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Announce roadmap for education in 3 months: NAC tells govt

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 17 (UNI) The National Advisory Council (NAC), headed by UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, has asked the Manmohan Singh government to announce within three months a roadmap to progressively increase expenditure on education to at least six per cent of the GDP and enact a law defining the financial commitments of the Centre and the states to education In its latest communication to the government, the NAC said the National Common Minimum Programme (NCMP) commitment of increasing the expenditure on education to six per cent of the GDP, in a phased manner, ''needs to be systematically planned, announced and implemented.'' The NAC also asked the government to enact a central law on the fundamental right to education, embodying a broad framework which defines the compulsions on the state, and reform the educational system to make it outcome-oriented, effective and efficient, while ensuring that the financial commitments of the Union and State Governments ''are legally defined.'' ''The Government of India have been advised that these issues may be looked into expeditiously,'' the NAC said in a statement, outlining the gist of the communication.

The roadmap would include measures to assure contributions from the Centre and from the state governments.

Since the NCMP commitment in this regard stipulates that at least half of this amount would be spent on primary and secondary sectors, it ''needs to be clarified that at least 50 per cent of the amount will be spent on elementary education phase,'' the NAC said.

The present expenditure on elementary education stands at about 1.78 per cent of the GDP.

The NAC said increasing the expenditure on education should go hand in hand with improved outcome and quality orientation, performance measurement, increased effectiveness, better efficiency and greater equity.

The necessary exercises to effectively address these issues need to be initiated at different levels as early as possible.

On the fundamental right to education, it is felt that a ''broad Central Law'' which defines the non-negotiable framework of compulsions on the state and also the outcomes of the provision of schooling is called for so that the implementation of the 86th amendment is appropriately guided and the child's right, including the right of every deprived and culnerable child, stands adequately protected.

The states should then modify their existing laws or enact new laws to conform to the non-negotiable and common elements outlined in the Central Law, it said.

UNI SN VD ND1640

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