Posted by: Gomzy | January 22, 2007

Suggestions on Education

Quick Facts:

  • Population of India: 109 Crore or Say 1.9 billion
  • Literacy: 59% (Male 70% and Female 48%)

Resonable Assumption:Functional Literacy Less than half of the literate population. What is Functional Literacy? Less than half of India’s population that claims to be literate, can use the education that they have received in the school.

English as the Primary Medium of Teaching:English should be taught from 1st standard onwards together with the vernacular language. Further education should be either in English or in the vernacular language of choice of the student from 6th standard onwards. The politicians will put forward the following claims against introducing or teaching in English:

  • First hurdle in implementation of this suggestion would certainly be the claims of such a move being unpatriotic: Well I wonder, how I become unpatriotic if I studying in English.
  • 2nd claim will be that the local languages would become extinct: English has survived last 70 years in India, therefore the local languages would also survive if they need to. Should they become extinct, let them, so have lot many. Only those languages will survive which have the utility to the common people. In this age of Information highway, where all people live in a global village only few languages will survive.
  • The history of the people would be lost: We live for the future and not in the past. The requirement of the future is that we learn the language that will provide us employment. English sure has lived upto that requirement. India is now the world leader in the BPO.

Change the way: The education system in India is highly subsidized, how ever the people do not get the benefit of the money spent by the government. Nearly the entire amount spent by the government is lost in the way and do not reach to the intended destination.

  • Instead of the government spending the money through its conventional ways, each school should be funded directly from a Nodal Agency.
  • Ever school should have a board of Trustees made up of Teacher/Parent association who would govern the school management. The Trustees should have not more than 3 year terms and should not be able to be re-elected to the board. There should not be any participation from any political leaders.
  • Every school should submit an annual Zero Base Budget fully justifying the amount to be spent on various activities. The account should be audited.

Let there be no Free Lunch: Only a handful of children in rural India go to the school. One of the main reason is that they are required to work in their parents farms. One more reason is that they see no justification in continuing the education which will not help them in earning a lively hood. And even those who did go to school grow up to swell the vast Indian educated unemployed.

  • What we need are schools that are self reliant and would survive on their own. The students need to be taught how to earn a livelihood apart from the regular education.
  • The children should be paid for their work in the school and they should pay themselves for the education; then only they would have a sense of self reliance and also would grow up to be educated. They would have a reason for being educated.
  • The money paid to the children would encourage the parents to send them to school rather than making them work in the paddy fields.
  • These schools should also be funded by the government as discussed in the 2nd point.

Let sports be remunerative:We are a county of more than a billion but we do not have a gold medal in Olympics in last 27 years. The reason for the same is that sports is not remunerative enough for the anyone to seriously pursue it as a carer.

  • What we need is a national ranking system for sports persons. Something like the board exams in the 5th, 7th and 10th standards. Based on these rankings the children should be given stipend.
  • The stipend should be more than just peanuts; that is, the stipend should be able support a sports person and his family. If the family is not supported, the family would not encourage the child to pursue sports as a career option; specially where the child is from a poorer background.
  • Training in sports is expensive. There should be Sports Universities providing World-class sports training. The ranking should continue till one reaches to the University and should continue there also.
  • No one should be allowed to have a free ride and continuous competition should be encouraged so that newer sports people can be discovered and to prepare wold-class sports persons.
  • Sports should be made compulsory in every school. Govt. recognition should be given only to those schools which produce a specified number of state and district level sports persons. For example at least 15% of the pupils in every school should have participated in the district level sports events and at least 10% should have participated in the state level.
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