A large chunk of India’s privileged 18-year-olds move to various foreign countries every year to pursue their graduation. Frankly speaking, why shouldn’t they? A retrogressive teaching system is an honest understatement for the state of the education system in India. Armed with rote learning and thinking requiring low levels of application, we cannot possibly be prepared for what the 21st century world offers us.
According to data from the District Information System for Education (DISE) and the education ministry of India, 65% of school-going children (113 million) have no choice but to attend ill-maintained government schools. A study also showed that some of these schools operate out of tents. When the situation is as abysmal as this, how can these children even dream of facing the competition in their college lives, let alone go abroad for their graduation?
In a large number of the government schools, a single teacher is often responsible for teaching multiple subjects apart from various other odd jobs – some as absurd as collecting the sacks used to distribute mid day meals from over 3-4 years ago and depositing them with the government authorities. With huge responsibilities, a low pay grade and poor infrastructure, it is but obvious that the enthusiasm to teach often runs low among the government school teachers. It’s no surprise that in many cases, they put little or no effort into teaching the kids.
India’s share of GDP on education has decreased from 4.57% in 2013-2014 to 3.71% in 2017, according to Times of India. Despite the depressing state of education in the country, the government continues to ignore the youth and has not taken up this issue as seriously as it should have. According to another study, between 2010-11 and 2015-16, the students enrolled in government schools across 20 states in India fell by 13 million. Most of these students moved to private schools due to which the parents have had to pay a huge amount of money as fees, sometimes well beyond what they can afford. It is time the government realised that this is an issue of utmost national importance. This matter must be looked into immediately, so that the gap between the industry expectations and the quality of education can be bridged.
This is not an issue of BJP vs Congress, or that of the Left vs the Right. Successive Indian governments have, since independence, failed the children of India time and again – and continue to do so, even today. It is high time we realise this and work on it.
The children are our future. After all, as Stephen Splender says: “History theirs whose language is the sun.”
Featured image used for representative purposes only.