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Problems faced by indian educational system in 2010


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Problems faced by indian educational system in 2010

  1. 1. Education in 2010 India Facts and Challenges by, G.A.Nishe Bavidh 9th std Sri Vijay Vidyashram Dharmapuri
  2. 2. Overview • 1. Introduction – 1.1 Demographic and economic trends – 1.2 Political landscape – 1.3 Overview of the education system • 2. Elementary Education • 3. Secondary Education • 4. Technical and Vocational Education • 5. Tertiary Education • 6. Research and Innovation • 7. Conclusion • 8. References
  3. 3. 1. Introduction • ‘’…the current economic momentum is not going to be sustained without the development of a much larger well educated and trained workforce ’’ (Short, 2008a, 2.13). • “…the education sector in India today needs the kind of focused and urgent policy attention that trade and industry did in the late eighties, which led to their reforms in 1991” (Kumar, 2009). • “Education reforms and progress are the most important and critical policy issue in the country today. Otherwise, we may soon discover that our much-touted demographic dividend has remained an illusion and instead morphed into a disaster as large groups of unemployable youth, unable to join the workforce, end up swelling the ranks of extremists and insurgents. India will have to earn its demographic dividend and time is actually running out because the window is a relatively short one” (Kumar, 2009).
  4. 4. 1.1 Demographic and Economic Trends
  5. 5. 1.1 Demographic and Economic Trends – Education: – School life expectancy from primary to tertiary level: 10 years (CIA vs. Canada: 17 years) – Literacy rate 15-years and over: 61% (2001 Census vs. Canada: 99%) • Economy: – Labour force: 523.5 million (2008 est.) – Unemployment Rate: 9.1% (est. 2008 vs. 7.2% in 2007) – GDP per capita: US$2,900 (CIA 2008 est. vs. Canada: $39,200) – GDP growth: 6.1% in 2009 (CIA est. vs. 9% in 2007) – National and Regional Budget by Sector (Education): 3.2% of GDP (CIA est. for 2005) • Languages: – Hindi 41%, Bengali 8.1%, Telugu 7.2%, Marathi 7%, Tamil 5.9%, Urdu 5%, Gujarati 4.5%, Kannada 3.7%, Malayalam 3.2%, Oriya 3.2%, Punjabi 2.8%, Assamese 1.3%, Maithili 1.2%, other 5.9% • English: – Less than 5 per cent of the Indian population speaks English (Graddol, 2009) – Internet Users: 81 million (2008)
  6. 6. 1.1 Demographic and Economic Trends GDP by sector (est. 2008) Labour force (est. 2008) Agriculture 17.6% (Canada: 2%) 60% (Canada: 2%) Industry 29% (Canada: 28.4%) 12% (Canada: 19%+) Services 53.4% (Canada: 69.6%) 28% (Canada: 76%)
  7. 7. 1.1 Demographic and Economic Trends,,contentMDK:22339000~pagePK:141137~piPK:141127~theSi tePK:295584,00.html
  8. 8. 1.2 Political Landscape • Under the Constitution, responsibility for education is shared between central and state governments (28 States and 7 Union Territories). The central government sets policy, stimulates innovation and plan frameworks. The state governments are responsible for running the education system on the ground (Lall, 2005). • The central government drafts five-year plans that include education policy and some funding for education. State-level ministries of education coordinate education programs at the local levels (Cheney et al., 2005, p. 12). • The Department of Education (Ministry of Human Resource Development) « coordinates planning with the States, provides funding for experimental programs, and acts through the University Grants Commission (…) and the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to develop standards, instructional materials, and design textbooks. The NCERT’s textbooks serve as models since States are not legally obligated to follow the national syllabus » (Cheney, et. Al. 2005, p. 12).
  9. 9. 1.2 Political Landscape • Congress-led United Progressive Alliance won 15th Lok Sabha elections (May 2009) • 100 day plan (Minister Sibal, June 26, 2009) – Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act (August 2009) • children between the age of 6 years to 16 year olds – Enhancement of standards (major changes in examination system) • Replacing the current assessment procedure of giving marks with grades thus reducing stress (to make the 10th standard board examinations optional for students who wish to continue in the same school; to form one national school board and conduction of a uniform examination for class 12) – Vocational Training for an Emerging Economy – Targets for postsecondary education – Restructuration of postsecondary governance • For an autonomous overarching authority for higher education and research based on the Yashpal Committee and the National Knowledge Commission to be established – International competition – Equity (backward classes) • Amendment to National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions Act (to reduce the number of reserved seats) – Research and Innovation
  10. 10. 1.3 Overview of the Education System • The educational structure in India is generally referred to as the Ten + Two + Three (10+2+3) pattern. The first ten years provide undifferentiated general education for all students. The +2 stage, also known as the higher secondary or senior secondary, provides for differentiation into academic and vocational streams and marks the end of school education. In +3 stage, which involves college education, the student goes for higher studies in his chosen field of subject. ( • The World Bank estimates that 27 percent of all Indian children enrolled in schools are being privately educated. ( • Drop-out Rate (2003/2004) (Dongaonkar, s.d., p. 7): – Primary (I-V): 31.47% – Middle (I-VIII): 52.32% – Secondary (I-X): 62.69%
  11. 11. 2.1 Elementary Education • Today India has more than six hundred thousand primary schools serving 115 million students (the average teacher to student ratio is 1:43) and more than two million upper primary schools serving 45 million students (the average teacher to student ratio is 1:38) (Cheney, 2005, p. 3). • 80% of all recognized schools at the Elementary Stage are government run or supported (Wikipedia). • Total Teachers: 4.17 million (including 379,385 para-teachers) (Dongaonkar, p. 12). • …it is estimated that at least 35 million, and possibly as many as 60 million, children aged 6-14 are not in school (Lall, 2005). • Emphasis on reform has been compulsory school attendance, rather than on any measure of expected learning (Chenez, 2005, p. 4). • The issue today is not lack of demand, but rather quality of supply. Students often drop out because their public school experiences are often so poor that they learn very little even after being enrolled for 4 to 5 years (Cheney et al., 2005, p. 6).
