Education policy draft rejected | Students or customers
Draft education policy rejected by federal cabinet
Islamabad, June 11: The federal cabinet has rejected the new National Education
Policy and directed the Ministry of Education to re-submit fresh proposals after
seeking suggestions from educationists.
Official sources said on Wednesday that the cabinet in a special meeting chaired by Prime
Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani opined that the new education policy does not
represent the concerned quarters, including educationists, intellectuals, the
provincial government and teachers' unions, which was mandatory for it.
According to sources, the Ministry of Education tabled the same
proposals prepared by former education minister Ahsan Iqbal.
rejecting the draft of education policy, the cabinet has directed the education
ministry to seek recommendations of the concerned quarters to make it more
Sources said that the new policy draft would take another two
to three months after which it would be tabled before the cabinet for approval.
There is a chance that the new education policy would be announced after
four to five months, sources said.
Similarly, recommendation draft of
the policy also did not contain comments of the chief ministers of all the four
provinces, which was a mandatory obligation.
Commenting over the issue,
Ministry of Education Spokesman Aamir Raza confirmed the report and the reasons
behind rejection of the draft of the new education policy by the cabinet. He
said as per directions of the cabinet, the ministry would approach the related
educationists, union and associations representatives and all the four
provincial heads of the respective education departments. "Till then the old
system would be followed in all educational institutions including colleges and
schools at federal and provincial levels," he added. The News
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Students or customers?
London: Are corporate values now running education in the UK? Have schools in this
country been taken over by the language of management consultancy? And does this
imply an undermining of a central purpose of teaching: to encourage a sense of
inquiry and morality in young people?
These are some of the questions
raised - and answered in the affirmative - by a new report which is billed as
the largest investigation into education and training for 14- to 19-year-olds in
England and Wales for 50 years.
The Nuffield 14-19 review, based at
Oxford University, has taken six years to compile. Its report, which runs to 230
pages, attacks the "relentless change" in education as often counterproductive;
renews calls for a baccalaureate system for secondary schools; asks why many
young people drop out of education and training in their late teens, and calls
for the government to rethink plans to "coerce" them into staying on; and offers
contrasts between England's approach to school reform and that which has
operated in Wales since devolution.
It also finds space to praise
ministers for, among other things, their commitment to raising participation
rates among 16- to 18-year-olds and their investment in school buildings. But it
is what it has to say on the often troubled relationship between schools and
business in England that is, perhaps, most eye-catching, raising questions about
the philosophy that has governed schools policy for many years.
section on "aims and values" of the UK education system, the report says that
one set of goals - the need to improve schooling to serve the requirements of
the economy - has been given prominence. It cites a speech by Tony Blair in 2005
in which he said: "The country will succeed or fail on the basis of how it
changes itself and gears up to this new economy, based on knowledge. Education
is now the centre of economic policymaking for the future."
government, says the report, has therefore laid down a set of aims that are
dominated by the need to develop skills for the economy. This comes across not
just in the set of exam results-based performance indicators by which schools
are judged, but in the language that is used to describe education policy and
The report says that growing central control of
education has helped to produce a drive to talk about schooling from a
"performance management" perspective, which is borrowed from business.
It says: "The consumer or client replaces the learner. The curriculum is
delivered. Aims are spelt out in terms of targets. Audits (based on performance
indicators) measure success defined in terms of hitting the targets."
adds: "As the language of performance and management has advanced, so we have
proportionately lost a language of education which recognises the intrinsic
value of pursuing certain sorts of question ... of seeking understanding [and]
of exploring through literature and the arts what it means to be human."
The report cites the decision by ministers, when they were developing a
system of performance management for teachers in the late 1990s, to bring in
management consultants Hay-McBer to define what constituted good teaching.
Another consultancy, McKinsey and Company, was seen as the authority on
effective teaching after producing a report in 2007 looking at outstanding
practice around the world.
The assumption behind much of education
policy - that performance targets are set for teachers in the form of pupils'
test and exam success, and the means by which they reach them are less important
- is also borrowed from industry.
Last week, a speech made by a leading
figure in school assessment referred frequently and uncritically to pupils being
teachers' "customers". The Guardian
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Student on UK deportation list returns home
London: Tariqur Rehman, one of the 10 Pakistani students arrested on
suspicion of being involved in plotting terrorist activities in the UK and then
released for want of actionable evidence but facing deportation orders on
national security grounds, returned home on Wednesday after authorities withdrew
his deportation orders.
"Now he carries no 'terror' stigma any more and
we assume that the Pakistani authorities too would have no cause to detain him
on his arrival for interrogation," one of the solicitors defending the students
said. Meanwhile, bail applications of other nine Pakistani students in appeal
against their deportation orders are likely to get a positive boost when they
come up for hearing on July 27 by a landmark ruling on Wednesday by the law
The ruling is said to have dealt a major blow to the government's
controversial use of 'control orders' on terror suspects. The ruling said that
reliance on secret evidence denies the suspects a fair trial.
nine-judge panel led by Lord Philips of Worth Matravers, the senior law lord,
upheld a challenge on behalf of three men (not among the detained Pakistani
students) on 'control orders'.
Control orders imposed on individual
suspects by the home secretary can include home curfews of up to 16 hours a day,
a ban on travelling abroad, the approval of all visitors by the Home Office,
monitoring of all phone calls, and bans on using the internet and mobile phones.
The orders have not been quashed but the law lords have ordered that the
cases be heard again.
The three had argued that the refusal to disclose
even the "gist" of the evidence against them denied them a fair trial under the
Human Rights Act.
In the ruling, Lord Philips said: "A trial procedure
can never be considered fair if a party to it is kept in ignorance of the case
Lord Hope said "the slow creep of complacency must be
resisted" and that to protect the rule of law, courts must insist the person
affected be told what was alleged against him.
These observations are
likely to help the solicitors defending the Pakistani students facing
deportation orders as in their cases as well the authorities are not willing to
disclose what is alleged against them.
A report in The Guardian on
Wednesday quoted Home Secretary Alan Johnson as saying that the judgment was
extremely disappointing. "Protecting the public is my top priority and this
judgment makes that task harder," he said. "Nevertheless, the government will
continue to take all steps we can to manage the threat presented by terrorism." Dawn
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