India is home to 1,365,097,002 people and is the second most populated country in the world. However, the country is home of the largest population of illiterate adults in the world – 74.04% amounting to 37% of the global total.
In recent years the Government has taken several measures to do away with illiteracy. For e.g- introduction of free primary education, schemes for the education of girl child, etc. However, there has been a slow growth. Why? Where is it going wrong?
Let’s take a look at some facts on India’s standing on the literacy chart:
⇒ India’s literacy rate has increased six times since the end of British rule. From 12% to 74% in 2011, yet, India has the world’s largest population of illiterates.
⇒ 60 lakh children in India are still out-of-school.
⇒ 92 % of government schools are yet to fully implement the RTE (Right To Education) Act.
Where is the defect in the system?
In today’s world getting a child into a reputed school has become a headache for the parents. In addition, the demand for quality education has increased. As a result, private educational institutions are on a rise, which was not the scenario a decade back.
There are several untidy business and interference of politics. These successfully spoil the education system of our country.
1. A huge amount of donation: The problem lies at the very beginning. At first, child ren goes for admission in a primary school. They will go to the famous ‘known over the years’ schools that promise to deliver the best education for their children.
The student not only requires to pass the admission test, but the parents are asked to make a ‘donation’. It is quite a huge amount of money. And in most of the cases, the ‘donation’ is of primary concern rather than the admission test.
The practice of taking a huge amount of ‘donation’ prevails in the higher educational institutions as well. Most of the reputed medical and engineering colleges take as donation an amount equal to the course fees. As a result, it prohibits many students from studying the course.
2. Encouragement of private tuitions: After the child gets in the school looking forward to ‘quality education’, the teacher looks forward to making some extra bucks after school. How?
Well, the recent cases in most of the private educational institutions are to compel the student to take private tuition from the teacher. The teachers highly believe in private tuitions. This is a practice recognized by UNESCO as unethical.
3. Teacher absenteeism and bias-ness: Another key factor for not providing the students with a quality education is a high rate of teacher absenteeism and bias-ness in teacher appointments. The UNESCO’s International Institute of Educational Planning Study on Corruption in Education recently released its report. It says that 25 % of teacher absenteeism in India is among the highest in the world.
4. Misuse of Government fund: The ones in the higher ranks of the authority system need to do their work with fairness and keep a track of spending of the education fund. Otherwise, there won’t be any improvement in the education system.
For example, the fund allotted for mid-day meals. It is a scheme introduced by the government to provide one meal a day per student to attract students at school. It includes an egg or soybean, rice meal on every alternate days, meat and fish every week and a glass of milk daily.
In reality, students get pulses and rice, and milk on the days they get lucky! Where is the rest of the amount going? There have been many reports in many national newspapers of India on this. But the Government paid no heed.
5. Business in the name of education: Yes, the education system in this country has become the most successful business in the 21st century. Above all, the focus has turned to mere business rather than providing quality education.
How can we fix the damage already done?
The practice of corruption has been long practiced in every sphere in our country. As a result, it has become a habit of every individual. As the saying goes,‘old habits die hard’, we cannot expect corruption to disappear overnight from the education system.
Therefore, the problem should be eradicated from the grass-root level. There needs to be enough awareness among the people regarding the practice of corruption. Just for the sake of giving the best education to our children or encouraging them to take up the career they desire, we should not give ‘donation’ to the educational institutions.
Many schools have prohibited the practice of taking private tuitions from school teachers. This is a primary step towards removing corruption.
The Government needs to act on its part, and act fast. Since children are the future of the country, every child has the right to receive a quality education. Therefore, the teachers should strive to provide just that. Education as an institution should be pure, free from corruption.