Essay Topic : Education in India
Quotes by famous personalities:
- “Learning is not the product of Learning is the product of the activity of learners” – John Holt
- “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela
- “There is no school equal to a decent home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent” – Mahatma Gandhi
- “Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time” – Rabindranath Tagore
- “The best teachers are those who show you where to look but don’t tell you what to see” –Alexandra Trenfor
- “Intelligence plus character that is the goal of true education” – Martin Luther King
- “Learning gives creativity, creativity leads to thinking, thinking provides knowledge and knowledge makes you great” – Dr. Abdul Kalam
- Education is derived from two Latin words “educare,” which means to train or to mold, and “educere,” meaning to lead out.
· How does Education differ from Literacy?
- Literacy is more of a quantitative measures where education is more qualitative in
- Literacy is mostly confined to formal schooling whereas education not only includes formal schooling but also parents, family and society at large
- Literacy is mostly linked to skills where education is linked with all-round development of man. It not includes skills but also values, morals etc.
- Great philosopher Rabindranath Tagore has also dwelled on According to him, the aim of education is creative self-expression through physical, mental, aesthetic and moral development.
HISTORY OF EDUCATION IN INDIA
- The earliest education system to develop in India was known as ‘Vedic system’ with the ultimate aim being complete realization of self. This system was based on ‘Gurukul’ which fostered a bond between the Guru & the Shishya and established a teacher centric system in which the pupil was subjected to a rigid discipline and was under certain obligations towards his teacher
- The world’s first university was established in Takshila in 700 BC and the University of Nalanda was built in the 4th century BC dominated by Indian scholars like Charaka and Sushruta, Aryabhatta, Chanakya, Patanjali made seminal contribution to world knowledge in diverse fields as mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry, medical science and surgery, etc.
- During the freedom struggle, several leaders like Gokhale, Ram Mohan Roy and Mahatma Gandhi worked for better education for our people, particularly women. Indigenous model of education was a major component of Gandhi’s conception of Swaraj and Swadeshi
- Post-Independence, the importance of education as a precondition for development was very well recognized by the leadership.
- In the last 20 years, education discourse in India has undergone a major transformation and new concepts such as rights-based approach to elementary education; shift in emphasis from literacy and basic education to secondary, higher, technical and professional education; the endeavour to extend universalization to secondary education; reshape the higher education scenario.
Commissions and Committees related with Education over the years
- University Education Commission (1948) under chairmanship of S. Radhakrishnan – recommended to make higher education accessible to all sections of society, irrespective of region, caste, gender and region.
- Secondary Education Commission (1952) chairmanship of Dr. A. Lakshmanaswami Mudaliar– proposed to increase efficiency of production, diversification of high school courses, establishment of multipurpose high schools, introducing a uniform pattern throughout India and recommended the setting up of technical
- Indian Education Commission (1964-66) under the chairmanship of S. Kothari– recommended a comprehensive reconstruction based on three main aspects -a) Internal transformation b) Qualitative improvement and c) Expansion of educational facilities.
- National Educational Policy of 1968 was formulated in accordance with the recommendations of the Kothari Commission. It recommended for – provision of compulsory education to children in the 6-14 years age group as proposed in the Indian Constitution; emphasis on regional languages in secondary schools; English had to be the medium of instruction in schools, considered Hindi as the national language and promoted the development of Sanskrit; 6 percent of the national income be spent on education.
- National Policy on Education (1986) – provide education to all sections of society esp. SCs, Sts, OBCs & women; provision of fellowships for the poor, imparting adult education, recruiting teachers from oppressed groups and also developing new schools and colleges; Providing primary education to students; education be given to rural people in consonance with the Gandhian philosophy; establishment of Open Universities; promotion of IT in education ; besides opening up the technical education sector in a rather big way to private
- National Policy on Education (1992) – The Government of India had set up a commission under the chairmanship of Acharaya Ramamurti in 1990 to reassess the impact of the provisions National Policy on Education, 1986. It recommended for – The setting up of Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) as the highest advisory body to advise the Central and State Governments; focus on quality enhancement in education; stressed on developing moral values among students and bringing education closer to
- S.R. Subramanian committee major recommendations – an Indian Education Service (IES) should be established as an all India service; outlay on education should be raised to at least 6% of GDP; There should be minimum eligibility condition with 50% marks at graduate level for entry to existing B.Ed courses; Teacher Entrance Tests (TET) should be made compulsory for recruitment of all teachers; Compulsory licensing or certification for teachers in government and private schools should be made mandatory; Pre-school education for children in the age group of 4 to 5 years should be declared as a right; mid-day meal (MDM) program to be extended to secondary schools; Top 200 foreign universities should be allowed to open campuses in India.
- The central government has constituted Kasturirangan Commission (2017) to draft a new education policy for Points to be focused on in the new education policy – Address key areas of concern – access and participation, quality, equity, research and development and financial commitment to education development. Inclusion of culture education having ‘ethics education’ These will be addressed through policy interventions broadly into preschool and adolescent education, curriculum development and examination reform, teacher and faculty training, lifelong literacy, higher education and long distance learning.
