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HOW can we have Quality Education for All?


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As India aspires for economic growth, it will need to invest in Education. Here's an examination of what is ailing the system, and recommendations for amending these.

Published in: Education, News & Politics

HOW can we have Quality Education for All?

  1. 1. How can we provide QUALITY EDUCATION for ALL? The Analysis Sep 5, 2014
  2. 2. Quality Education Why Quality? The Analysis Indians who go to reasonable quality private schools in cities may not comprehend how bad education can be in many government and small private schools, especially in rural India. While the frustration in good private schools may be with not creating an inquisitive mind, a bad government or small private school may not even teach a student to read and write her name!" ! ! ! ! ! ! ! We would like to point out that as 2 out of 3 kids in India go to government schools it is vital that we improve the education outcomes of these schools.
  3. 3. Quality Education Why Education? The Analysis Education is important because it’s impact is… ECONOMIC" India’s large population is an advantage only if per person productivity increases rapidly. This can only go up when people shift to skill and knowledge intensive jobs from labour intensive jobs. ! And in the future ‘Knowledge Economy’, the inadequately educated will be at a serious risk of marginalisation. SOCIAL" Education brings awareness of basic rights and duties, and empowers people with logical reasoning to break myths, superstitions and caste / class boundaries.
  4. 4. Quality Education Where we are? The Analysis India ranked 72 among 73 countries, participating in PISA Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA): Annually conducted survey to evaluate education systems worldwide, by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Secretariat. " The survey is based on two-hour tests that half a million students are put through. Source:
  5. 5. Quality Education Where we are? The Analysis Class III ABC ABC ABC ABC ? ? ? ? ? ? Only 40% Standard 3 students could read Standard 1 level paragraph Only 26% Standard 3 students could subtract A-B=C A-B=C Source: 9th Annual Survey Education Report ? ? ? ? ? ? ? A-B=C
  6. 6. Quality Education Where we are? The Analysis Class V ABC ABC ABC ABC ABC ? ? ? ? ? Only 47% Standard 5 students could read Standard 2 level paragraph A/B=C A/B=C ? Only 25% Standard 5 students could do a 3 digit by 2 digit division Source: 9th Annual Survey Education Report ? ? ? ? ? ? A/B=C
  7. 7. Quality Education Where we are? The Analysis After 8 years of attending school, Percentage of students with over 80% score Source: NCERT, 2013 4% 10% 2% 2% Mathematics Language Science Social Science
  8. 8. Quality Education Where we are? The Analysis After 8 years of attending school, Percentage of students with less than 40% score Social Science: 37% Source: NCERT, 2013 Mathematics: 55% Language: 23% Science: 53% 4% 10% 2% 2% Clearly, this is not where we want to be!
  9. 9. Quality Education Why are we here? The Analysis Our Education Policy is not driven by outcomes. The government targets inputs such as how many students regularly go to school, whether mid-day meals are provided, whether there are toilets for girls - but not outcomes. Inputs are important BUT one can easily have situations where all prescribed inputs are met but the outcomes are still abysmal.
  10. 10. Quality Education Inputs? Outcomes? The Analysis The scenario is like a Cricket Team being provided with the best inputs: Strong Bowlers,! Skilful Batsmen But the Team rarely wins! the matches it plays! Acceptable? Very Highly! Paid Coaches Best Training! Facilities
  11. 11. Quality Education Input Obsession The Analysis A recent study tracked learning outcomes against Pupil Teacher Ratios. ! It found that the best outcomes were when the PTR was around 20. ! a=b and b=c ? ? ? ? ? ? ? so, a=c ! ! ! ! ! However, even at this optimal level only 27% of schools were achieving desired outcomes. ! Clearly, just focusing on inputs is not enough. Source:
  12. 12. Quality Education Input Obsession The Analysis Mid day meals" ! ! ! ! ! ! were started to reduce the burden on underprivileged parents. Toilets for girls" ! ! ! ! ! ! were prioritised in primary schools to reduce the discomfort for girl students. These were components when the larger goal was better student enrolment, and they succeeded. According to the 9th ASER, over 96% children have been enrolled in schools in the 6-14 age group." Now the goal needs to shift from Enrolment to Quality Education.
  13. 13. Quality Education Outcome Goal The Analysis Earlier, Basic Literacy could have been the goal for India, " but as the world is becoming more knowledge based " we need to have an aspirational goal: High Quality Education." ! Admittedly, being aspirational in the face of the largely depressing reality is difficult.
  14. 14. Quality Education What Outcome? The Analysis So when Quality Education is the goal, " it needs to be measured and monitored. NCERT in government sector and ASER in the non governmental sector carry out such assessments. " And both NCERT and ASER are not used to drive policy, except episodically.
  15. 15. Quality Education Measure & Monitor The Analysis Educationists spiritedly debate the relative merits and de-merits of NCERT, ASER, PISA and others. The nuances are admirable but running an educational policy on slightly sub-optimal outcome measures is better than running the policy only on inputs. Hence … The Recommendation 1 ✓ Government should agree on a honest and independent evaluation methodology (periodically updated) to monitor student education levels. ! ✓ Success of education endeavours and policy plans and refinements should then be based, solely on these monitored levels.
  16. 16. Quality Education Measure & Monitor The Analysis Government should take this up in mission mode, so that within 1 year …" - A block / district officer should know if the learning level of students in the block is improving or not." - An MLA /MP should know if the learning level of students in the constituency is improving over years." ! ! - The Education Secretary, Education Minister and the Chief Minister of a State to know if the learning level of students in their state is improving or not." - The Education Minister, the Prime Minister and the Parliament to know if the learning levels of students in the country is improving over the years.
  17. 17. Quality Education Who is Accountable The Analysis Teachers or Officials, no one is held accountable for outcomes …" At best, they are accountable for inputs like a) optimum Pupil Teacher Ratio b) minimum number of working days" No one is accountable if the learning levels in the school / district/ state are low and not improving The Recommendation 2 ✓ Hold teachers and officials responsible for improvement in outcomes (responsibility can only be for improvements and not absolute levels, as absolute levels depend on many parameters).! ✓ Incentivise them for outcome improvements and punish them for not achieving target outcomes
  18. 18. Quality Education Teachers teach The Analysis Contrary to popular belief, teachers are paid well. A study revealed that in rural UP government teachers were paid 12-20 times the salary of private school teachers " But yes, teachers are hampered by many impediments: " 1) Non teaching workload: Administrative duties, Mid day meal supervision, ensuring enrolment " 2) Sub standard and often irrelevant training " 3) Little say in how school money is spent The Recommendation 3 ✓ Remove / reduce incentives for non teaching work. ! ✓ Given that teachers and education officers are held accountable for improvement in outcomes, they should have the choice of training programs to help them achieve these goals
  19. 19. Quality Education Involve Community The Analysis Communities across the country aspire for high quality education for their children, but are unable to assist or monitor teachers because …" 1) Low skill levels" 2) Social distance between community and teachers" 3) Aspirations not well defined, due to limited exposure" The right people from local communities need to have a say in incentives and penalties, as well as tools to achieve target outcomes. The Recommendation 4 ✓ Launch a program in mission mode for training community members in their rights and encourage them to effectively assist in achieving target outcomes.
  20. 20. How do you plan to increase the rate of improvement of Education outcomes? Creative Partner" More? Please follow AskHowIndia on MeriMaaCineMAA IN CONCLUSION, ! Please ask your Political Representatives What has been the improvement in the last five years? What are the " education outcome levels of children in your constituency? TWEET TO! @HRDMinistry, @PMOIndia Please drive Education Policy by outcomes not inputs." #OutcomesNotInputs "