According to UNESCO estimates $39 billion dollars has to be spent on an yearly basis to achieve fourth SDG (Sustainable Development Growth) and deliver universal quality education. Whether any one likes it or not the quality of education is falling rapidly.
In India the Annual Status of Education Report 2012 suggests that hardly 50% children of fifth standard can fluently read their textbooks or solve 2 digit basic arithmetic problems. Analyzing these figures, it is not surprising to know that over 100million children in India are two or more years below their grade level.
CHALLENGES IN INDIAN EDUCATION SYSTEM
Any layman in India when asked about the bottlenecks in Indian education system can mug up holes like- poor infrastructure, lack of quality teachers or even redundant flaws in education policies. The theory of “sea of changes” explains the urgency from within the government as well as externally that doubts us to reason is there a restlessness to build formal institutions that provide quality education. But in framing solutions for bigger problems we miss the fact that 80% of the output comes from 20% of the input. The attention to detail on small scale problem is missing. Basic infrastructure is hanging via thread in almost all public as well as some private schools. It won’t be difficult to find schools where playgrounds are actual classrooms. Not surprising as education constitutes only 2% of our GDP. The people who are at helm of taking decisions at the highest level of education system are legends at their own fields. The quality at the top is sublime but it’s the inability of the institutions to deliver.
Obsession With Digital Evolution
Greater digitization and tech enabled systems are touted as the panacea for improving the educational architecture; on the contrary it might just prolong the process of finding the correct answer. Thing which matter is the capacity to deliver, to implement at ground scale level. It is easy to install projectors and introduce”smart classes” while difficult to to estimate whether students are actually gettingsharp and “smart” while sailing through this program. With the advent of online courses the methodology finds itself in tumultuous situation. The major problem associated with online courses is there is no measure of students actually participating in the course and going on to successfully complete it. According to a study hardly 7% of students successfully complete their online courses in India.
Public Schools Losing Its Edge
In 1960’s public schools had a great run and were considered to be an actual “Vidyamandir”. Their strength was to focus on holistic improvement of a student rather than teaching them to mug things up. Before private schools blew them away with their business acumen and strategic planning of how to sell themselves in the education market. Public schools need to shift their image from being dilapidated to being rejuvenated which will require a structural and mentality change.
Lack Of Formal Training At Ground Level
The quality of teacher is not very inspiring either. Teachers as of late have come under the radar as many unqualified tutors without proper degrees were found to be designated as high school teachers. In India only 23.5 % workforce receives training out of which only thirty percent undergo formal training, rest fall under the ambit of informal training. Proper training to teachers is not just mandatory but it’s the responsibility of the institutions (whether government or school officials) to keep a check on the quality of the teachers. The students deserve the best teachers not just because they paying money for it but they hold the key to our future.
Competition Within Competition
The competition feeling among students wasn’t enough so schools came up with competition among themselves. In order to be a better private school or rather be a brand they try to stiffen their courses with non relevant subjects just for the sake of being “modern” , thereby doubling the pressure on students. Sadly students respond to this “academic inflation” by adopting illegal methods. Some students manage to slip through the cracks others fail only to repeat the process next year. This environment of low learning spreads like a fire in the jungle and catches everyone. Even the good students get the rub off effect because of this level of learning.
Perplexity Of A Teacher
Another largely looming and potentially threatening problem plagues our system is the perplexity of teachers in teaching below par students. They remain perplexed in going by the method of teaching. Whether to look forward to standard students or towards those who even find it hard to write their names. Most of the teachers find themselves stuck in this dilemma which hampers their teaching morale.
SOLUTIONS TO EXISTING BOTTLENECKS
Need For Incorporating Connective Graph For Holistic Education Enrichment
An innovation like connecting graph can make it simpler to analyze who supports whom, who are the funders supporting any NGO’s, identifying whether any government official is supporting any initiative. All these measures can help people to understand the working ecosystem. It will make easier for people to understand how and what works in educational system .How can they connect, collaborate and can keep a watch over their impact.In this way we can raise the standard of education by spending smarter, rather than larger.
Competition Not As Important As Cooperation
The advent of private schools brought a surge of competition feeling among students. The curriculum structure encourages students to try and secure more marks than their peer. This not only needs to change but first has to be reasoned. It’s the teacher responsibility to teach students the value of cooperation rather than competition. The teachers also follow the stringent curriculum adding loads of pressure in students.
Teaching Has To Become One Of The Respected Professions
In India teaching is not considered as an aspiring job. No parent in India spoon-feeds their children to aspire to be a teacher. Elevating the status of teachers won’t happen by increasing their wages or incentives but would be a mental adjustment. Contribution to society is anyway the best service to the nation and don’t forget it’s the teachers who hold the key to any country’s future not just students.
Getting Rid Of Established Myths
- Parents many times pressurize their children to study on a stretch without a break. This practice needs to go away .It’s of paramount importance that we add play time to study curriculum because playtime is sacred and cannot be compensated. 15 minute break after 45 minute study will only improve concentration level.
- In India families generally don’t associate Pre school as a” SCHOOL” they label it as play time with no learning. Learning how to learn may sound geriatric but it holds the key. Pre school learning trains students with necessary inputs which will enhance their mental ability to comprehend new rather unknown things.
Another tactical solution is to make a concerted effort towards developing foundational skills of reading, writing, and logical interpretation of weak students. We try to remodel the base by holding extra classes for weak students but here the base has to be restructured, as our teachers say “getting the basics right”. The building cannot stand without support, that support has to be the teachers who should take responsibility for overall development of a student whether its negative skepticism inhibiting a student’s progress or his / her unwillingness towards studying important subjects. For this The tutors should be trained to devise their own test or exam papers rather than following the curriculum standardized tests. Also motivating them to plan out their own experiment labs and manuals.
“If story of Indian education system is to be written it should be written that the governance was the solution and not the problem whereas the institutions were the facilitators and not the predators.”
By: DEEP CHAUDHARY