DIFFERENT LEVELS OF EDUCATION IN INDIA – THEIR ISSUES, CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS:-
· Pre-Schooling level
o Issues and Challenges
- Early childhood is a very important period of life when the foundations are laid for cumulative lifelong learning and human
- Rapid urbanisation , rise in nuclear family and breaking of Joint Family forcing many parents to send their children to
- Role of State – Early childhood Care and Education up to the age of 6 doesn’t form part of the formal education under Central or State governments. In addition, this vacuum has been partly filled by schools and pre-schools which have mushroomed in the private sector without adequate
- Pre-schooling has mostly tended to emphasize on a universal or one-size-fits-all approach –approach to schooling without taking into consideration different demands of children. Also, pre-schooling has become a platform for admission into prestigious school rather than a platform for
- Lack of resources and absence of a universal curriculum
- Early childhood care and education for children from 4-5 years of age should be declared as a right within the purview of Right to Education Act,
- There is a need to introduce a new education component in Anganwadi practices, to ensure that the pre-school children are exposed to elementary
- NCERT and SCERTs should formulate curricular framework for pre-primary education apart from conducting intensive training programs for teachers to orient them with handling of pre-school children.
· Primary level
o Issues and Challenges
- Out of School Children – As per official record, over 92 lakh children still remain out of
- High Dropout and Low Attendance
- Poor Learning Outcomes – Corroborated by Annual Status of Education Survey
- Absence of basic facilities
- Absence of support outside Schooling
- Inadequate support for vulnerable sections like women, tribals
- Rising cost of education because of mushrooming of private schools
- There is a need to amend RTE Act, to provide for norms for learning outcomes which directly affect quality of
- There is a need to restore detention policy under RTE especially at the upper primary stage along with provisions for remedial coaching and offering of at least two extra chances to move to a higher
- There is a need to use technology to help slow learners to make up for lost
· Secondary level
o Issues and Challenges
- Access to schooling – States are mainly responsible for provision of education at secondary level and ensuring quality of education with the Central government playing only a marginal role.
- High dropout rates – Secondary education reflects a very high level of dropouts especially for vulnerable groups because of poverty, social restrictions or lack of belief in usefulness of education
- Curriculum – It has negligible or no emphasis on IT and vocational areas
- Poor linkage with higher education – Secondary level education has failed to prepare students for higher education r.t skills or values. As a result there is mushrooming of coaching institutions and skewed selection of courses for higher education.
- There is a need to gradually extend provision of RTE to cover secondary education
- There is a need to scale up the existing National Skills Qualification Framework to include more There is also a need to in-line choice of vocational courses in accordance with local opportunities and resources.
· Higher level
o Issues, Challenges
- Enrolment and Equity – GER continues to hover around 25% which is low in comparison to other countries at similar level. In addition, there is no equity in GER among different sects of the society
- Regulation – Regulators like MCI, UGC, AICTE continue to be marked by inadequate financial and human resources, nepotism, corruption and favoritsm
- Political interference – Higher education is fast emerging as a lucrative business and a number of education institutions have cropped up which are owned by political In addition, there is a growing political interference in running educational institution as seen in the case of Delhi University.
- Resources – Both financial as well as human
- Employability – According to a survey done by Aspiring Minds (Employment solutions company), only 7% of engineering graduates employable.
- Inadequate emphasis on R&D and collaboration with Industries
- There is a need for regulatory overhaul in apart from streamlining the financing of higher education sector
- Also, there is a need to reform the process of recruitment, opportunities for teachers. There is a need to introduce performance-based incentives on a objective criteria to rate and promote teachers.
- Finally, there is a need to also reform the accreditation institutions, their methodology and accountability.
STAKEHOLDERS IN EDUCATION – ISSUES, CHALLENGES & SOLUTIONS
· Parents: “Home is the first school, parents are the first teachers.”
- Issues & Challenges
- Urban Families-
- Lack of time spent with children leads to communication-gap/generation-gap.
- Forced decisions on career-choices/selection of stream after 10th Boards, etc
- Passing of the pressure to children for high grades
- High income families resort to too much donations to get their child admitted in elite schools rather than emphasizing upon them the real value and essence of education g. parents supporting fake degrees, cheating, etc.
- Urban Families-
- Rural Families-
- Education is seen merely as a means to get the label of a degree
- High dropout rates because of unaffordable fees and lack of awareness about welfare schemes.
- Transportation or commutation for girls a major hurdle to give them access to education
- Medium of instruction also becomes a hurdle
- Caste based discrimination
- Huge and wide gap between parent’s education and the environment they get in school
- There is a need to convince parents of first generation students about the value and importance of education.
According to a World Economic Forum Report, Indian parents spend an average of 12 hours a week helping with homework compared to 6.2 hours in the US
and 3.6 in the UK. Also, 62 per cent Indian parents help homework, which is significantly higher than many other countries
· Students: “The Ideal Student Would Be One Who Was Not Working For Grades, But Was Working because he was interested in the work and not try to compete with his fellow students”.
o Issues & Challenges
- Heightened expectations and pressure from family to become part of rat race – competition, admission in colleges, good grades in board exams, etc
- Mass copying and use of unfair means to pass exams
- Lack of critical enquiry abilities, capacity to think clearly, rationally and engage in reflective, independent and deep thinking
- Influence of media – films, internet, and computer games, etc
- Mental disorders – depression, attention deficit disorder, anxiety, addiction, etc
- Crimes like stealing, sexual assault, intolerance towards teachers, etc
- Disconnect with family because of too much time spent on internet, with friends, etc.
