A lot has been said about the education system in India: that it’s more of a literacy drive than a path to true learning and knowledge; that it’s merely about rote learning and testing memory skills, and so on.
Although there is truth to these remarks, the context within which the education system in India functions today also plays a role. Gone are the days of the gurukul system where the student-teacher ratio was 1:1, where the child bonded and learned about life from his guru.
With modernity came changes – some positive, some negative, as is always the case. The British brought specialised formulae, modern subjects and new ideas into the Indian education system. The gurukul gradually disintegrated, giving way to the flurried education system of today.
In the 1830s, Indian education got far more systematized and has continued to cement itself structurally right through India’s independence and after. Today there are several kinds of schools in India – public, private, international and institutions for higher education in India as well. Education Boards include the Secondary School Certificate (SSC), Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE), Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), and recent years have seen the International Board (IB) being introduced as well.
Public schools run or supported by the government are inexpensive but are low on quality education, since they lack facilities, infrastructure and teaching staff. Crowded classrooms where the student-teacher ratio goes even beyond 50:1 add to the inefficiency of the system. Unfortunately, 80% of Indian schools fall under this sector.
Middle-class parents opt to send their children to private schools. Though the infrastructure is better here, the curriculum is restrictive, with rote-learning the infamous modus operandi. The newer schools now opt for an international curriculum (the IB format) which is believed to be the better option. The fee for an IB education, however, is unsurprisingly high. The quality of education, again, is often questioned.
There are obviously several fissures in the Indian education system. Although the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE) was passed in 2009, there are approximately 8.1 million children who are still out of school. Those who attend school often drop out eventually. Statistics report that although primary school has a miniscule drop-out rate, 27% of children do leave school by Std 5. 41% are out by Std 8 and 49% by Std 10. These percentages jump significantly in the case of children from Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe.
What can we do to change this scenario and improve the quality of education in India? A step in the right direction would be to support one of the several NGOs campaigning on Ketto to raise funds for underprivileged children. To make a bigger change, you could start a campaign page of your own , in support of an NGO.
Don’t wait. Start now. Get in touch with us today: firstname.lastname@example.org