Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Maharashtra readies new education structure

Maharashtra readies new education structure

Abhishek Choudhari Jul 18, 2012, 04.04AM IST

NAGPUR: The state's school education structure is set for a major overhaul to ensure conformity with the Right to Education (RTE) Act. Highly placed sources in education department confirmed to TOI that under the new format, Std I-V will be classified as primary, Std VI-VIII as middle and Std IX-X as high school.
The new system will be known as the '5+3+2' format, against '4+3+3' the state currently follows. A senior education official, who did not wish to be named as the assembly session was currently going on, said, "RTE defines Std I-VIII as elementary education and that is what we are trying to format in the state. The detailed plan is ready and it will be brought before the state cabinet soon for approval." TOI had reported earlier that Union HRD ministry had asked states to implement the system.

However, the government is aware the change won't be without complications. This restructuring will throw up infrastructural as well as administrative challenges for schools. Government primary schools (run by either zilla parishad or municipal corporation) will have to add classrooms to accommodate Std V. Also, almost all private schools in the state have separate principals for primary section and they will also have to undergo administrative restructuring with teachers for standard V having to report to primary principal.
The biggest challenge is going to be for teachers who will need to upgrade their educational qualifications. Firoz Badshah, president, All India Secondary Teachers Federation, said, "under RTE, those teaching up to Std VIII need to be graduates but current state laws permit even those with HSC and a diploma to teach these classes." The source in education department said, "that is clearly a complicated part of this proposal but we will need to comply with RTE norms. We are working to see that there is a smooth transition."
By adhering to the new '5+3+2' format Maharashtra will be joining various other boards in the country that already have a similar pattern. Badshah said, "Almost everywhere in the country '5+3+2' format is followed. Maharashtra and Gujarat were the only exceptions. There are some southern states having a different system but there the process for change has begun. This change was long overdue but thankfully it is coming now."
CBSE too follows '5+3+2' format. Reena Dargan, principal of Ira International, said, "CBSE classifies Std I-V as primary, Std VI-VIII as middle, Std IX-X as secondary and Std XI-XII as senior secondary. Whenever CBSE gives affiliation, it is always up to Std VIII first and then later the further sections are brought under its ambit."

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