Children with Special Needs
● India has huge population of children with special needs (Differently abled) who inspite of provisions in RTE for statutory right to education continue to be denied this right.
● A recent report of CAG has highlighted that transport, aid and appliances were not
provided as envisaged in the act to all the eligible children with special needs.
● It is no surprise that the number of illiterates in this category of children
continue to very high in proportion in comparison with rest of the children.
● The way forward must include – Availability of proper study material; Adequate
sensitivity among teachers and their proper raining; Availability of aid devices for
· Teachers: “The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.”
o Issues & Challenges
- Education is no longer seen as a service to transform students’ future but as a profession
- In many cases, entry into the teaching profession is out of compulsion rather than choice esp for women as its seen as a ‘pink collared job’, chances of good marriage proposals increase, etc.
- Usage of mechanical/outmoded techniques and lack of innovative methods to teach
- Overburdening and involvement of teachers in other non-teaching tasks
- Low pay scale, especially in private institutions, compared to workload leading to Also, lack of incentive to work harder and improve. Hence, little zeal or enthusiasm for teaching.
- No teachers’ accountability and system of feedback from the students
- Need for sensitivity/emotional intelligence: Teachers need to factor in the socio- economic backgrounds of children, for instance a hungry or an abused child will not be able to learn Programmes must guide teachers on how to nurture and develop this set of children. The more a teacher knows about a student, the better they will be able to support their learning and progress.
- Teachers need to be made more accountable through enhanced involvement of the school management committee
- Recognising the need for supportive supervision and incentives to ensure teacher performance and accountability, as well as use of technology to monitor teacher attendance and curb absenteeism.
- Need for acquaintance with best practices practiced across India and world and adaptation of newer techniques for better absorption and assimilation of knowledge by students.
Expenditure on Education
• According to the Economic Survey 2017- 18, India’s average expenditure on
education is 2.8% of GDP.
• Developing countries like South Africa and Brazil spend about 5.8% whereas
neighboring Bhutan spends more than 7% of its GDP on education.
• According to World Bank:–
o countries like Norway, Sweden and Finland spend an average 7.5% of GDP on education.
o US, UK, France, Germany and Australia spend between 5 to 6 percent.
- Institutions: “School is a building which has four walls with tomorrow inside” Educational Institutions are seen as temples of learning but today they are working as industries.
o Issues & Challenges
- Access and Equity
- Commercialisation of Education – Schools and Colleges have become money making institutions rather than providing quality E.g. capitation fees, excessive fee hikes, additional costs for uniform, books, etc.
- The poor, despite the subsidies, still find education unaffordable and are often forced to drop out. Schools regularly flout rules such as 25% reservation for the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) / Disadvantaged Groups (DG) in private non-aided schools.
- Distortion of welfare schemes such as Mid-Day Meal by asking parents to pay for meals
- Issue of fake income and caste certificates leaves out the intended beneficiaries of government initiatives.
- Child labour, migration, child marriage are others barriers to education
- Lack of transparency and fairness in admission process and absence of grievance redress mechanisms are obstacles to proper implementation of the Right to Education Act
Solutions to improve quality issue in education
• Leveraging technology: There is a need to increasingly employ latest technologies in the field of education for enhancing the learning outcomes as well as making the
teaching process easier and more enjoyable for the students.
• Several initiatives by NGOs, like Azim Premji Foundation and Digital Studyhall, and
corporations like ILFS, Educom, Intel, Medialabs, have taken lead in content creation, teacher training and classroom learning.
• Tie-ups between foreign and Indian institutes can be explored to provide expertise and faculty for teaching, curriculum building, and organizing student and teacher exchange programs.
- Lack of Infrastructure – lack of facilities such as drinking water, toilets, etc; overcrowded classrooms and improper construction of classrooms/schools (inadequate ventilation and lighting); lack of open spaces, greenery and playgrounds for students.
- Poorly trained faculty, large vacancies and absenteeism especially in public institutions.
- Overburdening of students with homework.
- Lack of secure environment provided to the children – security breaches leading to rapes, murder of children etc.
- Inadequate internships, quality of teaching and insufficient exposure to technologies such as Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Industry 4.0
- Lack of diversity in streams chosen – Only 10 Programmes out of approximately 180 cover 83% of the total students enrolled in higher education. (AISHE).
- Despite high enrolment, learning outcomes are low as seen in the Annual Status of Education Report – (ASER). For example, about 25% of 14-18 age group cannot read basic text fluently in their own language.
Language and Culture in Education
● The importance of early education in mother tongue and knowledge about indigenous culture has been conclusively proved to be very beneficial for better development of a human being.
● However, Indian record in this case has been very discouraging.
● In-spite of provisions in constitution and corroboration by several committees on
education, India has done very little to implement the issues.
● Issues – Poor training of teachers; Lack of resources like books and study material;
Inadequate funds etc.
● Some of the steps in this regard must include – Provision for education upto Class V in mother tongue, local or regional language; Indian culture, local and traditional knowledge should be given adequate space in the school education.
- Emphasis on memorizing factual information instead of applied knowledge.
- Need for multidisciplinarity – There is need for a shift from traditional single subject focussed education towards combining multiple disciplines to address real world problems and solve complex societal and business challenges
- Restructuring of examination system– Bringing an end to similar assignments and exams each term which leads to plagiarism/cheating specially in this age of free access to Students need to taught ethics and academic integrity as well.
