We might cry ourselves hoarse about the progress the nation is making on the world stage, but our achievements are nothing if we are not able to impart education to the most important citizens of the country – its children. The growth and prosperity of a country depends upon a strong education system and truth be told, we have failed miserably on this account.
Statistics and reports look quite promising. The District Information System for Education (DISE) reported in 2012 that 95% of India’s rural populations are within one kilometer of primary schools and in 2011, the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), said that enrollment rates in primary schools stood at a whopping 93%. Despite these facts, children’s education in India seems to be making very little progress in reality. Things are so bad that India scores dismally on the international stage when its schools are assessed and some of the best performing schools in the country only fared at a global average.
The reason for our nation’s bleak forecast when it comes to children’s education in India is due to multiple reasons, the most important of which is poor teaching quality. The reasons for this are many.
Lack of Qualified Teachers: Most teachers in primary schools, especially in the rural areas are often under qualified and over worked. Teachers do not get pre-service or in-service education to upgrade their skills. They are forced to handle multiple grades and work with children with different levels of learning ability.
Lack of Support and Motivation: Teachers are not provided any support to conduct classes smoothly. Often employed by the government, they are forced to handle tasks that have nothing to do with education. Schools lack supplies and equipment and remuneration for teachers is not enough to motivate even those committed to teaching. Adding to this factor is the high rate of teacher absenteeism in rural schools.
Inadequate Teaching Methodology: The teaching methods followed by primary school teachers are often below par and do nothing to actually teach children. Lessons are not made interesting or attractive. The lack of hands on, practical teaching methods that could get young children enthusiastic about learning is also a big flaw.
We strongly feel that unless these basic problems are dealt with, things will show no improvement and children, especially those from rural areas will suffer. The small percentage of private schools in cities might show progress; but it would do well to remember that the bulk of India’s children dwell in rural areas and go to such ill-equipped schools.