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President calls for hiking gross enrolment in education

Thursday, November 19, 2009 (16:45:20) Tags: India, Secondary Education, Pratibha Patil, Primary Education New Delhi: Emphasizing that the number of enrolments in primary and secondary education is very low in the country compared to rest of the world, President Pratibha Patil today called for making "strenuous efforts" to increase gross enrolment. Gross enrolment ratio is the number of students enrolled in education expressed in percentage of the total school going population. "A massive expansion in higher education through new institutions is under way. Strenuous efforts are required to reach our goal of enhancing gross enrolment in education to 20 percent by 2020," Patil said. She was speaking at the Silver Jubilee celebrations of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) here today. At the event, Patil launched three new education initiatives - IGNOU flexi learn portal, Gyandeep for post retirement learning and certification for army personnel and new channels on Gyaanvaani. "The open university system being flexible and innovative can be useful for a wide section of society and should help in improving skills. Only five percent of workforce in India had some kind of certification this is in contrast to 85 percent in developed countries," she said. The president said that open universities, like IGNOU which is also the largest distance education provider, should also generate "a movement in rural areas that will impel people to acquire knowledge and skill". Gyandeep has been launched in collaboration with the Indian Army in order to provide post-retirement formal qualifications for job opportunities for ex-servicemen. "Till now the skills those armies personnel acquire while in service were not reflected in any formal degrees. I am happy that through the new collaboration they will get appropriate certification... to start a new professional life at the end of their careers in army," she said. The army's 47 regimental training centers across the country will serve as regional IGNOU colleges. (IANS)