- Significant changes in India’s academic culture are required to ensure that meritocracy operates at all levels.
VOCATIONAL EDUCATION: A NEED TO TAP THE ‘NEET’ (NOT IN EMPLOYMENT, EDUCATION OR TRAINING)
• The Not in Employment, Education or Training or NEET was a little-known measure in the early 2000s to highlight the vulnerabilities faced by adolescents who had dropped out of education. It assumes even more significance now as we look at youth productivity as a whole—especially of young adults from disadvantaged and high-risk backgrounds.
• According to the OECD, youth inactivity presents the share of young people (age 15-29) not in employment, education or training (NEET) as a percentage of the total number of young people in the corresponding age group.
• Thus, NEETs include all youth left outside paid employment and formal education and training systems. They are NEET because there are not enough quality jobs being created in the system and because they have little incentives or face too high constraints to be in the education and training systems.
• According to World Bank , ILO, (2017) , in India, share of NEET youth is 32.6 (%age of youth population)
• According to OECD & Eco. Survey 2017, over 30%(30.83) of youth aged 15-29 in India are not in employment, education or training (NEETs). This is more than double the OECD(14.56%) average and almost three times that of China(11.22%).
• Challenges in vocational/skills education and training
o Containing migration and decreasing the demand supply gap with a large rural/semi-urban workforce seeking to exit farming along with impact on job creation by automation, analytics, artificial intelligence, etc.
o Failure of Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) in producing a skilled labour force in the country.
o Skills training continues to be departmentally-scattered and fragmented in the country
o Higher education system has been aloof from the skills ecosystem . Department of Higher Education’s contribution in offering skills education and training is only about 4%, whereas the MSDE’s is 58%.
o The Sharda Prasad Committee Report, released in 2017, explains how private training partners have made a “mockery” of skills training by dolling out short-term courses.
o National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme of the Government of India needs to expand its purview to the institutes of higher education as well, which are currently under the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).
o India needs to learn from examples of countries like UK whose model of vocational education called Technical & Vocational Education & Training (TVET) which integrates skills and higher education at the level of policy, funding and implementation, regulatory powers to examine and assess skills is also given to a single non-ministerial department.
o Need for an interactive platform between educational institutions and corporate industry so as to have visibility on the expectations from students.
Steps taken recently by the government in Skill training
• Skill India Development Mission
• Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)
• Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Kaushal Yojana (DDU-GKY)
• Udaan for Jammu and Kashmir
• National UrbanLivelihoods Mission
FINANCING IN EDUCATION
- HIGHER EDUCATION FINANCING AGENCY (HEFA) created in 2016 is aimed at giving a major push for creation of high quality infrastructure in premier educational institutions
- It is being jointly promoted by the identified Promoter and the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) with an authorised capital of 2,000 crore.
- It would leverage the equity to raise up to Rs. 20,000 crore for funding projects for infrastructure and development of world class Labs in IITs/IIMs/NITs and such other institutions
- Apart from these, HEFA is also engaging in mobilisation of CSR funds from PSUs/Corporates to promote research and innovation
- Recently, the government has approved the proposal for expanding the scope of HEFA by tasking it to mobilise Rs 1,00,000 crore for Revitalizing Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE) by 2022 along with enhancing the its capital based to 10,000 crore.
● Concerns –
- Institutions need to be revenue surplus in order to borrow from HEFA and return the money, thus throwing concerns over possible fee
- Some critics have also pointed out that education is a public good and a primary responsibility of Hence, setting up of HEFA dilutes the responsibility of State towards education.
SECURITY ISSUES & CHALLENGES
- While schools are regarded as “Temples of Learning”, in recent times they have become breeding grounds of crime against children!
- In 2017, a seven-year-old boy was found murdered inside a school in Gurugram and the next day a five-year- old girl was raped in a school in Delhi.
· Areas of Security of children in schools
o Physical Safety
- The buildings should be built to ensure “life safety”, and be more resilient to hazards
- School administration, staff, teachers as well as students need to be better aware and prepared to respond to any catastrophe, natural or man-made
- The schools must leverage low cost and environment-friendly technologies without compromising on structural soundness and safety of the buildings
o Psychosocial Safety
- Children who are victims of violence show continuous symptoms of depression, dissociative reactions, feelings of helplessness, lack of emotional intelligence, and aggression
- Installing CCTV cameras at strategic locations across school premises would ensure that a child’s day- to-day life in school is constantly being monitored and recorded
- The security cameras can be effective in school safety investigations, or even act as deterrents to such behaviour
- The schools must be vigilant and constantly be on the lookout for any forms of child abuse, whether physical, emotional, or The staff should be trained to understand key indicators of child abuse, and be prepared to respond instantly to inappropriate or harmful behaviour.
