Where reforms are needed in Indian Education?

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India has created one of the largest education systems in existence today. However, despite the extraordinary developments in the last decades, further reforms are necessary. The Indian government, recognizing the true importance of education in the 21st century, has made a firm commitment to creating a knowledge-based society through legislation.

Where reforms are needed in Indian Education?

Despite the last decades’ tremendous development several problems are present in Indian education system, the handling of which is a matter of urgency. On the elementary level, primarily rural schools struggle with serious infrastructural shortcomings. The teacher per student ratio is far too low; as the teachers are unqualified, the quality of education delivered is not satisfactory.

Globalization brings numerous opportunities for India, which the South-Asian country could turn to its advantage due to its demographic and economic potential. More than half of India’s population is of working age, and according to forecasts, by 2020 one quarter of the world’s labor force will be made up by Indians. Job creation is of central importance to the government, for its success can become the engine of economic development at later stages. In the Age of Information society, however, there is only demand for a well-educated, professional workforce, therefore education is of paramount importance.  The education system of the subcontinent’s largest country attempts to adjust to the challenges, but there is no doubt about the need for reform. In the past years, India’s governments have consciously striven to correct the errors of the old system, to adopt new developments, and to build a knowledge-based society that privileges creativity and innovation.


The winners and losers of public education

Before the age of colonization there existed no central educational system in India. If someone wanted to study, then he voluntarily joined a master, who initiated his disciples primarily into the secrets of Sanskrit, mathematics and metaphysics. The British introduced modern school system into the country in the 1830s, as a result of which the close relationship between master and disciple ceased to exist, and the curriculum featured primarily natural sciences.

In the course of the 1920s, the British created several central institutions to oversee education in the various states, the relevance of which increased after India gained independence.

According to Article 45 of the Constitution of the Republic of India, education is compulsory for children aged 6-14, but the government encountered difficulties in attempting to enforce the article in certain areas even at the end of the 20th century. At the outset, overseeing education was considered each state’s home affair. Thus, India’s government had little influence over questions concerning education. This situation only changed in 1976, when, after an amendment to the Constitution, education came under the national government’s purview. Source : http://www.geopolitika.hu/

In the 1980s many legislative acts were passed to enforce compulsory education regulations and to develop elementary education. In this spirit the program “National Policy concerning Education” was passed, a modified version of which is still treated as a priority project by the Modi-government. Women’s participation in education was minimal at the beginning, but by 2001, with government support, more than 50% of all women could read and write, which can be seen as a formidable step forward in comparison to 15% in the 1960s.


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