To read the Part 1 in the Education Series : Click Here
Continuing from the last part some of the remaining issues are as follows :
Information and Communications Technology potential not fully tapped by educational institutes in the country
Teacher development and management
- Not equipping teachers with competencies required to cope up with new profile and roles expected of teachers.
- Mismatch between institutional capacity and required teacher supply resulting in shortage of teachers. Problem more acute in Eastern part of the country.
- Research, innovation and experimentation in teacher education is very limited.
Governance and Management
It has assumed complexity especially at tertiary level due to
- Advent of multiplicity of providers.
- Multiplicity of programmes.
- Multiplicity in modes of financing
Research and Development
Following are the reasons for India’s poor performance in R&D-
- Limited initiative for upgrading skills of existing faculty.
- Lack of synergies between training and research to promote excellence in both.
- Lack of engagement with institutes around the globe to improve quality of research.
- Lack of creation and facilitation of alliances for research purpose.
- Lack of linkage between research institutions and industry to accelerate process of knowledge development
Target of 6% of GDP envisaged in National Education Policy 1986 yet to be met
How to tackle the challenges to education?
It means that we must focus on the children who have been left behind. Millions of children are out of school or are receiving a substandard education because of who they are or where they live. In India, girls remain less likely than boys to complete a primary education. Getting these children into school will require new approaches that directly address their exclusion and make schooling genuinely accessible and relevant.
- Quality– Education must be effective, so that children actually learn. We must address the barriers to learning, both in the classroom and at home, by improving the quality of teaching and classroom conditions and teaching parents how they can support their children’s education.
- Investment– Upholding these two principles will require increased investment. Last year, UNESCO calculated that governments must double education spending as a share of national income to achieve the 2030 goals. This will require increased revenue from taxation and stronger efforts to collect what’s owed. Donors also need to live up to their aid commitments and target aid more effectively. Moreover, at the moment, education budgets are often regressive, with almost half of spending being allocated to the most educated 10% of the population.
- Gender equality- As the old African proverb goes, “if you educate a girl, you educate an entire nation”. Ensuring access to quality education for children, especially girls, will lead to fewer child marriages and less child labour and exploitation. And education has long-term societal benefits: aside from increased political engagement, educated children contribute intellectual capital and pursue entrepreneurial opportunities when they grow up, boosting economic growth.
How to fix investment requirements?
Fixing investment requires action in two key areas.
- First, we need equitable financing, with more investment in early childhood care and development, where there is the biggest potential for returns. Budgets must be focused on the most excluded children, and primary education must be free at the point of use, so that every child can learn. We also urgently need more transparency and accountability, so that budgets are visible and communities have a say in school governance.
- Second, we need to strengthen domestic systems so that governments see themselves as the guarantor of accessible, quality schools for their citizens, rather than abdicating that role to outside development agencies. In particular, we should push for partnerships between government and business to boost domestic resources for education, and eliminate illicit capital flows that deprive governments of the means to fund it, such as tax evasion and money laundering across national borders.
The goal of equitable education will have succeeded if we are able to leverage the funding and political will to ensure that every child learns, regardless of their income, location, or social status. Our work will not be complete until that happens.