- The policy framing process of schools must follow the prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery (PPRR) model of risk management. In matters pertaining to child safety, this model would help the school administration to be vigilant
o School transportation and safety
- In 2014, CBSE made it mandatory for all school buses to install GPS systems to ensure safe transportation of children to and from schools
- However, the actual need of the hour is to provide the school administration with an easy-to-use system to ensure safety of children and fleet management in real-time, and provide parents with constant updates of their children’s whereabouts
- With GPS integration, the performance of the driver can be gauged, while the live vehicle tracking app assures the parents of their child’s safety at all times.
o Background verification of staff
- When it comes to hiring teachers, administrators and other school staff, there are many good reasons to conduct pre-employment background checks for student safety
- Verification should include place of residence, past employment, and checking for any past criminal records as well as ongoing criminal cases
- This will help schools in screening people who come in contact with students within the school premises, including teachers, administrators, sports coaches, cleaning staff and volunteers.
o Visitor Management System
- Generic tags for visitors and handwritten late slips and permission slips for students will not really serve the purpose of recording and analysing information
- A digital visitor management system with visitor sign-in information and photo ID badges will instantly increase the level of security in schools
- Biometric security systems in schools automatically track student’s attendance records based on their swipe time
- The devices available can range from RFID (radio frequency identification) cards to fingerprint and facial recognition devices, eliminating any chances of unauthorised entry into school premises.
· Other Steps that can be taken for security of children
- Ensure that every part of the school is supervised by a teacher especially during break and sports. Corridor, Break and Sports grounds duties to be assigned separate from teaching duties
- Create a buddy system where children are paired up, or are in groups of They are responsible for knowing where their buddies are at any point of time, and preferably staying with them. It will also reduce in bullying incidents or atleast help in quick reporting.
- Awareness – educate children and make them aware of their own rights over their bodies, sex education in children-friendly and age-friendly manner
- Include parents in the safety community. Share their tools of keeping children safe
- Create an atmosphere of open communication within the school. Let children chatter freely with teachers, with head teachers and each other, sharing their fears and hopes.
PRIVATISATION IN EDUCATION
- The status of higher education continues to be dismal as can be seen in the recently published Times Higher Education (THE) Emerging Economies University Rankings –2018
- Issues in education in India – Lack of funding, poor quality of teachers, poor learning outcomes and problem of brain drain
- Amartya Sen says “India is trying to be the first country to become an industrial giant with an illiterate and unhealthy labour force”.
- Better access to infrastructure, faculty, global exposure and wider interaction with global educational institutions along with higher level research and innovation.
- It will act as platform for faculty exchange between different institutions resulting better training of teachers and opening more opportunities for them.
- It will lead to more competition in education sector thus leading to better quality for students.
- More inequity as it will deepen the already prevalent class divide in the Indian higher education system.
- The privatisation of education has benefited mainly the parallel system of coaching classes. The middle and even the lower class people are spending a fortune on their wards’ education by enrolling them in coaching
o Kota in Rajasthan is a classic example of how coaching classes have turned themselves into factories. The students are under tremendous pressure to perform with no time to rest and relax. Some 24 students, taking tuitions at these coaching factories, have committed suicide in 2017, unable to cope up with the rigorous schedule of the coaching classes. And last year, nearly 450 teenagers in AP and Telangana have committed suicide, due to the pressure of academic performance.
o Privatisation will lead to commodification of education as most of the private player in education view it as a business – Issues of capitation fees, poor accountability, fake degrees, fly-by-night operators etc.
o The privatisation should not be an alibi for the corrupt and inefficient functioning of public educational institutions.
o The indiscriminate privatisation of education has deprived the children of weaker section and under privileged the opportunity to receive quality
UPSC 2002 -Privatization of higher education in India.
- Since 2010, the Central School Board for Secondary Education instituted a policy requiring schools to provide opportunities for at least 40 to 45 minutes of physical activity during school hours for grades 1 to 10, and at least 90–120 minutes/week of Physical activity/ training/yoga for grades 10 to 12
- According to India’s 2016 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth by Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance, most Indian children do not achieve recommended levels of PA and spend most of their day in sedentary pursuits.
- A recent government research showed that children are spending 2 hours studying (no physical activity) against only 39 minutes playing any sports in a day.
· Issues & Challenges
- Inappropriate allocation and use of budget– The budgetary allocation for sports, which comes under the Union Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, is not as much as compared to the countries that excel in the Olympics and other International sports events.
- Lack of qualified coaches– Coach training programmes are not encouraged in India, as a result schools lack trained coaches.
- Inadequate provision of facilities and equipment and teaching materials, large class sizes.
- Lack of Investment by schools as well as by parents for excellence in sports
- Development of a national strategy for physical activity of children and youth
- Investments at national, state, local jurisdictional, and school and community levels
- Culturally and geographically appropriate policy interventions
- Facilitating active living through urban planning policy
- Physical activity education and promotion directed towards families and educators
- The Khelo India Programme launched in 2016 is a good initiative to promote sports among the youth.
Importance of Physical Education
• Sports forms a major part of a child’s education. It helps in building qualities of leadership, sharing, team spirit, obedience, discipline, willpower, and tolerance.
• It enhances their academic performance by increasing their physical and mental fitness.
• It teaches respect for teammates, opponents and rules of the conduct
ENTREPRENEURSHIP, INNOVATION AND RESEARCH
- Currently research in India is suffering from low standard, quality as well as lack of interest towards research as a career due to paltry and unsustainable stipend amounts
- Issue of ‘predatory journals’ with allegations of plagiarism, fabrication of fraudulent papers and fake peer reviews for monetary Researchers focus only on publishing research findings rather than filing patents and reaping financial benefits.
