Economy India
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Challenges of Inclusive and Quality Education in India

Challenges of Inclusive and Quality Education in India

By Manohar Manoj

First of all, we need to know and understand the whole status of education in India.
1, Education comes under both govt. and private sector as well as operated by NGOs too
2  Education comes under both center and state
3 Education is governed under all three tiers of democratic governance; center, state and local democratic bodies or local self-government
4 However education is predominantly the subject of the state
5 Education is a huge sector, ranging from primary to pre-secondary and secondary to senior secondary and higher education, technical education, vocational education to various modes of skill development
6 We have a plethora of primary schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges, universities, medical colleges, polytechnic colleges, engineering colleges, professional and management, and other sorts of institutions respectively.
All the state governments of India have a vast network of educational institutions which start from primary school and are followed by pre-secondary, secondary, senior secondary, college and universities, and various technical institutions too. Apart from government-sponsored educational institutions, there is a vast spread of educational institutions in the private sector also. As per the recent figures on the status of primary education in the country, private schools have been very much operational in the villages too. It is estimated that private players are running around 47 percent of primary schools in the country now. We have around 10 lakh primary schools (both govt. and private) in the country which have the enrolment of around 15 crore children. But, the most pathetic point is the dropout ratio of school-going children, which is still around 25 percent, despite many efforts of providing free uniforms, food, and books to them. It means that the economic background of the parents forces them to be indulged in child labour activities rather than attending school. In the same way, we have around 4 lakh middle schools in the country which have enrolled around 60 lakh students with them. Further, we have around two lakh SSC/HSC schools in the country, which have an enrolment of around 50 lakh students. Coming to higher studies, we have around 30,000 colleges in the country that are providing education to almost 25 lakh students. No. of universities being operated under both govt. and the private sector touching around one thousand now.
Talking about the no. teaching faculty, we have around 30 lakh teachers for primary schools, 20 lakh for middle schools, and around 24 lakh teachers for higher secondary schools. In secondary education, ‘public school’ run by private players has a more presence in the urban metropolis, state capitals, and to some extent in district headquarters also. As we know, education has become one of our important fundamental rights, so the central government allocates a  huge amount of funds towards elementary education programs like ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’ (SSA). This Abhiyan has two components; the first is the school and its building complex,  second is the appointment of teachers along with the provision of a midday meal scheme for the school children. However, the mid-day meal scheme is being looked after by the Central Child and Women Development Ministry. The appointment of teachers is primarily held at the state level, which always has possibilities of corruption and irregularities. As we know, in the government sector, the appointment policy has been subject to many difficulties.
The permanent job-doers never have productivity-centric performances, as is the case with permanently appointed teachers. They are not found to be very sincere in doing their teaching work. It has been seen that the teachers employed in private schools with less salary perform better than the teachers employed in government schools. This is the reason even the villagers now prefer to enroll their children in private schools.The corruption in the government sector is visible not only in terms of negligence in teaching but also in the resource centers. Corruption is found to be visible in the mid-day meal scheme. Whenever any fund is released for special purposes like construction or purchase in the schools that are found to be riddled with corruption. In contrast, in private schools, the wayward fixation of tuition fees,  higher admission fees, and charges in the name of development (at the primary/secondary level/ ) and very high amount of capitation charges at the level of the professional course can be termed as corruption prevailing under the private run education system.                                                   Admission is the most problematic and corruption-prone area in the private education setup.   In top private schools, admission charges range between rupees    1 to 5 lakh; in medical colleges, it ranges from 25 lakh to 100 lakh, in engineering colleges, it ranges between 10 to 25 lakhs. Admission rackets are generally quoted while talking about these sorts of corruption. In our sort of education system, there is neither uniformity in examination boards nor in the syllabus, which is mainly responsible for the existence of our present form of a non-egalitarian structure of society, which has, in fact, turned education into a business. Schools and educational institutions have become like brands and accordingly, their admission fee, tuition fee, and development fee are being charged. The affiliation has become a big business, which brings violations in various fields of educational administration. Private schools seek permission from CBSE, professional colleges seek affiliation from universities, (UGC) and if institutes are technical ones, then they seek affiliation from AICTE.
These sorts of things have always been riddled with corruption. We have a  bounty of professional institutions coming into the education market, they all are in a queue for getting affiliation from the recognized universities, and for that bundles of currency are being offered, which they ultimately collect from the admission seekers. It forms the chain of education business in the country.We have around 1000 courses being evolved and students are seeking them in order to make their careers and get employment opportunities. In accordance with that, many professional institutions have come into the operation and view it as a great business opportunity.  So the persons,  who are interested in the business of education, try to take affiliation from the recognized universities/boards after paying them a bribe and after that, they come up with various institutes in the area of ‘Management’, ‘Medical’, ‘Engineering’, ‘Poly techniques’, etc. We already have many scandals that have erupted in which it was found that one university gave affiliation to hundreds of institutes, which was,  later on,  turned back as non-recognized one. Another aspect of educational corruption is the mushrooming growth of coaching centers, which is happening all over the country. Most of the above five lakh populated cities in the country are now flooded with a variety of coaching centers. Most of the faculties work in various govt. and non-govt. institutions do join these coaching centers to earn an extra amount of money. These coaching centers charge a huge amount of fees from the students. There is no proper regulation over this. There are many mafias and corrupts who are running educational institutions and from time to time, they are being caught during Income tax and other raids. Another aspect of corruption prevalent in our education system is that of paper leak-outs and the selling of question papers from time to time.
We have enormous scandals taking place in this sector. Many times, it leads to the cancellation of several examinations. In all, our education sector requires a huge and comprehensive reform keeping in mind the various facets of this gigantic sector otherwise, under the present hotchpotch and unregulated setup, corruption will keep continuing in this sector. For streamlining the whole education sector, we need a TRAI-like regulatory authority in education too, which can provide an equal level playing field for both public and private players working in the education sector which may provide relief to all education seekers. As we know fair competition as well the as time-to-time proper regulation always keeps the prices at the appropriate level, in the same way, if we promote competition in the education sector, it will benefit all its stakeholders7 In normal course under govt. sector.  Primary to high education is govt. financed and higher education is partly financed, however govt. has to pour huge money towards these areas through UGC and state budget 8. In India, education has created two educational worlds in India.
The upper middle class and big city and metropolis living middle class prefer to take the services of private education institutions. Naturally in the quest for a better educational environment and pro-active teachers in private educational institutions are able to allure sizable no. students.9 However, on the one side in the absence of a properly designated regulator in order to fix up and suggest a fee structure, the private sector has become notorious for looting and making the business of education in a wayward manner whereas in the government-run higher education sector the educational administration is hugely in a pathetic shape. Rampant corruption, No work culture, and a passive educational environment where permanent teachers hardly bother about applying their effort to educating the students.10 Fact is that the educational environment in both the central and state universities is hugely deplorable due to their non-work culture, ineffective and non-compliance with the educational calendar, ongoing strikes, and political lobbyism.
The lack of a level playing field, two worlds of teachers, that is of permanent teachers and guest teachers has created a hotchpotch scenario in the universities and colleges.11 Educational has two fundamental issues, first, what should be the content of education, comprising syllabus and medium of language, and second financing and administration of the whole education machinery.12 non-linkages of education with that of employment, skill development, making self-confident and competent, and creating an entrepreneurial spirit13 Massive spoilage of public money in universities. In the public sector, we have a plethora of quality teachers but their application and devotion and in the end productivity is nil, always getting derailed by strikes, long holidays, and pandemic kinds of things.
Last year the country suffered hugely through the covid 19 pandemic but in India for the higher educational institutions, there is always a pandemic kind of situation.

