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Listening to our new HRD Minister outlining his proposed educational reforms was music to the ears and balm to the heart. He said his mantra was “expansion, inclusion and excellence” and this was not possible “if you deny access to education to every single child in the country”echoing in his own way what I have been harping about for almost a decade now.

A grading formula instead of the inane mark systems, a common Board for all the children of India, making the Xth Boards optional it all sounds too good to be true. For once the right R word is being used Reforms and not Reservations. Unifying and not dividing.

The new Minister seems to have his heart in the right place when he proposes: for instance, a municipal school building has two floors vacant. A private player can set up his classes and charge fees, while he imparts the same quality of education free to those studying in the municipal school. Personally I would have liked to hear the word common school but perhaps that is still a long way coming. I still hope it will happen one day.

This is the first time one is hearing a Minister talk for the children and not trying to fulfill and pursue some hidden political agenda. This is the first time one feels that education is in safe hands. Emboldened by what I read and hear I would like to suggest going one step further and institution an Indian Education Service on the lines of the IAS. This would bring about quality and unity in the teachers and give primary and school education the much needed acceptance.

Education is the corner stone of our society and it is time that we have it the place it deserves. I just hope that our new Minister will continue to address the situation the way he has begun. It is high time someone thought of India’s children.

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To the manor born