Education: Move away from excessive focus on exams, says Shashi Tharoor

Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor on Thursday said the country needs to move away from excessive focus on examinations.

"With this competition, and the competitive relationships that engenders in the educational field, learning sometimes suffers. The focus is on achievement," he said.

He was addressing more than 500 educationists, principals, vice-principals, school managements, school and state-level administrators at the first National Conference of School Principals.

"Of the many paradoxes in which are country abounds, the saddest must be that we are a country where nearly a third of our population is illiterate, but which has produced the world's second largest pool of scientists and engineers," Tharoor said.

Tharoor launched an MBA (Educational Management and Leadership) programme for school principals. Uttarakhand Technical University (UTU) in collaboration with SelaQui Institute of Management will offer the programme for an MBA degree.

The two-year programme is designed for teachers who wish to become principals as the challenges of a classroom teacher are different from that of a school head.

Besides the MBA, the university will also offer diploma and certificate variants of the programme in convenient modes to suit working teachers and principals.

Tharoor spoke of a declining propensity among educated young people, especially the top performers to join the teaching profession.

"With the enactment of the Right to Education Act a major push has been given to the appointment of professionally qualified persons as teachers as also to improving their conditions of service and remuneration," he said.

Over the past two years, more than 6.8 lakh teaching posts have been sanctioned for government schools across the country, he said.

A web portal for schools principals, www.principals.in, was launched at the event in the presence of CBSE chairperson Vineet Joshi.

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