New Delhi: A parliamentary panel has advised the Union government to hold discussions with stakeholders before implementing the option of multiple entry and multiple exit (MEME) under the national education policy (NEP).
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Education, headed by BJP MP Vivek Thakur, made the recommendation after the government faced significant backlash from students and teachers on the provision.
The panel, in a report titled ‘Implementation of the National Education Policy, 2020 in Higher Education’, said Indian institutions were likely to face several issues in implementing this system. The report was tabled in both Houses of Parliament during the recently concluded special session, the Hindu reported.
According to the report, the panel said that while MEME has been successfully implemented in the West, it would be difficult to execute in India. “If institutions allow MEME, it would be very difficult for the institutions to predict how many students would exit and how many would join midway. Since institutions would not know the in- and out-traffic, it will certainly disturb the pupil-teacher ratio,” the report said.
The report also pointed out that uneven geographical distribution of higher educational institutions would create hurdles in managing MEME in several areas, mostly countryside. “The institutions have not thought very clearly about this problem and how they will resolve it when it is at their doorstep,” the report added.
While recognising that MEME would offer students greater flexibility and choice in their educational pathways, the panel asked the Union government to develop comprehensive guidelines and a well-defined framework for MEME options, including specific eligibility criteria, credit transfer mechanisms and a clear road map for students pursuing different exit points.
“Also, implementation of a standardised Credit Accumulation and Transfer (CAT) system that allows students to earn and transfer credits seamlessly across institutions would facilitate smooth transitions between different levels of education, from certificate courses to doctoral programmes,” the report said.
The panel also asked the Union education ministry to hold discussions with various educational institutions and their regulatory bodies to understand the problems in NEP’s implementation and what can be done to address these challenges. The committee has asked the ministry to apprise it of the findings after these consultations, the Hindu report said.
Meanwhile, students and teachers raised apprehensions about the proposed exit and entry system. “It will reduce the value of one’s degree and this is a way to produce cheap labour for the job market. It’s an eyewash and we want the existing system to continue,” Mayukh Biswas, general secretary of the Students Federation of India (SFI) was quoted by the paper as saying.