Education is the most important component of various components of social infrastructure. The well educated and properly trained manpower can accelerate the pace of economic development.
These are considered as important determinants of quality of life. Adequate investment in these fields will increase the productivity and efficiency of the manpower. Economists call it 1human capital formation. By human capital, we mean “the body of knowledge attained by the population and capacity of the population to use the knowledge effectively”.
Education Problems in India have been in existence for quite some time now and these continue to dog the concerned. India has reached remarkable achievement in the economic sector and this has brought a lot of changes in the education sector. But these changes have not turned to be sufficient to solve the ever-existent and ever-changing Education Problem in India. The problems of the education system in India are of grave concern and this concern has not been ignored. A country with more than 1 Billion populations has just one-third population which can read. India accounts for World 30% illiterate. The literacy rate of India as per 2001 Population Census is 65.38%, with male literacy rate at 75.96% and female at 54.28%. So what is wrong and where is it wrong?
Current educational problems in India
Inadequate, Improper distribution of Funds or Lack of it:- Funds are the major reasons for the Education problem in India. If funds are available, they are not being used effectively. At times, the lack of funds hampers education and many times, the funds are just inadequate to solve the issue. According to a study, 30% of the total educational funds are allocated towards higher education leaving the primary education in a lurch. The situation is worse in rural areas where funding is a major problem as it fuels other problems like shortage of staff, lack of interest and motivation amongst teachers, an insensitive attitude of the education department, lack of proper infrastructure and others. Lack of funds further creates a lack of books and learning materials.
Ever-Increasing Population:-India is the second-most populous country in the world. The population of India in 2011 is about 1.21 billion and it is still increasing and by the time you have finished listening to this line, it will have increased more than what shown. And why, one minute equals to about 51 births in India (2011). India represents almost 17.31% of the world1s population, which means 1 out of 6 people in this world live in India. With the population growth rate of 1.58%, India is predicted to have more than 1.53 billion people by the end of 2030. India Sex Ratio (2011) is 940 females per 1,000 males. In a country where the sex ratio favors females, it automatically translates into more number of illiterates. More than 50% of India1s current population is below the age of 25. The individual population of some of its states is equal to the total population of many countries. Illiteracy of large population supports further illiteracy and poverty itself is a factor which encourages illiteracy.
Demand far Exceeds the Supply:- A classic case is that of a shortage of teachers. The Student-Teacher Ratio is not balanced. Some of the rural schools have the faculty which is not qualified enough which further degrades the quality of education. Only, the desperate ones or those whose main objective is to earn money; the objective of providing quality education takes a back seat. Financial factor, lack or absence of incentives and opportunities keeps even the efficient Indian educator away from this field. Top up these with poor or inadequate facilities at the school level breaks the spirit of the educators, making them selfish and restricting their creativity and talent.
Faulty Education Policies:- Earlier, it was the British education policy which served the British Empire, today the education policy favors those who are rich and affluent. The majority of the Indian population is poverty-stricken. Government Schools for these have poor management and poor quality of education.
Poverty and High Fees:- Studies have shown that during 2004-2005, there was a 58% drop-out rate amongst the students of classes - I to VIII. The Dropout rate for classes` I-X was 62-64% for girls and 60% for boys. These rates are very high. The origin of these rates largely lies in Poverty. When earning money and taking care of family becomes a primary issue in one life, education stands a little or no chance of pursuance.
The approach of Educators and Higher Authorities:- When good results matter more than how they are achieved, it becomes clear that education is considered a mere formality and just a qualification. Result-driven schools make it easy for students to pass the exams through various unfair means.
Non-involvement of Citizens:- Indian citizens rarely raise their voice against issues and if they do, the motivation last long. Unity becomes an issue when there are so many disparities amongst the Indian populace. These two are the effects of illiteracy. Uneducated people or less educated people have low self-esteem as they have enough knowledge. They cannot raise their voices on things which they themselves confident about.
Selfish and Ineffective Supervisory Bodies:- If everyone else in the education department is serving his/her own selfish motive how can the Supervisory bodies be far? Selfishness itself propagates a chain of selfishness and corruption breeds` corruption.
Political and Bureaucratic Involvement:- Majority of the Politician and Bureaucrats have an age which makes them senior citizens. Some of them are not educated, some are partially or have received ineffective education, and some have reached this far because of their affluence and notability. Thus, we have illiterate politicians handling education department, orthodox bureaucrats who are resistant to new ideas and experimentation. Education is Business for the Politicians and Manipulation Tool for bureaucrats. Power and control are great weapons and if those controlling it are selfish and corrupt, there is a slim chance that they will be dethroned in a short span of time.
Indifferent Attitude of Rural Population:- About 72.2% of the population lives in some 638,000 villages and the rest 27.8% in about 5,480 towns and urban agglomerations. Majority of the residents of these places are illiterate and severe gender, regional, and caste disparities exist in their societies. And even when a graduation degree doesn`t guarantee employment then the anti-education attitude gets solidified. Traditional forms of occupational skills receive a higher repute as it brings income which is vital for survival. With other traditions, illiteracy also becomes a tradition.
Some Possible Solutions to Current Educational Problems in India:
=> Population Control through various campaigns, awards and other incentives and increments to those who set an example in favor of population control.
=> Teachers need to be professionally trained, adequately paid and well-motivated.
=> India`s entire education system should be redesigned to favor employment, nullify the poverty aspect and improve the quality of education on every level, especially the primary level.
=> Frequent curricular revisions, to remove and/or edit obsolete chapters and bring quality in education.
=> Accountability of Higher Authorities needs to be sensitized and effectively implemented through law and special courts which can provide speedy decisions. An independent regulatory authority can be established to remove discrepancies in the first place.
=> Aggressive Awareness Campaigns in Rural Areas to negate the negative attitude of the rural population.
=> Minimum Wages to Unemployed Educated Candidates.
=> Education Portfolio should be given to Education Experts.
=> The state university system should be expanded even more to provide educational opportunities to the rural people. Private sectors, contributions from philanthropists and industry should be encouraged.
=> An alternate examination process in the form of internal assessment can be set up, where students are evaluated by their teachers.