Education is an integral part of human development. As per the great South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist Nelson Mondela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. Even the great Indian philosopher and sage, Swami Vivekananda has stressed on the importance of Education in his own words as “Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man”.
The Indian education system has been greatly influenced and inherited by the British policies of Education since the pre-independence era. The ratio of public schools to private schools in India is 7:5. However, more than approximately 75% of the population of India is dependent on Public Sector for the education of their children.
Article 21(A) of Indian constitution ensures compulsory education of children between the ages of 6 to 14 years through the Right to Education Act 2009. The current literacy rate (age 7 years and above who can read & write with understanding) of India is 74.04% (census 2011).
Since independence of India, increasing the literacy rate was the prime objective of Govt. of India. Mere opening of schools throughout the country, without giving much importance to the quality of education, would never solve the problem of employability.
Indian higher educational Institutions / Universities are lying far below in the global rankings. Not a single Indian University got its place in top 200 universities of the world! University of Delhi has bagged a position of 421 and the other universities of India are even lower in 2015 ranking. The special higher educational institutions like IITs, IIMs, IISC, AIIMS etc. have their marks in the global arena due to their autonomous or semi-autonomous administrative structure. The IISC Banglore has bagged a position of 147 and IIT Delhi at 149, which are the only two institutions which made it to the top 200 University rankings. (Source: QS World University Rankings 2015/16)
There is hardly any emphasis or encouragement by the Government of India towards research, as majority of the top students opt out from further studies due to the non-availability of well-paying jobs after getting a PHD or even higher research degree in any field. Hence most of the bright students either opt for foreign Universities for research purpose or join the job market.
The private sector Public Schools are modelled after British Public Schools, which are a group of older, expensive and exclusive fee-paying private independent schools in England. Although the quality of education in these schools is undoubtedly higher, the fee structure is equally higher as well, which are much beyond affordability of an average Indian household. There are some other English-Medium as well as Regional-Medium private schools in India, which fill the gap between privately funded public schools and Govt. funded schools.
The boom in the privately funded technical and management institutes are worth mentioning here. The post liberalisation era (1991 onwards) witnessed inflow of private funds to many sectors including the IT and ITES sector, which witnessed unprecedented boom in terms business expansion and employment generation. Simultaneously the demand for qualified Engineering and Management graduates also increased. Hence, the boom in the privately funded institutes came to place.
Now, it is the need of the hour to have strong regulatory mechanism in place to control these institutions as they fail to provide quality education and also employment in the job market. So, strict adherence to rule and eradication of corruption from the regulatory bodies like AICTE, UGC, NCERT, DEC, COA, MCI, BCI etc need to be ensured.
The civil society institutions like NGOs and the society at large have a great role in order to make the education system efficient in India. The NGOs working in the Education sector need to monitor help and ensure quality of education in their respective places. Both Government and NGOs need proper coordination to make the public sector education qualitative.
One of the major problems with public sector education is that there is no performance-reward correlation. So, there is hardly any encouragement among the talented youth to join the public sector as a teacher. This scenario needs to be changed first.
The education system (course curriculum) needs to be centralized or standardized irrespective of the medium of instruction (education) all over India, keeping a certain portion of the syllabus reserved to focus on the regional aspects (like history, geography or culture of a State). It will help students become comparative and ready to face competitive exams while applying for a job.
In short, there needs to be made some systematic changes and additions like skill development etc. into the education system of India to make the Indian students competitive in the world stage and transform India into a developed country in least possible time.
By Prabodh Mishra at indiaopines blogs
The author also blogs at- click here