Committee of State Education Ministers Oppose US Model For Community Colleges

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Indian Education Policy Committee of state education ministers has recommended that proposed 200 community colleges should be given a suitable indigenous name, which meets the character of these colleges aptly and meets the contemporary needs of our society and nation. Though highly successful in the US, the committee has said, not all its features can be imported to India due to socio-economic and socio-cultural differences between the nations.

The committee that also visited the US to study community colleges has said in India these colleges should offer courses that are a mix of knowledge and skill components. Three year honours degree course could be broken into modules/credits specifying the total number of credits required for acquiring a degree. The skill component of the curriculum should be separately drawn.

It has been recommended that these colleges should specify the credit requirements for awarding other qualifications like certificate, diploma, advanced diploma so that those who join after class XII and want to leave should have some qualification. These colleges have also to be asked to offer short-term courses of various durations to the learners in areas where no formal qualification would be needed.

Committee has suggested a student of community college will have the option to exit after completing certain credit points of a course and rejoin the course at his/her convenience later with full protection of credit already earned. Since these colleges are meant to serve the need of the community, local students would be given suitable weightage in registration. Central and state governments have been asked to lend support. States would set up State Level Steering Committee under chief secretary and representation from all stakeholders and the Centre would form a National Level Monitoring Committee. Cost of establishing these colleges would be shared by the Centre and states.

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