Thursday, 13 December 2018

essay on education system in india for upsc

Essay on Education System in India for UPSC

Education System in India for UPSC
"If the poor boy cannot come to education, education must go to him"
-Swami Vivekananda
The backbone for the socio-economic development, our education system is lagging behind with respect to the present competitive world. Today, the developed countries have about 100 percent literacy rate which leads them to occupy in a better position in developmental indices. But, India has still only 74.04% (census 2011) which is a matter of concern for the economy. Moreover, all educated or literates may not get a quality education. Therefore, two major problems which spread in India are the lack of quality education for all sections of the society and the slow motion in expanding education.

After the 2011 census, literacy rate in India was found to be 74.04%. Though this seems like a very great accomplishment, we still have the largest chunk of illiterate people. And it is still a matter of concern that still so many people in India cannot even read and write. The numbers of children who do not get education, especially in the rural areas are still high. Though the government has made a law that every child under the age of 14 should get free education, the problem of illiteracy is still at large.

Today in this competitive world, making mere literate to the children is not the end for each and every parent. How does he or she get literate is a matter of concern. The people who are equipped with financial stability get quality education and thus get opportunities in a better position and on the other hand, a large number of economically deprived people are fighting with poverty and unemployment. Education and economic growth are interrelated. Education improves the quality of labor, and also the quality of physical capital through the application of knowledge. A section of people in our society is on the way to postmodern society whereas; about 30 per cent people are still illiterate and are lagging behind. Our country is politically, socially and economically affected due to this unequal distribution of education.

A few shocking facts about the present Indian education system:
  • The literacy ratio of India is 65.38% with male literacy at 75.85% and female literacy at 54.16%
  •  A little over one-third of all children who enroll in grade one reach grade eight.
  • About 35 million children aged 6-14 years do not attend school.
  • In nearly 60% of schools, there are less than two teachers to teach Classes I to V and have to manage classes from 1 to V every day.
  • High cost of private education and need to work to support their families and little interest in studies are the reasons given by 3 in every four drop-outs as the reason why they leave.
  • As of Census 2011, the enrollment rate for pre-primary schools is 58 per cent and 93 per cent for primary schools. However, as per the studies, among rural children of age 10, half could not read at a basic level, despite the high overall enrollment rate for primary education. Also, over 60 per cent were unable to calculate division based sums, and half dropped out by the age 14.

According to data put out by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), the national dropout rate at the primary level was 4.34 per cent in 2014-15, and it was even higher at the secondary level, at 17.86 per cent. There are many reasons why a child might drop out from school, which range from migration of families and child marriage, to lack of school infrastructure such as drinking water and toilets. When a family is not financially secure, prioritizing a child's education takes a backseat. Post-Class V, distance to school also tends to increase, and parents deem it unsafe for a child, especially girls, to travel far. Another reason why drop-rates rise after Class V is that this is the stage when a child reaches the age of 10-11 years - when it is considered suitable for induction into child labor. The role of the teacher, too, is critical, as drop-outs often speak of teachers beating them, and complain that teachers waste class time in chit-chat with other teachers.

This high number of dropout candidates are from the financially weaker sections of the society is the primary reason why children from such background do not reach a high point in their life. This increased dropout rate is the reason why there is a meager number of meritorious candidates from weaker sections qualifying for numerous reputed competitive exams such as JEE, NEET UPSC etc. and thus in turn low number of such candidates in deemed government office majority of jobs in government services require a candidate to appear for a written examination. However, with competition not only getting tougher but expensive as well, forces candidates to back out. The need for bread takes over the dream of education.

This high cost of higher education in India is adding fuel to the fire and away the dream of achieving professional education for poor children away from them. According to a 2014 report by the US India Policy Institute in Washington, only 10% of the students have access to higher specialized education in India. India needs subsidized higher education. But in a country with limited resources and huge disparity across gender, socio-economic religious and geographical lines, the question is - Is higher education sponsored in a justifiable manner, or are the subsidies meant for the disadvantaged?

Last year only, the tuition fee for undergraduate education in the IIT's was increased per annum and IIM Ahmadabad increased the fee of its flagship two-year diploma program to a whopping Rs 19.5 lakh. The fact that every year over 10 lakh students appear for less than 10000 IIT seats is an indicator of shortfall. The astronomical cost of professional education in the private sector is going up; increasing the demand for government institutions seats, where entrance exam is the only way to get in. However, these government institutions have a limited number of seats and with a huge demand-supply skew, many parents and students are often desperate to adopt fair and foul means to grab a seat and rackets have sprung up over the years tapping this desperation.

There is an urgent need to improve the way examinations are developed and conducted in the country. Right from the way a test paper is framed to the procedure involved for the candidates taking the examination, English language as a medium of instruction seems to be the prime reason for students getting expelled in their first year at premier engineering or medical institutes. Many students who are non-performers face trouble as most of their school education had been in Hindi medium. From class lectures to books at such institutes, all are in English, and hence there's a gap in understanding. Since, majority of government funded schools in India are Hindi Medium, children are unable to cope with the pressures of learning English besides domain subjects.

As a nation, we are in a great dilemma on the financing of public higher educational institutions. Highly supported quality higher education, with admissions based strictly on merit, continues to be a great hope for upward socio-economic mobility. This public demand has also ensured that there is consensus across the political spectrum on the need for setting up new IITs, IIMs, AIIMS, NITS, etc. In India, the demand for heavily subsidized higher education is growing disproportionately to its ability to provide it. The government has tried addressing this by announcing the setting up of five new IITs, but monetary considerations of setting up heavily subsidized public institutes can be daunting.



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