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Education in India

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I see that 'share your knowledge' forum has not been utilised much except for Dr.AR. I thought I would give Dr. a company by posting something here. I compiled the following summary on education in India based on Wikipedia info. Govt. of India's Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSY) has to take the real shape for us to see better results. Let us hope to have a literate State.

Education in India – The road travelled and the road ahead

Past glory:

The Nalanda University was the oldest university-system of education in the world. Institutions of higher learning and universities flourished in India well before the Common Era, and continued to deliver education into the Common Era. By the time of the visit of the Islamic scholar Alberuni (973-1048 CE), India already had a sophisticated system of mathematics and science in place, and had made a number of inventions and discoveries.

Definition of literacy:

According to the Census of 2001, "every person above the age of 7 years who can read and write in any language is said to be literate". According to this criterion, the 2001 survey holds the National Literacy Rate to be around 64.84%.
The Economist reports that half of 10-year-old rural children could not read at a basic level, over 60% were unable to do division, and half dropped out by the age 14.
Only one in ten young people have access to tertiary education. Out of those who receive higher education, Mercer Consulting estimates that only a quarter of graduates are "employable".
An optimistic estimate is that only one in five job-seekers in India has ever had any sort of vocational training.

Public schools – public shame:

According to current estimates, 80% of all schools are government schools. One study found out that 25% of public sector teachers and 40% of public sector medical workers were absent during the survey. Among teachers who were paid to teach, absence rates ranged from 15% in Maharashtra to 71% in Bihar. Only 1 in nearly 3000 public school head teachers had ever dismissed a teacher for repeated absence. A study on teachers by Kremer etc. found that 'only about half were teaching, during unannounced visits to a nationally representative sample of government primary schools in India.’
A study of 188 government-run primary schools found that 59% of the schools had no drinking water and 89% had no toilets.

Lack of funds:

As a part of the tenth Five year Plan (2002–2007), the central government of India outlined an expenditure of
65.6% of its total education budget on elementary education;
9.9% on secondary education;
2.9% on adult education;
9.5% on higher education;
10.7% on technical education;
and the remaining 1.4% on miscellaneous education schemes.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), India has the lowest public expenditure on higher education per student in the world.

Lack of resources:

As of 2008, India's post-secondary high schools offer only enough seats for 7% of India's college-age population, 25% of teaching positions nationwide are vacant, and 57% of college professors lack either a master's or PhD degree.

Politics in education:

A number of rules were formulated for the backward Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes of India, and in 1960 a list identifying 405 Scheduled Castes and 225 Scheduled Tribes was published by the central government. An amendment was made to the list in 1975, which identified 841 Scheduled Castes and 510 Scheduled Tribes.


Homeschooling is legal in India, though it is the less explored option. The Indian Government's stance on the issue is that parents are free to teach their children at home, if they wish to and have the means.

Mind-making or money-making?

Because of poor quality of public education, 27% of Indian children are privately educated. Even the poorest often go to private schools despite the fact that government schools are free. A study found that 65% of schoolchildren in Hyderabad's slums attend private schools.
Due to a declining priority of education in the public policy paradigm in India, there has been an exponential growth in the private expenditure on education also. As per the available information, the private out of pocket expenditure by the working class population for the education of their children in India has increased by around 1150 percent or around 12.5 times over the last decade.
The private education market in India is estimated to be worth $40 billion in 2008 and will increase to $68 billion by 2012.

Signs of hope:

India's higher education system is the third largest in the world, after China and the United States.
Three Indian universities were listed in the Times Higher Education list of the world’s top 200 universities — Indian Institutes of Technology, Indian Institutes of Management, and Jawaharlal Nehru University in 2005 and 2006.
Six Indian Institutes of Technology and the Birla Institute of Technology and Science - Pilani were listed among the top 20 science and technology schools in Asia by Asiaweek.
The Indian School of Business situated in Hyderabad was ranked number 12 in global MBA rankings by the Financial Times of London in 2010 while the All India Institute of Medical Sciences has been recognized as a global leader in medical research and treatment.
Education in India has improved dramatically over the last three decades. The District Information System for Education (DISE) reported in 2012 that 95% of India's rural populations are within one kilometer of primary schools. The 2011 Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), which tracks trends in rural education, indicated that enrollment rates among primary-school-aged children were about 93%, with little difference by gender. The RTE Act guarantees a quality education to a wider range of students than ever before.

However, challenges in implementing and monitoring high standards in teaching and learning outcomes across regional, cultural and socioeconomic subsets prevent India from fully achieving this goal. In 2008-2009, rural India accounted for more than 88% of India's primary-school students, of whom over 87% were enrolled in government-run schools. This is where we see some of the nation's toughest challenges. India ranked 63 out of 64 in the latest Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) study, with some of its best schools ranked about average among those surveyed. The 2011 ASER stated that only 48.2% of students in the fifth grade can read at the second grade level.
In India, rote learning has been institutionalized as a teaching methodology. For example, many students in grades two and three in one particular school struggle to read individual words, but can neatly copy entire paragraphs from their textbooks into their notebooks as though they were drawing pictures.Government-school-educated children from rural India struggle to speak even basic sentences in English.

When teachers themselves know little English, especially spoken English, how will students learn?

In 2008-2009, on average, 45% of these teachers had not studied beyond the 12th grade.

In 2002-2003, 25% of primary-school teachers in rural India were absent on any given day.

UNESCO surveys from as early as 2004 indicated that the annual statutory salary of primary school teachers in India with 15 years' experience was more than $14,000, adjusted for purchasing power. This was significantly higher than the then-statutory salaries of $3,000 in China and Indonesia, and the Indian GDP per capita in 2004, which was $3,100. So, remuneration does not appear to be a driver.

Private schools serve less than 13% of India's rural primary-school children. In many ways, private schools are in much worse shape.

DISE reported in 2012 that more than 91% of primary schools have drinking-water facilities and 86% of schools built in the last 10 years have a school building. However, there is still a long way to go: Only 52% of primary schools have a girls' toilet, and just 32% are connected to the electricity grid.

Teach for India, modeled after the Teach for America program, was introduced in 2006. Young, motivated Indian college graduates and professionals apply for two-year fellowships to teach at government-run and low-income private schools that lack sufficient resources. The dynamics of one particular grade 3 Teach for India classroom were in stark contrast to other classrooms at the same school -- students were listening intently, contributing in class, answering questions beyond the textbook and demonstrating a strong command over English. The challenge is scaling this model to rural India.

India's growth story remains one of the most anticipated global economic trends, and its fulfillment relies on a well-educated and skilled workforce. Improving education is a critical area of investment and focus if the country wants to sustain economic growth and harness its young workforce. A weak foundation in primary education can derail the lives, careers and productivity of tens of millions of its citizens. Already, a significant proportion of the adult workforce in India is severely under-equipped to perform skilled and semi-skilled jobs. As Rajesh Sawhney, former president of Reliance Entertainment and founder of GSF Superangels, noted, "No one is unemployed in India; there are just a lot of people who are unemployable."
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In this modern age, we have so many resources - good libraries, excellent/visually driven books written by various authors plus internet. Parents can home-school their children too.

Plus, the Indian teaching, still go by route memory. They should include more practical applications. I have seen the social-studies textbook, they are more reality based. But, I am not sure about math and science subjects.

Whereas, US education is totally based on logic, critical-thinking and are application oriented. India should follow "Critical" model of learning.
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