Will India’s Education Revolution Succeed?

Kanti Bajpai has written a wonderful article dealing with a need for bringing about ‘an education revolution’: “No country has transited from being poor and backward to being rich and developed without an education revolution.”

We are hardly to wait for the reports such as one from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2009+ test, to know, understand and worry about the abysmal state of our education system.

Interestingly only the students from Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu were selected to participate, as the states were rated the best. We could have also sent the students from the 100 best schools of urban centres. I wonder if the result would have been very different. And even if it would have been somewhat better or more correctly respectable, what would have been its worth?

More worrying is the real situation in the country. More than 60% of the schools in even urban regions are very poor in standard of teaching. And more than 60 % of the students are having their schooling in the rural India, where the primary education, I mean learning at primary school stage, is just non-existent. The teachers are neither motivated nor capable to make even a normal child learn. The parents are not educated enough to help the school going children to make up the shortcoming of the schooling with the poorly qualified teachers. There is hardly any tuition or coaching facilities. Going to school and staying there getting taught by the teachers, is hardly interesting. I don’t feel like believing that attractions of getting the mid day meal keep them in school or make them learn.

Surprisingly, the conditions even in the majority of urban schools are not very encouraging. Even the education standard of the highly expensive schools is not comforting. There may be many excuses, be it the skill of the teachers or the very high numbers of students for each teacher to handle.

I was surprised that many schools are outsourcing the teaching of the mathematics and science subjects in senior classes to the coaching enterprises. Tuition in group is another prevalent way, though costly as well as stressful for the students that is popularly used to make up the shortcomings of the school teaching. There are many excuses put forward by the school authorities for the deficiency, but hardly any out of the boxes solution to improve the quality of the education to the desired level.

While some corporate houses such as Nadar Foundation or Premji Foundation and quite a number of NGOs are trying to improve the quality of education for the children from the deprived and rural families, the sum total of their work is just negligible considering the number requiring the similar facilities.

I wish at least 100 top corporate houses would have pulled together their resources to scale up the work of these successful models of educational institutions. Can the energy of the whole nation converge for providing the quality education for all and every child? It will certainly be a revolution that the nation needs badly. Unlike all other projects till date, the government and the political leadership must cooperate to get the country educated and that too with quality teaching at all the schools.

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