State of Education in India— A Cause for Concern?

Education is absolutely essential for an individual as it gives one the tools and skills which are required to be able to lead a decent life and fend for themselves and their families. After considering its importance in one’s life, many would argue that good education should be made accessible to everyone. The Indian government had realised the necessity of quality education and in this light has made the right to education as one of the basic fundamental rights. However, it should be noted that making education a fundamental right and emphasising on its importance is not enough. It becomes the responsibility of the government to ensure that quality education is provided to everyone in the country. Theoretically, our constitution has stated the importance of education and laid down laws to ensure everyone gets good education but in reality not many citizens are able to gain access to good education.

This is where we need to stop and look back as to whether we are providing quality education to the future generation of our country.India is a developing economy with wide income gaps and wealth disparities and also a long legacy of very poor education facilities for the young population. More than half the population is living below the poverty line and these people do not have access to resources which will help them improve their standard of living. One way that they can ensure they get out of the poverty trap is by ensuring that they receive good education so that they get jobs with higher incomes which will help them look after themselves and their families. A higher income basically enables them to live a life with a decent standard of living.

Unfortunately, quality education in India does not come cheap and this is one of the main reasons as to why those living below the poverty line continue to do so.There are countries like Germany and the United States where the primary education is given freely to all children by the government. The fact is that though it is government education, their curriculum is far better than the education provided by the government schools in our country. The government education there comes with good quality which would mean that the parents would not hesitate before sending their wards to government operated schools. However when we look at our country, government school education is in a dismal state.

The infrastructure is not up to the standard, the curriculum is not made competitive so that it would be at par with those going to the private schools and moreover the teachers who go to teach in the government schools are least interested to actually teach the children. There is a huge shortage of people who are willing to teach in the government schools. This gives no incentive for parents to send children to these government schools.It cannot be said that the government has not taken steps to increase the enrolment ratio in the government schools. One such step was the Midday Meal Scheme through which children were provided nutritional food in schools. There were two motives behind this, one being that it would increase the nutritional intake of children from primary and upper primary classes.

Yet another motive behind this is that those parents who could not afford to get good quality food and made them work would send them to schools so that the children can have at least one meal of good food every day. But there were seen many cases in the past where children fell ill after eating lunches in the schools which shows that the quality of food is not good either.On the one hand, the government school education in the country is not up to the mark and on the other hand private school education costs a fortune. A majority of the Indian population cannot afford to send their wards to private schools because the schools charge very high fees. Private schools are run solely on a profit motive and the government does not interfere to stop the schools from raising their fee.

We know the importance of education and it is a pity that when our counterparts are providing good quality education, we are nowhere near to making that a reality. To solve the problem, we need government intervention that can help improve the education system which has become a business and is driven by profit motive and has become useless to the masses. Steps need to be taken to get the public school education at par with the private school education.The state of government education needs to be improved, the budget allocated for education should be increased and higher salaries should be paid for teachers so people who are actually qualified to teach go to the schools.

Picture Courtesy- Slideshare

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