Wednesday, July 07, 2010

India seeks to insulate education from political interference

India has said that it will make attempts to insulate its education policies from political interference as done by Indonesia. Minister of State for Human Resources Development, Daggubati Purandeswari said this in an interview to Nigerian newspaper Thisday in Abuja on the sidelines of a meeting of education ministers from countries with highest number of world's illiterate people. According to Purandeswari, one of the benefits of the conference is to learn about the best practices in other countries. India was selected as the next host of the summit in 2012.

She explained that the minister from Indonesia said they have fashioned their literacy programme in such a way that it is insulated from political interference and change in the country. "We will now look at how Indonesia was able to achieve this and learn from it", she said. She advocated that the countries like India, China, Egypt, Indonesia, Nigeria, Mexico, Bangladesh, Brazil and Pakistan ought to accept the challenge bearing in mind that they are home to very large population.

"If we're able to address these challenges and make a change in our own countries, we will make a change globally because that is the change that will affect a large number of people. Rather than feel bad, I think we should feel rather challenged about the issues that we have", Purandeswari said. She said India's achievement since the last E-9 meeting in Indonesia include the revamping of the entire literacy vision by reaching out to the most hard-to-reach segments of the society. The minister called this decentralisation which involves making some elected village representatives part of the programme.

The E-9 countries represent 54 per cent of the world's population and 67 per cent of its non-literates. At the end of the session, the participating ministers had released an Abuja Framework for Action and Cooperation and re-affirmed the value of mutual cooperation among E-9 countries and with other countries within the South-South and South-South-North (triangular) framework. The meeting also adopted a broad concept of literacy for development whose sustained use is significant to all aspects of human and socio-economic progress and which is the foundation of lifetime learning.

Source: Hindustan Times, July 7, 2010

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