such institutions will get additional grants and all the necessary help from the government.

Maharashtra government has decided to give grants to tribal primary schools from 1st to 5th standard under the center’s Eklavya Model Residency Schools.

Specific schemes have been launched for Dalits. The Economic Survey states that Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Swadhar Yojana aims at giving grants to SC students for fees, food, hostels and maintenance. In last three years, 32,346 students have benefited from it with a cumulative spending of 84.26 crores.

Promise– Introduction of innovative Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) through collaboration between the universities in the state and platforms such as Coursera, UDACITY and Khan Academy will be undertaken.

The need has been filled up by the center’s SWAYAM portal that offers online courses

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