Way forward for Issues related to Education Sector

  • Digitization:
    • Create a single-window system for infrastructure and mainstream fund-flows: In Bihar, only around 10 percent of the schools fulfils infrastructure norms. A study revealed that files for renovating schools often go on a two-year journey through various departments.
    • The same can be applied for teacher salaries and school funds. These can be transferred directly from the State to the teachers and schools. There is no need to involve the District or Block in this process.
    • Leveraging the audio-visual edutainment to make education more interesting and easier to understand for the children. This will improve the quality as well as reduce the drop-out rates.
    • Implementing bio-metric attendance for teachers and students for every class can help reduce absenteeism.
  • Empower School Management Committees by using mobile phones:
    • To develop a system that facilitates School Management Committee members by fostering democratic accountability.
    • Social audits should also be carried out for effective functioning.
  • Better pre-service teacher training coupled with transparent and merit-based recruitments is a lasting solution for teacher quality.
  • Improve the quality of teacher education by making teacher training mandatory. Example: National Council for Teacher Education Act amendment bill, Diksha portal to train teachers.
  • Increase the public spending on education to 6% of GDP as recommended by NEP.
  • Teachers are rarely reprimanded for non-performance, while there are recommendations for removal of non-detention policy. The blame is squarely on the children; such an attitude must be wiped out.
  • Education policy in India is focused on inputs rather than learning outcomes; It has a strong elitist bias in favour of higher education as opposed to primary or secondary education. This needs a change by coming out with NEP.

Education is the key to upliftment of people from poverty, inequality and oppression. India’s demographic dividend is dependent on quality education at primary, secondary and high school levels. Focus must be on pedagogy and a safe and stimulating environment where wide range of learning experiences are offered to the children. Only when we align incentives of all stakeholders, and enable them while holding them accountable, can we shorten the distance between the nation’s current state of education and its aspirations.