Education in India is provided by the public sector as well as
the private sector, with control and funding coming from three
levels: central, state, and local.Takshasila was the earliest recorded
centre of higher learning in India from at least 5th century BCE and it is
debatable whether it could be regarded a university or not. The Nalanda
University was the oldest university-system of education in the world in
the modern sense of university. Western education became ingrained
into Indian society with the establishment of the British Raj.
Education in India falls under the control of both the Union
Government and theState Governments, with some responsibilities
lying with the Union and the states having autonomy for others. The
various articles of the Indian Constitution provide for education as a
fundamental right. Most universities in India are controlled by the
Union or the State Government.
India has made progress in terms of increasing the primary
education attendance rate and expanding literacy to approximately
three quarters of the population.India's improved education system is
often cited as one of the main contributors to the economic rise of
India. Much of the progress, especially in higher education and
scientific research, has been credited to various public institutions. The
private education market in India was 5% and in terms of
value was estimated to be worth US$40 billion in 2008 but had
increased to US$68–70 billion by 2012.
As per the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2012, 96.5% of all
rural children between the ages of 6-14 were enrolled in school. This is
the fourth annual survey to report enrollment above 96%. 83% of all
rural 15-16 year olds were enrolled in school. However, going forward,
India will need to focus more on quality.
Gross enrollment at the tertiary level has crossed 20% (as per an Ernst &
Young Report cited in Jan 2013 in Education News/minglebox.com)
As per the latest (2013) report issued by the All India Council of
Technical Education (AICTE), there are more than 3524 diploma and
post-diploma offering institutions in the country with an annual intake
capacity of over 1.2 million.
The AICTE also reported 3495 degree-granting engineering colleges in
India with an annual student intake capacity of over 1.76 million with
actual enrollment crossing 1.2 million..
Capacity for Management Education crossed 385000, and post graduate degree slots in
Computer Science crossed 100,000. Pharmacy slots
reached over 121,000.
Total annual intake capacity for technical diplomas
and degrees exceeded 3.4 million in 2012.
According to the University Grants Commission
(UGC) total enrollment in Science, Medicine,
Agriculture and Engineering crossed 6.5 million in
Charu Sudan Kasturi reported in the Hindustan Times
(New Delhi, 10 January 2011) that the number of
women choosing engineering has more than doubled
In the India education system, a significant number of
seats are reserved under affirmative action policies for
the historically disadvantaged Scheduled Castes and
Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes. In
universities/Colleges/Institutions affiliated to the
federal government there is a minimum 50% of
reservations applicable to these disadvantaged groups.
At state level it can vary. Andhra Pradesh had 83.33%
reservation in 2012, which is the highest percentage of
reservations in India.
58% of children do not complete primary
education in India.
According to the Annual Status of Education
Report (ASER) 2012, 10 crore children in India
are two or more years below their grade level.
As of 2012, only 30% of standard three
students could read a standard 1 text a drop
50% in 2009iii
The ASER report also estimates that only 50%
of rural children enrolled in standard five can
fluently read a standard two text book.
40% of standard five students in rural India
cannot solve simple two-digit subtractions.
29.3% of India’s population falls in the age group of 0-
. Primary education lays the
foundation towards building a pool of capable and
empowered citizens. Investment in
education will enable the citizens to participate in the
growth process through improved
productivity, employment, and wages. This would
drive sustained economic growth for
decades. Hence, primary education should be a critical
component of the inclusive growth
agenda of the Indian Government.
The past decade has seen substantial increase in
education investments under the Sarva
Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), the Right to Education Act
2010 as well as the Mid Day Meals Scheme.
The Right to Education (RTE) Act makes education a
fundamental right. The Mid Day Meals
Scheme provides free cooked lunch to children from
both primary and upper primary classes
studying in government schools to tackle the dual
issue of food security as well as give them an
incentive to go to school. Analysis of both
administrative and survey data shows considerable
improvements in most input-based measures of
schooling quality but research suggests very
little impact of these improvements in school facilities
on learning outcomesvi
. The Programme
for International Student Assessment (PISA) which
tests literacy levels of Math and English,
placed India at the bottom just above Kyrgyzstan.
According to PISA this is because of “lack of
application-oriented math in schools
In India today, 4% of our children never start school.
58% don’t complete primary schools. And 90% don’t
complete school. At Teach For India, the fact that only
10% of our children go on to college both saddens and
Teach For India exists because of a deep belief that every
child can and must attain an excellent education. Teach
For India exists to prove that no child’s demographics
should determine their destiny. To us, the end of
educational inequity is the freedom for all children to
have the opportunity to reach their potential. And the
day that all children reach their potential is the day that
India reaches her potential.