- More students prefer to go abroad for research due to better facilities, laboratories, more favourable culture of research, accessible top faculty, ease of affiliation with a laboratory or institute and higher perception of a foreign degree in the Indian job market compared to a local degree.
· Steps that can be take in this regard –
- Need for making researchers and faculties aware about patent filing and the advantages of collaboration with the industrial sector for commercialising innovations
- Resolving of issues like – Lack of financial support from the government for filing and maintenance of a patent, the long time taken to process a patent in India and absence of incentives or recognition for patent
- Very few top-quality programmes in advanced degrees – There is a need to build up high-quality capacity in key disciplines at national
o Steps taken by Government
- Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF) Scheme of Rs 70,000 monthly fellowship and Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE) announced in the Union Budget 2018-19 by 2022 with a total investment of ₹1,00,000-crore in the next four years are good steps to promote
- Atal Innovation Mission – Atal Tinkering Labs and Atal Incubators for supporting an innovative ecosystem in schools, universities, small and medium industries, corporate, NGOs and research institutions.
REGULATION IN HIGHER EDUCATION
- Higher education in India is currently regulated by a number of agencies like UGC, MCI, AICTE etc.
- Issues and Challenges
- Poor global rankings
- Currently, India continues to perform abysmally in global ranking of higher educational institutions.
- Archaic Law
- University Grants Commission Act was enacted in 1956. However, it is unsuitable for regulation today and needs to be changed in-line with the growing complexity and number of higher educational institutions.
- Inadequate financial resources and problems of corruption, nepotism, favouritism
- Higher educational sector in India has been characterized by inadequate financial resources and problems of nepotism, corruption and favouritism.
- Indian accreditation discourse has been marked by politicisation, conflict of interest, corruption and unscientific methodology
- Other Challenges
- Other challenges include Deemed Universities, fake universities, fake degrees, Politicization of UGC (Four year undergraduate programme etc )
● Recent initiatives by government
- Recently government prepared a draft act for repeal of UGC and setting up of HECI (Higher Education Commission of India).
- Government has come up with National Medical Commission Bill which is aimed at overhauling medical education in India and will replace the Medical Council of India.
○ An independent mechanism for administering the national higher education fellowship programme should be put in place.
○ A Central Educational Statistics Agency (CESA) should be established as the central data collection, compilation and consolidation agency with high quality statistical expertise and management information system should be used for predictive analysis, manpower planning and future course corrections.
○ An expert committee should be constituted to study the systems of accreditation in place internationally.
VALUE BASED EDUCATION
• Since ancient times, it is said “Sa Vidya Ya Vimuktaye,” which means that with education we finally attain salvation. This small Sanskrit phrase essentially contains the thought and essence of Value Education that is relevant in all perspectives.
• In simple terms Value-based Education is one which imparts certain essential moral, ethical, cultural, social, spiritual value in child necessary for their all-round development and prepares them as a complete man.
Importance of Value-based Education -WHY?
• Need of the Nuclear and Working parents’ family – because most of them are busy in work, they spend only a few hours with their children.
• There is too much violence and dishonesty in society – every day students are exposed to violence, dishonesty, and other social problems in the media and the real world. They tend to see and replicate these crimes – sexual violence, shooting bullying in school and fights between gangs. If moral values were taught in schools.
We would have fewer of these problems.
• To Counter Bad Influences in Society – Unfortunately, many of the role models of young people are setting bad examples. These bad examples range from sexual promiscuity, degrading of women, advocacy of violence, and the condoning of dishonesty in order to succeed.
What Value-Based Education can instill in students?
• It will prepare children for Future Roles in Society: The primary goals of education should be enabling students to gain knowledge and moral values. Children need both in preparing themselves to be good parents and citizens in society.
• It builds the character and is necessary for development of personality of an individual: It includes physical health, mental health, etiquettes and social behavior, civic rights and duties etc.
• Moral values teach us what is right or wrong. Thus, we can conduct our life in a right direction.
• Children will develop a secure sense of self. They become more empowered to take responsibility for their own learning
Some Important Moral Values in School Curriculum
1. Swami Vivekananda: “if we want to make our students as a moral human being, school curriculum is one of the best ways to serve this purpose” He suggested some important moral values which should be included in our school curriculum.
• Unconditional Love and Kindness: With more love in the world kindness will follow and replace cruelty
• Honesty & Hard work: No cheating in schools, telling truth
• Respect for Others i.e. respecting different religions, races, sexes, ideas, and lifestyles, etc.
• Co-operation: His motto, “united we stand and divided we fall,”’
• Compassion: If there were more compassion in the world. There would be less homeless, hunger, wars, and unhappiness
• Forgiveness: Anger in most cases is caused by unwillingness to forgive. There would be less violence and fighting in school if students could learn this moral virtue.
2. Mahatma Gandhi: “Education means all-round drawing out of the best in child and man—body, mind, and spirit.” He conducted Educational experiment at phoenix Ashram and Tolstoy wadi (Garden) in South-Africa.
• Education for character building
• Educational of soul should be imparted thought teacher’s (model) life rather than through books
• Health education for physical fitness and health and insistence for simple life.
• Importance for self-help and self-reliance, education for thoroughness (strength)
• Education for equality of all the religions, education based (founded) on truth, non-violence and justice.
