Educational Institutions Increasing, But Is The Quality Of Education?

The number of schools, colleges and universities are not the only parameters to measure the quality and status of education in a nation

The quality of education determines the quality of human capital. While the numbers of schools, colleges and universities are reported to be increasing, the quality of education still remains unsatisfactory, reports suggest.

Despite 97 per cent enrolment in Class 1, only 35 per cent reach Class 12 and less than 20 per cent enroll into higher education. Even for those who do complete graduation it doesn't really get any better since nearly half of our graduates are unemployable.

The Right to Education has motivated children to attend school with the incentive of mid-day meal but many educational institutions have failed to provide satisfactory level of education to the students. Understaffed, less resources, limited exposure, low incentive and professional knowledge among teachers are attributes channeling the low quality of education.

“In order to focus on quality of education, the Central Rules to the RTE Act, 2009 have been amended on 20th February, 2017 to include reference on class-wise and subject-wise Learning Outcomes. The Learning Outcomes for each class in Languages (Hindi, English and Urdu), Mathematics, Environmental Studies, Science and Social Science up to the elementary level have, accordingly, been finalized and shared with all States and UTs,” Prakash Javedkar, HRD Minister stated at the Rajya Sabha session.

According to Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, 3.59 lakh elementary schools have been opened, 2.91 lakh school buildings and 17.59 lakh additional classrooms have been constructed, and about 15.75 lakh teachers have been recruited as on 31st March, 2016. The numbers and figures are soaring but the standard of the quality of education remains ambiguous. Surveys, rankings, employment rate remains the common implicators of quality.

There is not a single Indian educational institution in the top 20 world class institutions, as per various world rankings. To increase investments in the infrastructure of higher educational institutions, the government has set up Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) with an initial capital base of Rs. 300 crores. The HEFA incorporated under the Company Act, 2013 aims to mobilize debt/Bond funds from the market to finance improvement in infrastructure and research facilities in the higher educational institutions. The loans would be serviced through the internal accruals of the institutions.

The enrolment in government schools in rural areas declined from 72.9 per cent in 2007 to 63.1 per cent in 2014, as per the Annual Status of Education. On the contrary, enrolment in private schools has registered an increase in enrolment from 20.2 per cent to 30.7 per cent. This perhaps, implicates that the quality of education is better in private schools in the mind of parents.

While the government is introducing and implementing various schemes to enhance the enrollment numbers, there is still a dire need to increase the overall resources and professional guidance among the institutions to develop better human capital. 

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