Teach For India believes that that day will come in our
Teach For India believes that it will take a movement of
leaders with the idealism, belief, skills and commitment
to actualize this vision. We are committed to finding,
developing and supporting India’s brightest, most
promising leaders for this to happen.
Importantly, the report notes that the decline is
cumulative, which means that the “learning decline”
gets accumulated because of neglect over the years.
The poor quality of education from Std 1 pulls down
their rate of learning progressively so that by the time
they are in Std 5, their level of learning is not even
comparable to that of Std 2. The private schools are
“relatively unaffected” but their low standards remain
low. They have also shown a “downturn” in maths
beyond number recognition. The poor quality of
education and rate of decline are however not
uniform across India. Some states are low in quality,
but are staying where they are (Karnataka, Tamil
Nadu and Andhra Pradesh) while some have higher
levels of education, which are neither improving nor
deteriorating (Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Punjab).
It also says that the decline is more noticeable since
2010, when the RTE came into effect, indicating
targets of blanket coverage compromising quality and
The report notes that the private sector is
making huge inroads into education in rural
India. By 2019, when the RTE would have done
a decade, it will be the majority service
provider. The private sector involvement will
also be strengthened by 25 percent quota of
the government (under the RTE Act). Quoting
DISE (District Information System of
Education) data, it says that Kerala, Tamil
Nadu, Pondicherry and Goa have more than
60% of private enrollment in primary schools.
Andhra, Maharashtra and Karnataka are at 40
percent, while UP is at 50%. Ironically, the
highest private sector enrollment is in Kerala,
where successive governments claim
commitment to welfare policies, particularly
on education and health. Besides private
schools, parents also spend considerable
amount of money on private tuitions, making
quality education more inaccessible to people
That the country is in a serious crisis – its quality of school education is
startlingly low and is in free fall, while the private sector is exploiting this
weakness even in rural India. Although the study doesn’t throw considerable
light on the reasons of the decline and possible corrective steps, it does indicate
a correlation between the acceleration of the deterioration and the
implementation of the RTE Act. If the correlation is correct, it is clear yet again
that a populist and insincere political instrument does more harm than good.
When the Act was passed, there were misgivings by many – particularly on the
haste, lack of appropriate consultation with all stakeholders and also on the
logic of applying a uniform principle across states with huge disparity in
coverage and quality of education. In some states such as Kerala, Himachal and
Punjab it was evidently superfluous. Even after two years, it’s still not clear, how
the finances are met and if the states are committed at all. The estimates in 2010
for the implementation of RTE was pegged at about Rs 210,000 crores with
centre shouldering 68 percent of the burden. Whether the RTE is being
implemented or not, it’s abundantly clear that it is certainly not working. “There
has been a feeling that RTE may have led to relaxation of classroom teaching
since all exams and assessments are scrapped and no child is to be kept back.
Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation(CCE) is now a part of the law and several
states are attempting to implement some form of CCE as they understand it,”
says the report. “Does CCE catch this decline? Are teachers equipped to take
corrective action as the law prescribes? Is corrective action going to be taken?
Given the magnitude of the problem, it will be a good idea to focus just on basics
at every standard and not treat it as a “remedial” measure. At this stage,
teaching-learning of basic foundational skills should be the main agenda for
primary education in India.” As the report notes there is a national crisis in
learning. The quality of education and performance of the students in both
government and private schools have to improve and the government has to
check the invasion of the sector by private capital. Higher education has long
since been sold out and today it is only the preserve of those with money. With
or our without RTE, even the primary school education is moving in the same
direction. If markets are to run the country, why do we need government
mentions is the achievement of the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti, an autonomous
organisation under the ministry of human resources development. The Samiti runs
Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, which have outperformed CBSE schools in terms of Class
10 and 12 exam marks by a large extent. The report recommends that grants be extended
to set up these schools all over India.
But unless the problems of declining grades and the paucity of teachers are addressed, all
these initiatives may remain moot.
The problem with primary education in India is a familiar one: several states still lag far
behind in meeting RTE norms in critical areas such as the number of primary schools
built, the provision of drinking water and toilet facilities and the number of teachers, etc.
According to the demand for grants 2012-13 of the department of school education and
literacy, presented in the Rajya Sabha on May 3, while the percentage of completion of
infrastructural facilities is high (between 90-96%), the progress made in getting the
required number of teachers still lags behind, at 62.4%. Further, shockingly, the report
finds that several states, including Delhi, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra saw
a reducing number of teachers between 2009-10 and 2010-11. States like Bihar, Uttar
Pradesh and West Bengal have the highest number of untrained teachers, although the
number is high for several other states as well.