• He presented “Wardha educational Scheme (also known as Nai Talim)” before the nation( 1937) based upon: free and compulsory education for all boys and girls between the ages of seven to fourteen; Education Through Craft or productive work; Education through the mother tongue; Ideal of citizenship
3. Rabindranath Tagore: “The highest education is that which does not merely give us information, but make our life in harmony with all existence”.
• There are four fundamental principles in Tagore’s educational philosophy; naturalism, humanism, internationalism and idealism. They are incorporated through –
o Tagore’s education marked a novel blending of the ideas of the East and West.
o He envisaged that nature is the best teacher to the pupil.
o He rejected a book-centered education for students.
• With these objectives he opened Shantiniketan, Sri Niketan and Brahmachari Ashram.
• He gave importance to fine arts (dance, drama, music, poetry, paintings etc.) as he believed that these finer aspects of human life are very essential to enrich soul.
• He wanted to eradicate poverty through education especially through skill training on rural areas thereby helping out in the process of rural reconstruction.
4. J. Krishnamurthy – “To understand life is to understand ourselves and that is both the beginning and the end of education”.
• The aim of education should be to encourage every pupil to find out for himself his peculiar individual talent and develop it as fully as possible.
• He condemns the present system of mass education and advocates individual teacher-pupil relationship.
• School must have to be temple of learning and not factories of knowledge. He advocated the absence of comparison and competition.
• He believes in an all-round development of child of today, going to be a father of tomorrow, is the prime responsibility of the teacher instead of merely imparting information and knowledge.
• He believes that the education in the modern world has been concerned with the cultivation not of intelligence, but intellect, of memory and its skill. In this process little occurs beyond passing on information from the teacher to the taught in which there is little human relationship. If one has no intelligence, one is doomed to be slave to environment
UPSC Essay Previous Year Topics
• Value-based science and education. (1999)
• Modern technological education and human values. (2002)
• What is real education?(2005)
• Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make a man more clever devil. (2015)
CREDIT – BASED HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM – STATUS, OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES – UPSC 2011
• A flexible system of grading which allows students to opt for subjects from other disciplines.
Positives of CBCS
o Greater flexibility to choose subjects
o Wide options as per students’ interest
o Development of cognitive, emotional, spiritual, innovational, social, moral, environmental aptitude.
o Enable the concept of ‘Rainbow’ Intelligence.
o Reduces the need for training of graduates
o Encourages a healthy cooperation and competition between institutions.
o Restricting the flight of Indian students abroad for higher studies.
o Will lead to better learning outcomes.
o Lead to improvements in ranking of Indian Universities.
o Aims to become an inter-university model giving the students the choice between subjects across universities.
o Huge shortage of faculty and infrastructure in higher education as close to 40% of vacancies for faculty
members in central universities and IITs are vacant.
o Lack of uniformity in mandate, role, profile, etc. across universities.
o Mainly aimed at vocational needs and neglecting research and innovation needs.
EVALUATION SYSTEMS – ISSUES & INITIATIVES
- Student evaluation has been one of the most debatable topics in education sector.
- While there has been consensus on quantitative parameters for evaluation like Gross enrolment ratio (GER), mean years of schooling, dropout ratio etc., qualitative parameters for evaluation continue to remain debatable
- One of the initiatives for measuring learning outcomes has been the Annual Status of Education Report published by NGO Some of the parameters used -:
- Foundational reading skills through letter identification, word decoding and reading passages
- Basic math abilities like number recognition, subtraction and division.
- In addition, in-spite of having provisions for Comprehensive and Continuous evaluation (CCE), the emphasis on rote learning continues to predominate
· Government Initiatives
- Recently government has proposed to introduce a system of measuring annual learning outcomes in schools.
- NITI Aayog has also been conducting workshops on School Education Quality Index (SEQI) to improve the learning outcomes among school children.
o National Testing Agency (NTA)
- Government has recently announced that JEE Main and NEET will be held twice a year from 2019 by NTA.
- Apart from these, NTA will also conduct National Eligibility Test (NET), Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) and Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test (GPAT) exams.
· Way forward
- Norms for learning outcomes should be developed and applied uniformly to both private and government schools.
- Within the parameters prescribed by the RTE act, States should have the flexibility to design and plan for the infrastructure keeping in view the local conditions.
- There is an urgent need for examination reforms emphasize on understanding and knowledge as opposed to rote learning and only facts.
- Currently there is absence of any uniform methodology for evaluating teachers’ performance.
- Some of the possible steps towards a uniform methodology for evaluation can be -:
- A transparent and merit based norms of evaluating teacher performance periodically should be formulated.
- At the national level, a Teacher Education University must be set up with the responsibility of various aspects of teacher education as well as evolving such norms.
▪ While global rankings like Times Higher Education World University Rankings, QS Rankings etc. have developed a stable methodology for globally comparing higher educational institutions, they fail to take local conditions into account.
▪ In India, a series of private organisation including media like India Today, Dataquest etc. have come out with ranking of educational institutions at the national level.
▪ Recently, the government in 2015 has launched the National Institutional Ranking Framework to ranks institutions within five broad generic parameters – Teaching; Learning and resources; Research and professional practice; Graduation outcomes; Outreach and inclusivity; Perception.
▪ National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) is the nodal agency under UGC responsible for accreditation. Apart from, the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) under AICTE is responsible for undertaking periodic evaluation of technical institutions.
▪ Issues and Challenges
✓ Huge backlog of cases related to accreditation.
