Khader panel yet to submit final report on education reforms

Thiruvananthapuram: The MA Khader Committee that was appointed to recommend administrative and education reforms in general education, still hasn’t turned in the final report despite extending the duration at least six times in the last four-and-a-half years.

The duration of the sixth extension had ended on 30 April this year. Meanwhile, the government hasn’t allowed another extension yet.

The committee with former director of State Council of Education Research and Training Dr MA Khader as the chairman was appointed in 2017 to study about the scope of revising the general education in the light of implementing the Right to Education Act of 2007. The committee has Jyothi Choodan and C Ramakrishnan as the members.

Early proposals

Initially, the committee was formed for just three months. However, the government kept extending the duration of the committee. The first part of the report was submitted in 2019 January. In this part, the committee had recommended to merge classes 1 to 10, higher secondary and vocational higher secondary departments under a single directorate, to make the principals the head of the institution, to turn the current high school head masters into vice principals and to appoint teachers who are post graduates by considering classes 8 – 12 as secondary level.

Next likely recommendations

However, many of these recommendations had become controversial. It is in the second part that the committee should elaborate on how to implement these recommendations and also to make other academic recommendations. This report that may contain significant details and hence could create a storm, however, has been delayed indefinitely. The chairman, meanwhile, had explained to the government that the report has been delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

When the duration of the fifth extension had ended on 31 January last year, the committee had written to extend the duration for three more months as the members couldn’t meet due to the third wave of the pandemic.

Expenses mount
Dr. MA Khader committee that hasn’t submitted the final report has reportedly spent Rs 3.38 for DTP alone. As per the information gathered by S Manoj, the state general secretary of Aided Higher Secondary Teachers Association, via the Right to Information Act, the committee had spent around Rs 12,59,696, in four-and-a-half years after its appointment.

Even though the committee explained that it hasn’t been able to submit the final report due to the pandemic outbreak, it has spent significant amount of money during that time too. The DTP operator who was appointed by the committee had been paid Rs 76,440 lakh as remuneration until now.

Around Rs 3.96 lakh has been spent for paying the remuneration alone. Meanwhile, Rs 69,187 was spent for Travel and Dear Allowances. Rs 47,888 has been spent for food expenses, Rs 1,08,460 for travel, Rs 1,59,551 for accommodation, Rs 72,461 for printing and Rs 18,000 for translation.

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