The very basic foundation of any society lies in the quality index of education and health. Both education and health must be fundamental rights of citizens and the government must make these two issues a priority.
Looking at education, primary education up to class 10 faces problems such as a lack of enrollment and dropping out, especially among backward communities and girl students. Further, quality remains an issue wherein, government schools face a tough challenge to compete with private schools, in terms of infrastructure, quality teaching etc.
Secondary education up to class 12 also faces tough challenges as most schools fail to provide the right choice of subjects to students.
Admission into colleges also remains a problem since a majority of the population competes to get into the best colleges. It’s ironical how till class 12, a private school is preferred, but for higher studies one wants admission in a government college or university. The ratio of seats to the number of applicants is quite low. It is because of this low ratio that there are cases of buying seats through donations and illegal admission processes.
I believe that privatization is necessary to an extent, but it can also distort the system. For example, in medical colleges, a large number of seats are available in private colleges, which clearly makes education out of reach for most Indians.
Thus, education in many cases, has become something elite rather than a necessity.
If education is treated like a limited resource, only some will be able to attain it because their capability in many ways (financial or social), is more than the rest of the people. This divide is the widest divide, as it can give rise to more divides like social divides, geographical divides, cultural divides, etc. which in turn, divide the nation.
The education system is also broken in the sense that in India, education often fails to be a full time support to an individual. We have seen graduates or even PhD candidates apply for a ‘peon’ job in government offices. Hence, the basic idea that education could empower individuals, fails quite often in India.
When a someone turns 18, they vote for the first time, and get a glimpse of the democratic system. Similarly, when they compete in an examination, the system fails them through various parameters of selection criteria, ample support for preparation, etc. So, the education system becomes broken in the way that it sometimes fails to be trustworthy.
Although there is no confusion in the fact that education has improved over decades, and a larger number of people are getting educated, but there is a lot to do. And surely, if the people of India decide that their priority is education, we will achieve what we deserve.