Issues relating to the development and management of Education in India

As per UNDP’s data brought out in 2012, India records a meager 4.4 mean years of schooling (i.e. mean years of schooling of the working population or those over 15 years old), which is much less than that of Sri Lanka (9.3), China (7.5) and also behind those of Pakistan (4.98) and Bangladesh (4.8)

Important Issues:

  • The shortage of budgetary spending on education as compared to the required level
    • The Education Commission, popularly known as the Kothari’s Commission (1966) has estimated that the financial requirements of the educational system in India up to 1985-86, and recommended that “if education is to develop adequately, the proportion of GNP allocated to education should rise to 6% in 1985-86. This was accepted and resolved by the GoI in the National Policy on Education in 1986.
    • But, the Government’s budget for education accounts for 4.8% of the total Union Budget for 2013-14.
    • Also, the Center bears only 1/4th of the total government spending on education, whereas the rest 3/4th of the spending comes from the state governments.
    • The three broad education sub-sectors are elementary, secondary and higher. A brief study of the composition reveals that the inter-sector allocations have been stagnant over the last few years.
    • The Government’s expenditure in the elementary education as a proportion of GDP is declining over time.
    • Inadequate financial resources for elementary education, which is the main reason for the unsuccessful enforcement of the Right to Education Act
  • The problems of utilizing funds arising from procedural and institutional bottlenecks, deficiencies in decentralized planning and systematic weaknesses are the main obstacles towards public provisioning of education in the country.
    • Deficiencies in Decentralized planning : In most of the schemes, the planning process is decentralized. Shortage of staff to carry out planning activities, lack of training and capacity building of staff and community leaders, low community involvement are some of the causes of poor planning.
    • Bottlenecks in Budgetary processes: Delay in fund flow, faulty book keeping, top down approach in decision making, very low and unrealistic unit cost, weak supervision and monitoring the several constraints in existing budgetary processes under SSA.
    • Systemic Weakness:  Very common and particular to state government apparatus. Shortage of trained, regular staff for various important roles like management, finance/accounts and frontline service provision has weakened the capacity of the government apparatus to implement Plan schemes.
    • Utilization of allocated funds for Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) and other schemes in education has been a matter of serious concern.
      • As per the reports of MHRD, nearly 25% of the funds allocated by the Union and state governments for SSA remain unutilized.
  • There seems to be little money available for spending on Teacher Training, Teacher Learning Material, or administrative activities like Monitoring. In spite of this high salary component within the expenditures in SSA, however, the pupil-teacher ratio at the primary and upper primary level is way below the RTE norm, which is among the major causes for poor quality of education.
  • Absence of systematic examination of the various programs being implemented and proper analysis of the impact of these on the target group.
  • Lack of strong political will and greater efforts on the part of government to ensure that the children are not just in the school but receiving an education which they can relate to.
  • Poor and inadequate infrastructure and resources
    • It is a well-known fact that in India there are still many schools which do not have proper classrooms, teachers to transact the curriculum, or teaching-learning aids as basic as the blackboards.
    • Some of the schools do not even have boundary walls or facilities like clean drinking water or toilets with stored or running water arrangement for children. 

Other issues:

  • Poverty is an overrated argument which is often given as a reason for parents’ unwillingness to send their children to school.
    • A large number of parents in our country both in rural and urban areas do not send their children to school as they are unable to bear the cost of schooling of their children or unable to bear the loss of additional income which their children earn or can potentially earn. This is primarily true in cases of extreme poverty.
  • The hierarchical nature of the Indian Society, the education system which is unequal.
    • People’s economic inabilities, cultural, religious inhibitions or reservations.
    • As a basic rule, the rich sending their children mostly to private or better-off government schools and the poor to low fee-paying government or low-cost private schools.
  • The functioning of private institutions is encumbered by rigid, often anachronistic and poorly administered rules and requirements on the part of the government.
    • These private schools do not aim at strengthening the hands of government but compete with them
    • Many private bodies establishing and running institutions for higher education in the country are merely eager to reap profits from the demand for education without any commitment either to their students or to the country needs.
  • Many positions at the college and university departments lie vacant for want of suitable personnel.
  • There is a serious mismatch between what educational institutions produce and what the market needs.
  • With the mushrooming of institutions in the higher education in the country the overall quality of higher education has dropped miserably.
  • The enormous linguistic divide within Indian education, a divide that has severe consequences for the occupational, economic and social mobility of non-metropolitan students.
  • No active role of private and corporate partnership with the government in the education field.

 

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world

                                                                                           – Nelson Mandela

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