In recent years, India has made strides in bettering its education system. Between 2011 and 2015, the country increased its spending on education by 80 percent. Additionally, as of 2011, the country’s literacy rate was at 74 percent, a great improvement from the 52 percent recorded in 1991. While India’s education system has continued to improve throughout the years, it is still known as one of lesser education systems around the world. Here are some ways that India’s education system can be improved.
Separate Education and Politics
In an interview with The Economic Times, former chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization G. Madhavan Nair described education in his country as a “commercial commodity.” Nair says that many political parties use schools in order to build a group of future politicians instead of focusing on education for all students.
Ensure Excellent Educators
One of the largest problems with India’s education system is its lack of quality teachers. In 2011, the government created an exam for aspiring teachers, ever since this test has been introduced, as many as 99 percent of applicants have failed. Additionally, the Annual Status of Education Report revealed that even after three years of schooling, 60 percent of students are still unable to read, with the number only decreasing to 54 percent after another year of education.
Increase the Budget
While India made strides between 2011 and 2015 to increase the amount of its budget allocated for education, in recent years, the country has begun to back pedal. For the 2016-2017 year, only 3.65 percent of the country’s GDP was spent on education. Compared to other countries such as Mexico, New Zealand and Brazil, which all spend more than 12 percent of spending on education, India has a long way to catch up.
Take the Pressure Off of Standardized Tests
Like many nations, India is criticized for placing too much importance on its standardized testing. This issue has become so large that many students and parents have been caught cheating in order to do well. In 2015, 700 students in Bihar were expelled from school for cheating and 300 parents were arrested for trying to pass test answers to their children. The pressure of these tests ends up hindering the students’ overall education in the long run and has lead hundreds to resort to cheating.
Private School Isn’t Always the Answer
Due to the lack of quality public school education, many parents have resorted to sending their children to private schools. In the past five years, private school enrollment has increased to 17 million whereas public school enrollment has decreased to 13 million. While the country is fortunate to have relatively cheap private education, moving children from public to private schools does not create a solution, only a temporary fix for some children.
India’s education system has worked throughout the past decade to improve the quality of schooling for students. Despite the country’s changes, it still has to make big changes to provide the education that its people deserve. As of 2016, about 47 percent of the country’s population was comprised of children and teenagers, meaning that almost half of the population is relying on this education system to improve itself, and consequently, the people as a whole.
– Olivia Hayes