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National Education Day & Indian Education Sector

Since 2008, 11th November, the birth anniversary of India’s first education minister, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad is observed as National Education Day.

How the education scenario in India has changed?

1. Education scenario has changed in many ways since India’s independence. In the 1950’s,

a) Parents were not aware of the importance of children’s education.

b) Education was exclusive and unaffordable.

c) Girls were denied education.

d) Literacy rate was only around 20%.

2. But these situations have changed. Parents have realized the importance of education for their children.

3. Gender discrimination has reduced in school education and enrollment rates are nearing 95% in schools.

4. Literacy rate also stands at 75%.

What are the current challenges?

1. Providing good quality education. Only 30% of children get a good quality education.

2. Loss of credibility of government schools.

3. The curriculum of education is not in line with current needs.

4. Training of teachers to bring better learning outcomes remains a concern.

Why improving the standards of education is challenging?

1. Teaching in schools are more concerned about the results of the final written examination and marks.

2. Even in institutions like IITs and IIMs, around 40-50% teaching positions lie vacant.

3. Education has not focused on value inculcation, character building, educating about social responsibilities and duties of citizens. This has given rise to a materialistic approach to education.

Where should the focus be?

1. To ensure better learner attainments at all stages of education, teaching and learning process has to be synchronized. Overall quality of education can be improved only by nurturing talent among teachers. ‘National Talent Search Exam’ scheme of NCERT was launched with this objective.

2. Curriculum load and commercially oriented goals of schools have failed the education system in nurturing the power of imagination, idea, creativity, and curiosity among children.

3. Ministry of Human Resource Development has recently announced a reduction in the curriculum of school education system. This step can increase the chances of improving the process of education.

3. The education system has to be made self-sufficient with laboratories, faculties, finances, and with avenues for innovation.

4. Policy support is required in improving Research & Development (R&D) environment in institutions of higher education.