Education: National Priority

No doubt, education is the national priority. India can’t develop as superpower only with its massive number of population in working age group. India must build skills in its people through quality education of all sorts. IT has broken many traditional barriers about educational qualifications. Even a good graduate in English can serve Microsoft in equal position with another with degree in engineering. It starts with good and universal education at primary level. Education must be one that enables one to understand whatever is taught clearly and must not end with the ability to reading and writing. And it must continue till the end of professional life with refreshing courses and training in new skills as and when developed or desired.
It is heartening that the government has started realizing the need and necessity. The 11th Five-Year Plan (2007-2012) under making proposes nearly one-third of the total allocation for education and health that was 9% of the Plan allocation till date. It reflects the change.

Main thrust will be on primary education. Rs 1.25 lakh crore (as against Rs 30,000 crore in the last plan) out of a total of Rs 2.85 lakh crore will go to primary education. However, thrust must be on improving the effectiveness of the allocation and the working culture in the schools. And it can happen only if the teachers are motivated through training and incentives to impart the best to the students. IT and technologies can take away the workload off the teachers who will be expected to be working more as facilitators. The curricula must focus on developing values, communication skills, and creativity while imparting the traditional knowledge of the subject based on its actual application. Teaching must arouse the interest to know, learn, and apply the knowledge rather than to pass examinations. Students must get an urge to spend time in library and the creativity centers of the schools or colleges.

Likewise, the share of adult and secondary education is being increased to Rs 6,000 crore, and Rs 53,000 crore respectively. And higher and technical education gets Rs 84,000 crore. The plan envisages major reforms in education such as introducing credit and semester systems and exam reforms.

Higher education will undergo massive expansion. The plan seeks to establish 30 new central universities of which 16 are to be set up in areas, which don’t have a central university. The rest 14 are to be model universities with world-class infrastructure costing around Rs 1,000 crores for each. Seven more IITs, seven IIMs, 10 National Institute of Technology, five Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research, 20 IIITs and two schools of architecture are part of the plan. Additionally, 330 new colleges will come up in educationally backward districts.

I wish the plans got approved and implemented giving all the benefits out of good education within the timeframe.

It gives real joy to know that Indians in general give so much weightage to education. There can’t be better proof of this than the information that ‘for the sixth year in a row, Indian students have emerged as the largest group of international students in the US. According to the latest figures released by the Institute of International Education on Sunday, there are 83,833 Indian students in US universities. Indian students comprise 14.4% of the total international students in the US.’ And it is on increase and for better education. 71% of them in US are doing Masters and PhD studies. Graduate student enrolment grew nearly 6% from 56,397 in 2005-06 to 59,521 in 2006-07. There are only 12,500 Indian undergraduate students pursuing bachelor’s degrees at US institutions. Indians students are seeking admission in institutions of many countries including even China. It’s good sign. Let skilled knowledgeable Indians move to all corner of the globe and serve the humanity. Let the nation move from ignorance to knowledge, and India takes the real leadership in knowledge sector.

P.S. Indian students dominate Harvard Business School

Indians among largest overseas student groups in the UK</

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