Education for Equality
4.1 The new Policy will lay special emphasis on the removal of disparities and to equalize educational opportunity by attending to the specific needs of those who have been denied equality so far.
EDUCATION FOR WOMENS EQUALITY
4.2 Education will be used as an agent of basic change in the status of woman. In order to neutralize the accumulated distortions of the past, there will be a well-conceived edge in favour of women. The National Education System will play a positive, interventionist role in the empowerment of women. It will foster the development of new values through redesigned curricula, textbooks, the training and orientation of teachers, decision-makers and administrators, and the active involvement of educational institutions. This will be an act of faith and social engineering. Womens studies will be promoted as a part of various courses and educational institutions encouraged to take up active programmes to further womens development.
4.3 The removal of womens illiteracy and obstacles inhibiting their access to, and retention in, elementary education will receive overriding priority, through provision of special support services, setting of time targets, and effective monitoring. Major emphasis will be laid on women#s participation in vocational, technical and professional education at different levels. The policy of non-discrimination will be pursued vigorously to eliminate sex stereo-typing in vocational and professional courses and to promote womens participation in non-traditional occupations, as well as in existing and emergent technologies.
THE EDUCATION OF SCHEDULED CASTES
4.4 The central focus in the SCs educational development is their equalization with the non-SC population at all stages and levels of education, in all areas and in all the four dimensions – rural male, rural female, urban male and urban female.
4.5 The measures contemplated for this purpose include:
i) Incentives to indigent families to send their children to school regularly till they reach the age of 14;
ii) Pre-matric Scholarship scheme for children of families engaged in occupations such as scavenging, flaying and training to be made applicable from Class I onwards. All children of such families, regardless of incomes, will be covered by this scheme and time-bound programmes targetted on them will be undertaken;
iii) Constant micro-planning and verification to ensure that the enrolment, retention and successful completion of courses by SC students do not fall at any stage, and provision of remedial courses to improve their prospects for further education and employment.
iv) Recruitment of teachers from Scheduled Castes;
v) Provision of facilities for SC students in students hostels at district headquarters, according to a phased programme;
vi) Location of school buildings, Balwadis and Adult Education Centres in such a way as to facilitate full participation of the Scheduled Castes;
vii) The utilisation of Jawahar Rozgar Yojana resources so as to make substantial educational facilities available to the Scheduled Castes; and
viii) Constant innovation in finding new methods to increase the participation of the Scheduled Castes in the educational process.
THE EDUCATION OF SCHEDULED TRIBES
4.6 The following measures will be taken urgently to bring the Scheduled Tribes on par with others :
i) Priority will be accorded to opening primary schools in tribal areas. The construction of school buildings will be undertaken in these areas on a priority basis under the normal funds for education, as well as under the Jawahar Rozgar Yojana, Tribal Welfare schemes, etc.
ii) The socio-cultural milieu of the STs has its distinctive characteristics including, in many cases, their own spoken languages. This underlines the need to develop the curricula and devise instructional materials in tribal languages at the initial stages, with arrangements for switching over to the regional language.
iii) Educated and promising Scheduled Tribe youths will be encouraged and trained to take up teaching in tribal areas.
iv) Residential schools, including Asharam Schools, will be established on a large scale.
v) Incentive schemes will be formulated for the Scheduled Tribes, keeping in view their special needs and life styles. Scholarships for higher education will emphasise technical, professional and para-professional courses. Special remedial courses and other programmes to remove psycho-social impediments will be provided to improve their performance in various courses.
vi) Anganwadis, Non-formal and Adult Education Centres will be opened on a priority basis in areas predominantly inhabited by the Scheduled Tribes.
vii) The curriculum at all stages of education will be designed to create an awareness of the rich cultural identify of the tribal people as also of their enormous creative talent.
OTHER EDUCATIONALLY WARD SECTIONS AND AREAS
4.7 Suitable incentives will be provided to all educationally ward sections of society, particularly in the rural areas. Hill and desert districts, remote and inaccessible areas and islands will be provided adequate institutional infrastructure.
4.8 Some minority groups are educationally deprived or ward. Greater attention will be paid to the education of these groups in the interests of equality and social justice. This will naturally include the Constitutional guarantees given to them to establish and administer their own educational institutions, and protection to their languages and culture. Simultaneously, objectivity will be reflected in the preparation of textbooks and in all school activities, and all possible measures will be taken to promote an integration based on appreciation of common national goals and ideals, in conformity with the core curriculum.
4.9 The objective should be to integrate the physically and mentally handicapped with the general community as equal partners, to prepare them for normal growth and to enable them to face life with courage and confidence. The following measures will be taken in this regard:
i) Wherever it is feasible, the education of children with motor handicaps and other mild handicaps will be common with that of others.
ii) Special schools with hostels will be provided, as far as possible at district headquarters, for the severely handicapped children.
iii) Adequate arrangements will be made to give vocational training to the disabled.
iv) Teachers training programmes will be reoriented, in particular for teachers of primary classes, to deal with the special difficulties of the handicapped children; and
v) Voluntary effort for the education of the disabled will be encouraged in every possible manner.
4.10 Our ancient scriptures define education as that which liberates i.e., provides the instruments for liberation from ignorance and oppression. In the modern world, it would naturally include the ability to read and write, since that is the main instrument of learning. Hence the crucial importance of adult education, including adult literacy.
4.11 The whole nation has pledged itself, through the National Literacy Mission, to the eradication of illiteracy, particularly in the 15-35 age group through various means, with special emphasis on total literacy campaigns. The Central and State Governments, political parties and their mass organisations, the mass media and educational institutions, teachers, students, youth, voluntary agencies, social activist groups, and employers, must reinforce their commitment to mass literacy campaigns, which include literacy and functional knowledge and skills, and awareness among learners about the socio-economic reality and the possibility to change it.
4.12 Since involvement of the participants of the literacy campaigns in the development programmes is of crucial importance, the National Literacy Mission will be geared to the national goals such as alleviation of poverty, national integration, environmental conservation, observance of the small family norm, promotion of women#s equality, universalisation of primary education, basic health-care, etc. It will also facilitate energisation of the cultural creativity of the people and their active participation in development processes.
4.13 Comprehensive programmes of post-literacy and continuing education will be provided for neo-literates and youth who have received primary education with a view to enabling them to retain and upgrade their literacy skills, and to harness it for the improvement of their living and working condition. These programmes would include:
a) establishment of continuing education centres of diverse kind to enable adults to continue their education of their choice;
b) workers education through the employers, trade unons and government;
c) wider promotion of books, libraries and reading rooms;
d) use of radio, TV and films — as mass as well as group learning media;
e) creation of learners groups and organisations; and
f) programmes of distance learning.
4.14 A critical development issue today is the continuous upgradation of skills so as to produce manpower resources of the kind and the number required by the society. Special emphasis will, therefore, be laid on organisation of employment/self-employment oriented, and need and interest based vocational an d skill training programmes.