Why in News?
Governance must shift from control of resources to learning outcomes; learning design, responsiveness, teacher management, community relationships, integrity, fair decision making, and financial sustainability.
Syllabus—GS2: Issues related to Education
- Currently, the proportion of India’s children attending a govt school has now declined to 45%.
- This proportion is 95% in Japan & 85% in the USA.
- The new minister of Education must deal with this crisis because it is the fundamental duty of the state to provide a quality, free & regular school education which represents India’s most potent infra of opportunity.
- Despite higher teacher salaries, teacher qualifications & govt spending, the decline in enrollment happened.
India’s State of Education & Dropouts:
- R M Lohia once suggested that powerful people have caste, wealth & English instruction.
- This observation is based on the Wooldridge idea that suggested meritocracy became the world’s ruling ideology by the end of the 20the century.
- However, India’s meritocracy is sabotaged by flailing govt schools.
- The 25% confiscation of private school capacity is in a way acceptance of school failure & parents revealed preference.
- Without a market response to demand, the post-1947 policy errors in primary education would have been catastrophic for India’s human capital.
- Due to COVID, Haryana state witnessed 25% private school student’s dropouts due to parent’s financial challenges.
Need for overhauling:
- India’s 100% plus school enrolment masks challenges:
- A huge dropout ratio,
- Poor learning outcomes
- India also faces too many schools but with fewer students,
- For instance in States like Rajasthan, Karnataka, etc some schools have less than 50 students.
- The new world of work redefines employability to include reading, writing & arithmetic & also relationships.
- This cannot be taught in 3 months or years it needs a min of 10 years.
- India’s farm to non-farm is happening to sales & customer services that need above 4 competency & English awareness.
- Due to the increasing mechanization of work, future jobs require dynamic learners.
What to do in this regard: The 3 Difficult Reforms:
- Harvard expert suggests that COVID accelerates the overdue move by schools from the factory model (static model) to a medical model(dynamic model).
- Recent govt school actions such as Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Spending etc need supplementing with difficult reforms.
- Performance management needs evaluation of scores, skills competence & classroom management.
- Continuous assessment of scores has to take place.
- Teacher competence needs judging on child interaction, knowledge & communication, etc.
- Classroom management needs assessment by classroom observation of learning, physical set-up, instructional differentiation & communication.
- Governance must shift from control of resources to learning outcomes.
- Governance must enable performance to be substantive & replace the current system.
- English instruction is about Bilingualism, Higher education pathways & Employability.
- Because in a county like India English is a operating system & vocational skill.
- Employment outcomes are 50% higher for persons with English familiarity.
- Because of higher geographic mobility,
- Sector mobility,
- Role eligibility
- Entrance exam ease.
- Yet states like Bengal has banned English teaching in primary schools in 1981.
- The poor have been at the receiving end of the elite favoring dichotomy between govt provided regional language & professional courses in English.
- However recently Andhra Pradesh govt made a good move in making English has the medium of instruction for 1 to 4 classes.
- Indian constitution fragmented Education policy across three lists, which needs to be revisited because it tends to concentrate decisions that should be made locally.
- For instance, block-level recruitment minimize teacher absenteeism.
Way Forward: –
- The challenges of getting school education right are not uniquely Indian or contemporary, many developed nations faced it.
- However, India missed her tryst with destiny for many reasons but one of them was weak govt schools.
- The policy is a choice but not fate & it is high time for Indian policymakers to drive difficult reforms of governance, performance management & English instruction.
Without a systemic overhaul, Indian education will fail its Children just like socialism failed its poor.Explain.