The report does find that enrollment in primary and upper primary schools has become
more inclusive, with the proportion of girls and SC/STs having gone up between 2005-06
and 2009-10. But, alongside that, it finds that student performance is declining as they
progress to higher classes. For example, while 61.89% of the students in class 3 passed in
mathematics, only 42.71% passed the subject in class 8. This shows the quality of
education remains a problem, perhaps due to the paucity of qualified teachers.
There’s an urgent need to
knowledge of concepts rather
than rote learning. For that
to happen, teaching systems
at the primary level must be
hen Devanik Saha started teaching in 2011, Nishika was three years behind her grade level. Despite numerous assignments and standardised
tests over two academic years, she made only a tiny progress of 0.7 years (about eight-and-a-half months) in maths and 0.5 years (six months)
“She was never taught properly in school due to lack of invested teachers,” says Saha who teaches maths, English and science at Pratibha
Nigam Vidyalaya, a public school in Delhi. “The progress, although tiny, is not a measure of her true abilities and potential, which I believe is
There are other students in the school run by the city municipal corporation who made big jumps of 1.6 years (about a year and seven
months) or 1.9 years (a year and almost 11 months) but Saha doubts the quality of education they get. He calls it more a training to do well in
skewed assessments rather than instilling conceptual understanding. “The focus is on procedural fluency to raise their scores, which leads to
curriculum deformation,” says Saha, who describes the school as one of the most “unfortunate” with no infrastructure, not even proper toilets
for the 1,500 girls who study there.
The quality of primary education in India has been a cause for concern for quite some time. While the current policy, including a new
legislation for universal education, lays out a grand vision of raising children’s education profile, it barely lays emphasis on developing their
skills to learn.
The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) ranks India almost at the bottom of the pack in terms of maths and English
literacy. This, according to its test, is attributed to the “lack of application-oriented maths in schools”.
However, the PISA test was conducted in only two states in India and theoretically cannot be extrapolated to the rest of the country. It could
also be that local students find the test patterns difficult to recognise.
Nevertheless, Dana Kelly, US representative on PISA’s governing board, says the test helps identify variation in performance and the
resources available. “In developing economies such as India, the lack of investment in facilities and educational resources could be a reason
for the low performance,” says Kelly.
Broader studies have also found similar results.
The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) released earlier this year had some startling observations on reading and maths levels in all
Indian states. In 2010, nationally, 46.3 percent of all children in Class V could not read a Class II-level text. This proportion increased to 51.8
percent in 2011 and further to 53.2 percent in 2012. This decline in reading levels is mainly in states such as Haryana, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh,
Maharashtra and Kerala, which happens to be the most literate state in the country. In maths, the situation seems as grim, especially in
government schools. In 2012, only 11-20 percent of Class V students could do division in states such as Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.
The World Education Forum, held in 2000 set an ambitious goal: universal
education by the year 2015. Schooling all children until they reach young
recognized as important because it leads to many substantial positive effects:
health, lower birth rate, higher productivity, higher earnings, and improved
the country as a whole. Globally, however, more than 115 million children of
age do not attend school.
The constitution of India supports the right of universal education until age 14
and has had a longstanding goal of free and compulsory education for all
children between the ages of six and 14.
However, India remains a land of contradictions. Despite a vibrant emerging
economy and a string of
excellent colleges that produce high caliber professionals, India has not made
the grade yet on
Current status of primary education in India
About 20% of Indian children between the ages of six and 14 are not enrolled in
school. Even among
enrolled children, attendance rates are low and 26% of pupils enrolled in
primary school drop out
before Grade 5. The situation is worse in certain sectors of the population: the
poor, those living in
rural areas, girls, and those living in some states, such as Bihar and Rajasthan.
Barriers to universal primary education in India
The reasons for the situation are many and complex.
India is a developing country with a population of over one billion. A
significant portion of that
population lives in poverty: 26% live on less than US $1 a day and 35% are
In a large country, physical distance can be an issue. In rural areas, some
communities do not have
a school nearby. In urban settings, unsafe travel conditions, such as traveling
alone or crossing bus
Social distance can be an even greater hurdle. Some communities do not see
the value of school
education � they feel the things learned at school are not relevant to their lives.
In some cases, the
school may be in another community of a different socio-economic class, caste,
or religion, making
it difficult for the child to cross that invisible but effective barrier. While
discrimination on the basis
of caste is now illegal, attitudes of thousands of years are difficult to change
Gender gaps exist. Literacy rates are 21% lower for females than for males.
Among those children
aged six to 14 not enrolled in school, more than 60% are girls. Some
communities do not see the
need to educate daughters because they will be married off at an early age and
live and work with
their in-laws, mostly doing housework and raising children.
Child labour is prevalent. Many children need to work and earn in order to
supplement a meager
family income and therefore do not attend school.
Schools often lack facilities and teaching aids including classroom space,
toilets, drinking water,
blackboards, and chalk.
Teachers lack training and motivation.