✓ The same template for evaluation is applied to all units irrespective of their specialized characteristics, which renders the approach largely imprecise.
✓ There is no scope for participation in assessment and accreditation sector for
• Way Forward
o Need for an overarching management board, the National Accreditation Board, which will -:
▪ Oversee the entire process
▪ Set standards and define guidelines
▪ License private (not for profit) agencies in adequate number
○ Need to develop a scientific methodology for grading educational institutions as per their specialities
PROVISIONS RELATED TO EDUCATION
• Sustainable Development Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning
• DPSPs: Article 41 (Right to work, to education and to public assistance in certain cases), Article 45 (Provision for early childhood care and education to children below the age of six years), Article 46(Promotion of education and economic interests of SC, ST, and other weaker sections).
• Fundamental Right: Article 21-A provide free and compulsory education of all children in the age group of six to fourteen years in such a manner as the State may, by law, determine.
• Fundamental Duty: Art. 51-A(k) to provide opportunities for education by the parent the guardian, to his child, or a ward between the age of 6-14 years as the case may be.
Highlights of RTE ACT, 2009
• It is compulsory and free education of all children in the age group of six to fourteen years as a Fundamental Right.
• Minimum standards are set
• Quantity and Quality of Teachers
• No discrimination and No harassment
• School Management Committees- By the people, for the children
• No denial in Admission of children without any certification (birth proof)
Globally validated concepts –AAAC i.e. Admission to Age Appropriate Class – Admission for all in age appropriate class:
• CCE i.e. Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation
• NDP i.e. No Detention Policy
Hitches and Glitches in the RTE Act
• 25% seats reserved of EWS in private schools (aided or unaided)
• No Detention Policy vs Old pass-fail system.
INTERNATIONAL EXAMPLES IN THE FIELD OF EDUCATION
• Australia- Incentives to teachers taking rural hardship postings, 20-plus years of schooling
• Japan- Intense focus on academics starting at age 6 (low primary level drop-out rate of 0.2 percent)
• Finland- Mandatory 15-minute break for every hour of five-hour school day, No grades until fourth grade
• Netherlands- Teaching in languages other than Dutch for students to foster learning in all subjects, extra funding to poorer and ethnic minority students, primary schools with the highest proportion of disadvantaged students have about 58 percent more teachers and support staff.
ONLINE EDUCATION – ADVANTAGES & DISADVANTAGES
- Cheaper medium: one can learn using any device connected to the There’s no need to spend a lot of money renting a building, paying an expensive electricity bill, internet, etc.
- Consumes less time: there’s no need to spend time commuting to and from the classroom, for both the teacher and the students. Also, the teacher/trainer doesn’t need to give the same class over and over again to a different group of students.
- Allows for self-paced learning: students or trainees can take their courses anytime, Using their own devices. Students who don’t have time for regular classes can learn online whenever they do have time.
- Modern: Most people today prefer to consume content using the Internet rather than in any other way
· Disadvantages –
- Ensures self-discipline: although experience has shown that online students become more self- disciplined.
- Plagiarism: students may plagiarize essays and other assignments
- Cheating: it can be easier to cheat if you are taking an online
- Isolation: since one doesn’t have to be physically present in a classroom in order to learn, it might be more difficult (or impossible) to get in touch with other learners.
UPSC Essay Previous Year Topics
• “Education for All” Campaign in India: Myth or Reality. (2006)
• Literacy is growing very fast, but there is no corresponding growth in education. (1996)
• Restructuring of Indian education system. (1995)
• Irrelevance of the classroom. (2001)
• Destiny of a nation is shaped in its classrooms. (2017)
Government of India Education Schemes for School Education and Literacy:
The Central Government Education Schemes for Minority Students are listed below:
• Scheme – Institutions of Eminence (IoE)
o The continued dismal state of higher education in India as reflected in various global ranking and the growing demand for quality higher education owing to rising middle class and demographic dividend has led to the launch of IoE scheme which is aimed
at establishing 20 worldclass educational institutions.
o However, in-spite of the best intentions IoE continue to suffer from a number of issues and challenges -:
▪ Regulating such institution hasn’t been defined in clear and precise terms.
▪ To sustain such institutions quality teachers would be required which continue to be a major issue in Indian higher education sector.
▪ The issue of brain drain also needs to be tackled post completion of education from such institutions
• India has one of the youngest populations in an aging world. By 2020, the median age in India will be just 28, compared to 37 in China and the US, 45 in Western Europe, and 49 in Japan.
• Education with a holistic perspective is concerned with the development of every person’s intellectual, emotional, social, physical, artistic, creative and spiritual potentials.
• To leverage the advantage of demographic dividend India needs to invest into its abundant human capital through quality education, reforming the curriculum and pedagogical processes, improving delivering by utilizing public-private partnerships, evolving an efficient audit and accountability mechanism and resolving the existing lacunae in the current institutional system which will help unleash the true potential of Indian citizens and lead to economic and social prosperity.
• A shloka from Chanakyaniti –
“माता शत्रु पिता वैरी येन बालो न िाठितः न शोभते सभा मध्ये हंस मध्ये वाको यथा”
(The parent who does not facilitate and guide their child for studies is like the greatest enemy of the child. The presence of an uneducated person in the company of educated people is like a goose in the company of swans.)