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Education is one of the most powerful instruments for reducing poverty and inequality. Education is equally, a key to enhancing India’s competitiveness in the global economy. Therefore, ensuring access to quality education for all, in particular for the poor and rural population, is central to the economic and social development of India.
In ancient times, India has the GURUKULA system of education, in which, anyone who wished to study, went to teacher’s house and requested to be taught. If accepted as a student by the guru, he would then stay at the guru’s place and help in all activities at home. This not only created a strong bond between the teacher and the student but also taught the student everything about running a house.
The guru taught everything the child wanted to learn, from Sanskrit to the holy scriptures and from mathematics to metaphysics.
The student stayed as long as he wishes to, or until the guru felt that he had taught everything that he could teach. All learning was closely linked to nature and life, and not confined to memorizing some information, like today. To the best of my knowledge, it is the best way of education in India, as it gave unconfined knowledge.
The modern school system was brought to India, including the English language, originally by load Thomas Babington Macaulay in 1830’s. The curriculum was confined to modern subjects like science and mathematics. The subjects like metaphysics and philosophy were considered unnecessary. Teaching was confined to classrooms and the link with nature was broken, as also the close relationship between the teacher and the student. Even now, there is no such bond between the teacher and the students.
There is a national organization, that plays a key role in developing policies and programs, called the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) that prepare a national curriculum framework. Each state has its counterpart called the State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT). These are the bodies that essentially propose educational strategies, curricula and evaluation methodologies to the state’s departments of education. But the states have considerable freedom in implementing the education system.
The school system in India has four levels: lower primary (age 6 to 10), upper primary (11 and 12), high (13 to 15) and higher secondary (17 and 18). The lower primary school is divided into five “standards”, upper primary school into two, high school into three and higher secondary into two. Students have to learn a common curriculum largely (except for regional changes in mother tongue) until the end of high school. There is some amount of specialization possible at the higher secondary level. Students throughout the country have to learn three languages (namely, English, Hindi, and their mother tongue).
There are various ways coming up to support the Indian education:-
. Universalization of good quality basic education.
. Expanding secondary education and improving quality.
. Reforming vocational education and training.
. Expanding and improving technical and tertiary education.
World bank is providing good support for the educational system in India. Since 2000, the World Bank has committed over $2 billion to education in India. It also provides technical support. Its assistance includes:
⇒The World Bank supports India’s Integrated Child Development Services with several operations. These projects include lessons learned from research and analysis such as Reaching out to the Child which recommends decentralized and integrated approaches to early childhood development. The World Bank is also doing research to explore improvements in service delivery using micro-planning and finding synergies among various social programs for children.
⇒ Since 2003, the Bank has been working with Central and State governments, along with development partners (UK's DFID and the European Union) to support the “Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan” program. In Phase 1 (2003-2007) the Bank invested $ 500 million to expand facilities and improve infrastructure, get children to school and set up a system to assess learning. In Phase 2 (2007-2012) the Bank will provide a total of $ 1.35 billion to expand access to upper primary education, increase retention of all students until completion of elementary education (Grade 8), and improve learning levels. In addition, Bank evaluations and research provide pointers to further improvements. This includes studies on financing elementary education, teacher absenteeism, instructional time and quality in primary education and the impact of information sharing with village education committees, inclusive education for children with disabilities, comparisons between public and private schooling in UP, AP, and MP, and incentives to improve quality.
⇒ The World Bank is in the process of preparing support to the Government of India’s new centrally sponsored scheme for secondary education, “Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan” (RMSA), for an estimated $ 500 million. This is largely based on the analytical work completed on secondary education, published in 2009, which focused on strategies to improve access, equity, management, and quality. In addition, the Bank has conducted research into the feasibility for expanded public-private partnerships at the secondary level and has supported learning workshops on the role of information and communication technologies at the secondary level.
⇒ Based on analysis of vocational education and training in India, the World Bank is supporting efforts to upgrade this sector with a $280 million project. It will upgrade 400 Industrial training institutes (ITIs) as centers of excellence.
⇒ A $300 million operation is helping improve India’s technical/engineering education. It was recently approved by the World Bank, following the successful completion of TEQUIP I. This will finance major reforms in 130+ competitively selected engineering institutions from around the country to improve the quality of education and meet the demands of a fast-growing economy. Further, several reports examine the increased demand for skilled workers in India and its importance for national competitiveness.
State level support to education in India is not at all less. World Bank Development Policy Credits in a few states, support state-level education reforms through policy dialogue and research. Studies were undertaken in Karnataka. The World Bank is currently engaged in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh and Orissa. Actions supported under these Development Policy Loans include recruitment of additional teachers, the establishment of teacher management information systems, capacity-building for school-based mass de-worming programs for improved student health, evaluations of teacher training programs, and research into the most cost-effective interventions to improve student learning.
As India is a diversified nation, it is essential to have small changes in education, so that they can build India into a developed nation. We live in a country where the people see education as the means of climbing the social and economic ladder. If the education system is failing, then it is certainly not due to lack of demand for good education, or because a market for education does not exist. There are systemic faults that do not let our demand for good education translate into a great marketplace with excellent education services. Our education system rarely rewards what deserves highest academic accolades. Deviance is discouraged. Risk taking is mocked. Our testing and marking systems need to be built to recognize original contributions, in form of creativity, problem-solving, valuable original research and innovation. If we could do this successfully Indian education system would have changed overnight. So, there is a greater need to identify the faults and improve the quality of education in India with the help of the above ways, which are in support of Indian education.
There are many corporates who invest in Education. It is said CSR activity but honestly, this is the most amazing activity a corporate does. Education is the finest empowerment and we can not deny anyone of us to get it. Corporates like Merck India has a trust called Merck India Charitable Trust and they do CSR activities in Education. The featured image of the blog is taken from MICT Scholarship Distribution Event 2010 when Deepak Goel, Founder Edu4Sure was doing a corporate activity. He brought around 130 applications and out of that, around 25 students got scholarships. These students were from economically weak section but talented ones. They had minimum 80% marks in their 10th class board. Another image shows a workshop by the Edu4Sure team for the school's students.
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