Points of corruption committed by TeacherTeaching has always been a profession of prestige,  glory, and dedication; but unfortunately, the downfall of morality in every walk of life has also taken this sector of the profession under its grip. It has altogether brought a deep deterioration in the standards of the teaching profession. We have many sorts of teachers, varying from primary, secondary, higher studies, and technical to professional course teachers.

The following may be termed as points of corruption prevalent amongst teaching professionals:
(a)  There was a time when in most government primary schools, teachers used to exploit their students for their own personal work. Sometimes they used to beat and harass them. However, it is banned now,  but still, in many cases, teachers emotionally exploit their students
.(b)Most of the government teachers, despite having a good salary and permanent job, indulged in private tuition work, even after it is declared illegal.
(c) Teachers are found to be involved in false marking in many exams. They try to give support to their own kith and kin and favorite students. In many cases, it is found that the son or daughter of a teacher even without any talent or hard work is able to get merit ranking in his/  her exams just because of undue favour
.(d) In most colleges, the teachers are found to be absent in classes and they somehow manage their attendance.
(e) In technical subjects, teachers are found to be more interested in private tuition.
(f) In many cases, teachers aspire to get favors/help from their ex-students
.(g)In colleges/universities, many teachers are found indulged in politics, so they skip classes and do not justify the salary amount they are being paid with.
(h) Many a time teachers by making nexus with their principal/admin staff, try to siphon the student welfare funds.
(i)  The post of university vice-chancellor has greatly deteriorated. It has become a corrupt institution, politically guided and the most prestigious intellectual post has been massively downgraded.
All these faculties have different characters and mindsets while committing any wrong practice. Like ‘health’, ‘education’ is also an area that comes under all three tiers of democratic governance and it also exists under both the public and private sectors. Teachers working in government schools have different job conditions than that of private ones, so their deliverance of duty also differs from the private sector. In government schools, it is found that some teachers are non-qualified and some remain absent from the schools, if they are found present, they lack alertness while doing their teaching duty. However, it is an administrative and management-oriented problem, which most government schools suffer from.

Suggestions
1 Only the quality, performance, and productivity of teachers should be given preference and it should be applied as a policy matter for all public and private educational institutions
2 application of cost and output analysis, productivity audit, and compulsory implementation of the educational calendar should be given top priority in every college.
3 There should be a uniform policy for all the appointments of teachers. All teachers must have contractual and equal pay and perks and their day-to-day productivity should be taken into account while raising their increment.
4 In every educational institution, there should be the post of a  consultant for the students
5 There should be separate cells for the administration and day-to-day management of colleges. The prestige of the teachers should be restored at any cost and their participation in the administrative work should be accompanied by compulsory training and orientation courses.
6 All govt. institutions must learn how to manage and improve their performance from the private institutions and private institutions must learn how to indulge themselves more in social responsibility sort of work from the government institutions.
7 There should be an equal pay scale for both permanent and temporary teachers as well as for government teachers and private teachers.8 Education campuses must have full autonomy but not at the cost of recklessness and non-performance and all sorts of corruption prevailing in the educational world 1

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