Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Despite recent hype over the Right to Education Bill making it mandatory for the Central, state and local bodies to provide free and compulsory education to all the children in the 6-14 years age group, the real scenario of elementary education in India is pathetic.Below are some of issues which make free and compulsory education in India a mammoth task.

1. Inadequacy of Financial Provision:Due to over expenditure in defense,foreign debt,meeting natural disasters among others, the expenditure for education in the central level comes down.

2. Poverty Among Parents:Education in undeveloped areas still considered as a luxury because of financial constraints of the parents.

3.Indifference of Parents:An illiterate parent is generally averse to education.Again,
children from educated families climb the educational ladder more successfully than those from uneducated families.This develops antipathy in uneducated parents towards education.

4.Inappropriateness of Curricula:The primary school curricula vary from State to State.The school curriculum in each of the States is almost centrally-controlled. There are prescribed syllabi, textbooks etc., irrespective of diversities in languages and dialects spoken by the people and geographical differences. Besides, such curricula do not give independence to teachers to make variations depending on local needs, which makes them ineffective.

5.Ineffectiveness of Teachers:Lack of effectiveness among teachers takes root at the time of teacher training. In spite of the known effects of teacher training on efficiency of teachers, most developing countries have poor teacher training programmes.Such training programmes in India are also farcical in nature.

6.Inertia in Administrative and Supervisory Machinery:The inertia prevailing among administrators and supervisors has its origin in a faulty recruitment system.The inertia prevailing in the system is responsible for ill-distribution of available resources. Such problems get further accentuated because of the multitude of languages and dialects.

Universalization of primary education is intimately connected with the development of living conditions of the people. When a significant number of citizens are below the poverty line, the attempts made to provide free and compulsory education to children in the age group 6-14 cannot be successful in the near future. There are, in addition, certain educational and administrative bottlenecks that have been decelerating the process.Efforts therefore are to be made for complete revamping of the system both at micro and macro levels, so as to make free education a reality and not a myth in India.

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