Improving primary education in India
Realizing the importance and the critical state of primary education in India
today, many organizations
on many levels are focusing on this issue.
International agencies, such as UNESCO and UNICEF, are deeply involved.
UNESCO has pledged to
work with national governments and development partners to achieve universal
education by 2015, as was agreed upon at the World Education Forum in Dakar. UNICEF also has
primary education as part of its mission. Both are supporting the Government of India in its task with
funds and expertise.
The Government of India began a program for improving the status of primary education in 2001, with
the following areas of focus:
Increase in teacher appointments and training
Improvement in elementary education content and techniques
Provision of teaching materials
Improvements in infrastructure
Education for disadvantaged groups: girls, disadvantaged castes, and the disabled
The Indian national government is hoping to achieve universal primary education by 2010, five years
earlier than the goal set in Dakar. This is an ambitious goal, and much depends on the will to make it
happen at the national and international level, and on the thousands of NGOs involved in education.
Many NGOs in India run schools for poor children. Some organizations, such as Katha, Pratham, and
Prayas, have made universal primary education their focus and operate education centers for children
in slum areas. Others NGOs are niche players that target particular segments of the child population
with innovative programs. For example, Ruchika School Social Service runs 20 schools in the eastern
state of Orissa on train platforms so that the many homeless children who live in the train stations,
begging and working, can learn something as well. Hole-in-the-Wall Education has set up computers in
slums and rural areas throughout India. These computers are easily accessible to children and are
loaded with simple children�s education software. There is little supervision or intervention and the
children learn at their own speed and in their own way. The program has been so successful that there
are plans to try it in Cambodia and some African countries.
The future of primary education in India
The importance of universal primary
education has now been widely
recognized by everyone involved.
Policies and pledges are easy to make but
implementation can be difficult and goals
hard to achieve,
especially in a vast and populous country
such as India. International agencies, the
India, and the numerous NGOs will have
to work together � with will, wisdom and
� to make their desire for universal
primary education by 2015 a reality in
Primary education is the foundation on which the development of every citizen and the
nation as a whole built on. In recent past, India has made a huge progress in terms of
increasing primary education enrolment, retention, regular attendance rate and
expanding literacy to approximately two thirds of the population. India’s improved
education system is often cited as one of the main contributors to the economic
development of India. At the same time, the quality of elementary education in India has
also been a major concern.
In ancient times, India had the Gurukula system of education in which anyone who
wished to study went to a teacher's (Guru) house and requested to be taught. If accepted
as a student by the guru, he would then stay at the guru's place and help in all activities at
home. This not only created a strong tie between the teacher and the student, but also
taught the student everything about running a house. The guru taught everything the
child wanted to learn, from Sanskrit to the holy scriptures and from Mathematics to
Metaphysics. The student stayed as long as she wished or until the guru felt that he had
taught everything he could teach. All learning was closely linked to nature and to life,
and not confined to memorizing some information.
The modern school system was brought to India, including the English language,
originally by Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay in the 1830s. The curriculum was
confined to “modern” subjects such as science and mathematics, and subjects like
metaphysics and philosophy were considered unnecessary. Teaching was confined to
classrooms and the link with nature was broken, as also the close relationship between
the teacher and the student.
Education in India
In the first episode of the
Education in India podcast,
Subir Shukla, Principal Co-
ordinator at IGNUS-ERG, talks
about a wide range of topics
relating to education in India.
Subir has worked for over 25
years in school education in
India in the areas of quality
improvement, curriculum and
textbook development and
teacher training, amongst many
we wanted to give awareness to the our people in this country
today’s every one studying, but they don’t no what they are studying, whey
they wanted to study, how long ago we wanted to study, after that what he
can do, what he can doo possibilities.
in this meenviled they are losing their interest, drop outs, adducting drugs,
loosing self confidence, getting to trying youth subsides, they are adducting
to hilliness people - mentally, psychologically and they are becoming useless
and crimes, and they are wasting their time and parents also losing their
interests with children, because their breaking relationship also.
That’s way just we can think once atlatl our education system prosier and
syllabus, ads time. Today education is become a big business in India. why
youth unrest, un-employment, and youth subsides, crimes, parents & family
getting financial and health, and psychological problems - these all
increasing day by day. Whey it is happening in this country. if Rates are tax
will be increment in the world, World saying China and India is reesonbull ,
If Things will be shortage any ware , World saying India and China is
Reason, why it's will be coming like this, If any one thicken this topic, In this
time India getting more Changes.
India Education system Wanted to Change - whey because if there is need
for History for everyone, there is no need for all science subjects in the
academic year, there is no need for locally language some extra Subjects.
Our locally language is important and at the same time English language
also important, in High School level we r giving local language, after that in
Subjects including with English, that time People are suffering with language