Youth United Foundation

1.Youth United Foundation in association with Pawar Public School, Chandivali had a workshop and seminar on the new education policy .
2.60 participants from renound educational institutions participated in the seminar and brain stormed on how youth can play an important role in helping the government in redefining the education policy.
3.The 2 day seminar comprised, workshops , presentations and panel discussions on new education policy.
4.The panel members were Mrs. Manjushree Patil , Mr. Rajiv Tambe , Mrs. Eitoshree Deb, Mrs. Suma Das and Dr. Madhura Phadke.
5.At the end of this 2 day seminar a 20 point thesis was prepared and was presented to the Honourable Minister of Education Mr. Vinod Tawade .
TWENTY POINT THESIS

1.To create a monitoring body of volunteers that keeps in check the ratio of boys and girls (1:1 ratio at entry level till class 10) in schools, and provides incentives in the form of certificates, citations and public commendation and recognition to the schools that achieve the required ratio. The minimum time period for a school to achieve this ratio must be set within five years of inception.
2.To hold interactive, structured workshops throughout Maharashtra (using a door-to-door approach) to sensitise not only the students but also the parents and teachers about the necessity of gender equality and of educating the girl child.
3.A. To provide region-specific vocational training and theory, that is, to ensure that the local culture, history and prevailing means of occupation is inculcated within the syllabus. For example, if the local occupation of an area is agriculture, Geography must include soil types and characteristics of that area, Biology, the nature of the crops grown, Physics, the use of irrigation and harvesting, and Chemistry, the judicious use of pesticides. History and Literature can focus on the rituals and practices associated with farming, and Current Affairs can ensure that foreign models of farming are taught, so that the citizens are thoroughly aware and informed, and the prevailing methods of farming are improved in that area. B.To introduce vocational courses for all sexes (male, female and transgender) in subjects that are not conventionally associated with their gender, so as to weed out gender stereotypes and expand the job market for all sexes.
4.To introduce career counselling and guidance courses along with aptitude and interest tests (gender neutral) to help the child determine what he/she wants to take up in the future (and thus ensure that they are goal oriented since their youth); taking into consideration the parents and teachers’ points of view. This is to be done by certified counsellors and psychologists. These tests should take place from Grade 8.
5.To ease the means of obtaining recognition for schools – the authorities wishing to start a school must first provide a detailed roadmap or timeline to the government, and only after recognition must they receive the permission to continue with the building of the school. The stringent input norms (in terms of infrastructure) must be relaxed, and instead the government must focus on alternatives that a school has for those norms. For example, two schools in the same locality can share a common playground that students avail of at different timings; if there is a paucity of open spaces in that locality.
6.To create posts of school managers or maintenance-in-charge with well-defined roles in order to relieve the principal and teachers in public schools of the additional duties of administration, clerical work and cleanliness of the institution, so that the focus of the teacher is to ensure that the students are involved thoroughly in the learning process.
7.To mobilise a body of responsible and dedicated undergraduate student volunteers who are delegated the task of census and election duties, rather than the teachers assuming these tasks.
8.To introduce the concept of CER, or Corporate Educational Responsibility, where each company is mandated to invest in education in the form of 0.5% of its profits, that is provided as aid to any educational institution requiring it.
9.To rename Parent-Teacher associations as Parent-Learning Facilitator-Student associations, with transparency in communication and increase in awareness of government schemes and the educational rights of a student, so as to ensure that the entire process of learning is child-centric.
10.To introduce ALP’s, or Assisted Learning Programs in public schools, so that students weak in a particular subject receive the help and attention they require. This can either be carried out by the teachers themselves, or by external help in the form of NGO’s and the teachers they hire.
11. To strike a balance between traditional chalk-and-board methods of teaching as well as smarter technologies in the classroom. Unavailability of electricity must not be a hindrance in the implementation of technologies.
12.To establish a regulatory authority that keeps a check on the running of coaching classes – in terms of the fees charged by them, number of instructional hours and so on.
13.To formulate syllabus that is completely free of all religious and political biases in the subject matter. Facts of History must not be distorted, and such misconceptions must not be reinforced in the classroom.
14.To ensure that B.Ed. degree courses include compulsory hands-on, on-the-ground experience and they must work as trainees-on the job in classrooms, thus aiding the teacher and reducing the teacher’s workload. The tenure of such an experience must not be less than six months.
15.To use monetary incentives along with performance-based incentives to make the career of a teacher more attractive and at the same time to increase teacher accountability and reduce teacher absenteeism in the classroom. Biometric devices can be introduced in schools all over Maharashtra, to reduce and therefore eliminate teacher absenteeism. The cost can be borne by local start-ups and local NGO’s.
16.To introduce periodic refresher course conducted by independent organizations for all teachers after every three years, so that their approach in the classroom is relevant and easily relatable. This training should be a certificate course that is not linked with promotions and incentives, and there must be a test before the start of the course and after the completion of the course to ensure that there is a substantial difference in terms of the impact that the course has had on the teacher.
17. To abolish the contract system of hiring and employing teachers. (Shikshan Sevak system) or confirm the teachers after a period of three years. Though the para-teacher system was created to meet the heavy financial requirements and the mandatory Student-Teacher ratio in classrooms, these teachers are severely underpaid and are not optimally employed.
18.To provide well-structured handbooks to public school teachers so that there is uniformity in the provision of education in classrooms across the state. There should be a decreased dependence on ‘guides’ that kill the questioning spirit of the child, followed by an increase in classroom discussions. Communication in class should be a two-way process.
19.To explore the possibility of introducing the Model School system, that is an amalgamation of both private and public schools. The management is privately run, whereas the government provides funding and infrastructural aid.
20.To implement the Adopt-A-School policy, where one private school adopts one public school in the same locality. At times when private schools find themselves incapable of providing full assistance to such public schools, they can request the cooperation and aid of trusts, NGOs and companies.