Government today announced plans for setting up a National Institute for Assessment which would evaluate curriculum and education standards at school level in different states and suggest measure to improve them.
Addressing the state education ministers conference here, HRD minister Kapil Sibal said each school board has its own system of examination and there is no mechanism to know the standard of the assessment system of the school boards.
"We need to keep up with the global standards. We are planning to start a National Institute for Assessment which evaluate the curriculum, examination system and education standards," he said. He sought the support of education ministers at the conference for this purpose.
At present, there are national agencies like National Accreditation and Assessment Authority and National Board of Assessment which are into assessment of higher and technical educational institutions. However, there is no national agency for assessment of standards of education at school level.
Sibal said the school boards need to adopt uniform curriculum so that students of all the states get level playing field to compete at national and international levels. He said the Council of Boards of School Education (COBSE) had a dialogue with the school boards and has prepared a core curriculum which can be adopted by the states with suitable changes as per the local requirements.
"If you have a core curriculum, it will be easier for all the states to hold exam and evaluate," he said.
The COBSE has already prepared a core curriculum in Science and Mathematics. It is in the process of preparing a curriculum in Commerce. He harped on curriculum framework for having value education so that children become responsible citizens of the country.
Sibal also stressed on having mandatory physical education programme at school level. The Minister said the government is planning to start National Education Funding Corporation which would provide easy credits at concessional rates to students and institutes.
Students with less than Rs 4.5 lakh of family income per annum will get loans at four per cent interest and the government will refinance the banks towards the loss incurred by them. Similarly, institutions can get loans at about eight per cent which they can pay back over a period of 20 to 25 years, he said.