Bangalore: Every child must get the right to education and with this thought education is now being given out to a larger mass in the country. The government is constantly working on making education available to every strata of the society, with many initiative programs. The condition that still persists is the bleak quality of teaching that’s being offered in the name of education.
The report said that the standard of education at Indian schools is ‘abysmally poor’. It also recommended ways to fix the quality of teaching.
The report on improving the standard of education was a part of the initiative undertaken by IDFC, where the infrastructure finance-firm submitted recommendations on different themes, to the Prime Minister of India. This year’s theme was the education system in the country.
The report also mentioned a recent survey conducted by non-profit group Pratham, where it was found that over half the surveyed students in the fifth grade were unable to read the text meant for second grade students.
The report said, “Annual surveys have been showing that government actions are not yielding desired outcome of providing quality education,” as reported by Wall Street Journal India.So far the focus of Indian government’s initiatives has largely been on increasing the number of students attending schools. With the introduction of Right to Education Act in 2010, it enforces free and compulsory education for all children between the ages of 6 and 14, in government schools. The act has also reserved 25 percent seats for underprivileged children in all schools.
The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh flaunted the Right to Education bill, which is one of his government’s key measures taken to boost education in India, at a golden jubilee celebration for a chain of government schools. However, he also remarked over the quality of education offered in these schools, he said, “But, the standard of teachers and teaching is not up to the mark,” as reported by Wall Street Journal India.
Agreeing with the remark, the IDFC report informed that India’s primary schools are short of over one million teachers.
It further claimed that the current teachers in these schools have poor training, due to the fact that there is a shortage of faculty in the teacher training institutes. It also cited that the teacher training institutes are majorly located in the urban areas, which is not accessible to those from the rural parts who need training. As the literacy levels are traditionally lower in the rural areas with the lack of enough training centers, it results in the poorly trained teachers.
The IDFC report also advised to reconsider India’s education curriculum, by making it more job- oriented to a certain degree.It has been shown by several studies that Indian students don’t seem to posses the skills required for a job in the real world. As cited in a study carried out by Aspiring Minds, a talent management firm, found that less than 10 percent of MBA graduates have the necessary skills to be ‘employable’ in India.
As there are number of vocational training institutes in India, the IDFC report depicted that students don’t sign up for these because the perception about these programs ‘are for those who could not make it to the formal system,’ as reported by Wall Street Journal India.
To beat this trend, IDFC recommends introducing vocational or skills-training at the secondary level in schools. However the scene of India’s education sector is not all gloomy and stark. As per the IDFC report there has been an incredible rise in the number of schools in the country, which touched 1.36 million by 2011.
The rise in the number of school and students attending has also resulted in the high rate of students who quit schools, for various reasons. However the rate of dropout has reduced from 69 percent in 2003 to 49 percent in 2011, informed the report. The dropout rate continues to be high among the most impoverished sections of Indian society.
Quantity can never beat quality. Unless and until education serves the purpose of building individuals who reflect the knowledge dispensed over the years of training program, which enables them to earn a living and also create a society with discretion, its quality will be always questioned.