Sunday, January 05, 2014

Quality of Primary Education in India

I found an interesting article depicting where education of India stands. With around 74% of  people of India literate, India has leapfrog in terms of attaining numbers.What remains a cause of concern is the plight of education system at primary level, esp in interiors of India.
Today, Indian Education System fails to provide fundamental skills at elementary level-
  1.  Being Literate good enough?
  • Literacy in India does not necessarily mean one can read or write as 1 out or 3 students complete Five years of Primary schooling without being able to read a grade 2 textbook.
  • Even after Right to Education Act (RTE) was passed in 2009, both reading and arithmetic skills have dipped in past two years. For e.g. % of Girls who can read a story in 2008 was 47.2% while it has dipped to 46.1 % in 2011. And % of Girls who can solve a division problem was 32.9% in 2008 while it has gone to 29.1% in 2011.
     2.  Weak Infrastructure
  • The number of schools in India has risen but many schools just poses itself as place for mediocrity.
  • For E.g. More than half of the classes are conducted with students from more than one grade sitting together.
  • Half of the schools in the country have no working toilets and 1 out of 5 schools have no access to drinking water.
      3. Poor Ambiance
  • Every student has to compete with 41 other students in a class for the teacher's attention in primary schools.  
  • As a result , about one-third of the class is found absent in primary schools.
       4. Behind in the race
  • In OECD ratings, which gives country comparison based on quality of education, India comes under the category of Low Education Development Index, ranked 102 in the world.
  • In Annual Status of Education Report (2011), showed that only 40% of those who had primary education make it to the secondary school, and only 12% go to the college.
 What needs to be done?
  1. Reverse Brain Drain
  • One of the main reasons for India's Failure to improve Education is its incapacity to lure the brightest to work in India.
  • Lack of qualified teachers is one of the most important reasons for poor teaching quality.
  • We need to improve the quantity and quality of Teachers.
     2. Lack of diversity in Education System
  • India lacks diversity in education. Fields like Engineering and Medicine dominate Indian Education space. India needs to explore more areas of research and expertise.
     3. Practice than Preach
  • Indian needs to put its policy into practice and undertake massive campaigns for free education across India.
  • With 25 % compulsory admission of needy students in Private and International Schools, its opens a new ray of hope for all those willing to study in better infrastructure.
  • With NGO's like Teach for India, one can hope that India can raise the bar of quality education in villages and towns.

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Quality of Primary Education in India
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