Quality in education

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 03 Oct 2017 11:15:23


By resmi umesh,

Need of the hour

The Right To Education Act makes education a fundamental right of every child between the ages of 6 and 14 and specifies minimum norms in elementary schools. It requires all private schools to reserve 25% of seats to children and make provision for no donation, no capitation fees, and no interview for the child or parent for the admission. Article 21-A Right To Education, one of the important fundamental rights cannot discriminatorily be made available on the basis of child’s social, economic and cultural background. Article 21 A ensures free and compulsory education. But how much we are successful in giving quality education?

You will feel really the need of a uniform syllabus if you underwent a 12 year schooling in a normal government school and then sit for IIT entrance examination. There are exceptional cases. But we have to accept the reality in education system in India. You will feel deprived of your childhood when you see the real problem our education system is facing today-Multiple worlds of education. This is absolutely absurd that we make different worlds for the children of our country. Profit oriented education and commercialisation has not only shadowed our ethics and moral values but also has generated plethora of problems which with the passage of time will hollow our education system.

Uniform education system at least for the universal subjects like Math and science are essential in today’s scenario. It is to secure social, economic and political justice, which would develop equality in all forms. It is essential to secure equality of status and opportunity, eradication of corruption, crime, terrorism, casteism and radicalism. Now the education system in our country advocates a different stranded for the rich, the middle class and a substandard education for the poor. It all depends on the affordability of the parents. They follow different syllabus and different quality in education.

There are many criticism to this point as some believe that uniform education makes society monotonous. Here we are not neglecting the rich heritage of the country and different states and different languages. But a new policy to be formulated to make all the universal subjects of equal standard in all the boards so that our future citizens are not denied quality in education and equal opportunities.

It really sounds good when we say equal education for rich and poor. Our country has gone through a long trail to bring education to the majority. We are living in a country where education was forbidden to the majority. Hindu law allowed only Brahmins to learn. It was the European missionaries who brought schools where everybody can step in. Even though it was for the purpose of spreading Christianity, it allowed everybody to know what is modern education. Many leaders from all over the country faced many hardships to ensure the proper education for all. We have to thank the effort of all great people those who worked hard to make education a fundamental right. We need to take the struggle forward.

But it is very sad to note that if our children are getting out of home to school, there are various standards on them. Due to this, bright and poor students are denied more exposure and opportunities. The task of giving quality education to one and all, same book for rich and poor is required today. None of the poor bright student of our country should be deprived of opportunities. As the destiny of a nation rests with it’s youth, they should not be deprived of quality. Their career should not be left in uncertainity and moreover they have to compete in the global market. If we really want to resolve our day to day issues, political and social dichotomy, the widening gap between the poor and the rich,and lack of national consensus over various socio-political and economic issues in the country, and want to avoid a polarised society that is bound to lead to total destruction, we will have to form a uniform national education policy and set up such public sector schools where the children of both rich and poor are educated under one roof.

‘One nation, one education‘ system has been successfully implemented in many developed and developing countries. Top 10 honest countries finland, Denmark, New Zealand, Norway, Canada, Singapore, Australia, Germany, Britain and Japan has already implemented it. Different cultures teach differently. In Hungary, it’s passing all, America go for testing pupils and Holland seeks individual development.
In India, we have various boards of education like State, CBSE, ICSE, IB etc. Instead of following one particular board pattern, it’s high time we have to think of selecting the best practices from all the boards and set up a new enriched curriculum. Every board has it’s own strengths. It’s high time that the experts from all the boards should come forward with a common syllabus with mutual consultation. Learning material should be designed to equip our students to combat social evils like caste and class barriers and develop a scientific temper and habit of logical thinking.

Our country boasts of a great culture and tradition and one of the best education system in the world-Gurukula system. Puranas and Upanishads are our great treasures. But today Vedas and puranas are taught properly in other countries and many of our students are unaware of our rich ancient texts only because it’s not a part of their curriculum. The national policy of education spoke about creating awareness of India’s common cultural heritage, social justice and compassion,democracy and egalitarianism ,gender equality and national unity. We need to take concrete action on framing curriculum development and adaptation of innovative techniques to inculcate values and ethics in children.

For most of the problem our country is facing today, we have to blame none other than our education system. The school atmosphere and the personality and behavior of teachers is a major factor in developing sense of values. Education not only gives us a platform to succeed but also the knowledge of social conduct, strength, characher, and self respect. The greatest gift education gives us is the knowledge of unconditional love and a set of values. The intensely competitive world of today demands individual perfection, patience, perseverence, determination, confidence and vision. For developing a curriculum for Indian students, the most important thing to be remembered is that India takes pride in its value system because of it’s wholehearted approach for the harmonious living which is contrast to the technologically advanced nations.

While setting a curriculum, we have to think of great religions in India. Moral values and character forms are the basis of almost all the religions. Surprisingly that is not effectively implemented or followed in our system. Courtesy, loving one’s neighbor, wishing good for all, honesty, truthfulness are to be compulsory part of the curriculum.

There is lot of difference in qualitative results of the institutions and the quality of its results. What the students appreciate after they left the school won’t be the marks they scored but the values, approaches, interests and attitudes. If we neglect these aspects and giving importance only to the grades, that much negative reflections will be in the society. Very little action was taken to implement this important part in our educational policy. This approach of overall development should be central to the planning. Any effort devoid of considering such approach may not shape the growth curve and social model on account of which India was known as the real world of past.

It is essential to pay attention to spiritual education. More time for family life and setting right example of personal qualities will help in re storing value system. At educational institutions, it has to be done by teachers who are appropriate role models for the students.
(The author can be contacted at [email protected])