Where are India’s schooling systems lagging behind? A new book addresses the question
Issues plaguing school education
Education is vital for individuals to develop and grow to their potential and widen their livelihood opportunities. World leaders have acknowledged the vital role of education. Nelson Mandela viewed education as the “most powerful weapon you can use to change the world” while Kofi Annan noted that “education is the premise of progress in every society, in every family”. Our discussion on public policy imperatives on health, nutrition, food security, and the young child’s well-being, has also demonstrated that a critical ingredient to improvement in these sectors is education.
Though the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (RTE Act) has refocused attention on school education in recent years, some fundamental problems continue to plague the system. Despite the constitutional and legal obligations of governments, education budgets have remained modest and woefully inadequate to requirements. While there has been a reasonable expansion of coverage and enrolment in schools, the fundamental issue of poor learning outcomes, especially in government schools, has not been addressed. Poor households – both parents and children – remain alienated from the education system. Further, the education policy has not come to grips with the legitimate aspirations of poor households for “English”…