  12. 12. 2.2 Elementary Education • Ninety percent of the estimated 112 million children who enroll in primary school annually have no choice but to attend ill-maintained government schools… the fast-increasing middle class prefers to send its children to the government-aided, privately run schools (Cheney et al., 2005, p. 9). – For most students in India, the learning environment is pretty abysmal. School consists of a one-room schoolhouse, one teacher covering multiple grades, and 40 students per teacher. It should be noted that many rural public schools barely have the most basic of facilities (a closed-in building, drinking water, toilets, a blackboard) (Cheney et al., 2005, p. 10). – A study of 188 government-run primary schools found that 59% of the schools had no drinking water and 89% had no toilets (Wikipedia). • A government-sponsored study (the PROBE Report published in 1999) in four Indian states found that in half of the government schools no apparent teaching activity was taking place and in a third that the headteacher was not present when visited. Kremer et al. (2004) made 3 unannounced visits to 3700 government-run primary schools leading to 34,525 direct observations. They conclude that: – With one in four government primary school teachers absent on a given day, and only one in two actually teaching, India is wasting a considerable share of its education budget, and missing an opportunity to educate its children (p. 14).
  13. 13. 2.3 Elementary Education • Pedagogical regime: from rote learning and memorization, to-the- point answers, rules and guidelines towards creative, interactive, hands-on experiments, intellectual curiosity. • Teaching is a well-paid profession in India and teachers are typically apppointed based on political affiliations, not on content or pedagogical knowledge. There is no system in place to motivate teachers to improve academic achievement, and very little training available to strenghten teaching practices (Cheney et al., 2005, p. 10). • 6th Central Pay Commission (2008): – Primary School Teacher: Rs. 6500/month ($150) – Principal: Rs. 16500/month ($400)
  14. 14. 3.1 Secondary Education • The Secondary Stage consists of grades 9-12 (ages 14-17) (Cheney et al., 2005, p. 6). • India has more that one hundred thousand secondary and senior secondary schools serving 30 million students (the average teacher to student ratio is 1:34) (Cheney et al., 2005, p. 6). • India needs to equip the 12 million young people who join its labor force every year with higher levels of education and skills to be able to access better-paying jobs, and to benefit from the demographic dividend… ( • Projections suggest an increase in absolute demand for secondary education between 2007-08 and 2017-18 of around 17 million students, with a total enrollment growing from 40 to 57 million students. However, an increasing share of these students will come from rural and lower income quintile groups, who will be less able to afford private unaided secondary education (
  15. 15. 3.2 Secondary Education • Public exams at the end of grades 10 and 12 drive instruction at the school level (Chenez, 2005, p. 6). • The majority of students exit school after grade 10 (approximately age 15). For those who stay, schooling becomes differentiated. Based on performance on the 10th grade subject exams, student enter an upper- secondary stream for their last two years of schooling before university (grades 11-12)… • Secondary schools are affiliated with Central or State boards which administer examinations at the end of grade 10 resulting in the award of the Secondary School Certificate (SSC), the All-India Secondary School Certificate or the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education… • There are three national examination boards: the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) and the National Open School (NOS) for distance education (Cheney et al., 2005, p. 7)
  16. 16. 3.3 Secondary Education • The most prestigious stream (which has also the highest cut-off in terms of marks required in the grade 10 exams) is the science stream, the second is commerce, and the third is humanities (arts)… Upper secondary education is conducted in schools, or two-year junior colleges (some of which are also affiliated with degree offering colleges)… The curricula for upper secondary institutions are determined by State or Central Boards of Secondary Education and students sit for exams at the conclusion of grade 12 (Cheney, 2005, p. 8). • The rich and famous are typically enrolled in five-star English-medium schools affiliated with the upscale CBSE (all India), CISCE (pan India), and IB examination boards which offer globally accepted syllabuses and curriculums. • Next in the pecking order are English medium government aided schools affiliated to State-level examination boards to which children of the middle grade are sent. The 28 State boards offer inferior infrastructure, sub-standard education and less rigorous syllabuses and examination assessments. • And at the base of the education pyramid are shabby, poorly managed government municipal schools which shove dubious quality language education down the children of the poor majority (Yasmeen, in Cheney et al. 2005, p. 10)
  17. 17. 4.1 Technical and Vocational Education • Vocational and technical education is also an option in higher secondary schools. The aim of vocational education is to gain a broad knowledge about occupations, not training in specialized subjects… Only 10 percent of students are opting for the vocational stream, against a year 2000 target of 25%. This is attributed to the lack of industry-school linkages and the system hasn’t convinced students that this stream can prepare them for real jobs and careers (Cheney et al., p. 9). • Training is provided in 32 Engineering and 22 non-engineering trades approved by the National Council for Training in Vocational Trades to people aged 15 to 25 years. 7,500 Industrial Training Institutes with an overall capacity of 750,000 places have been established around the country. Periods of training vary from 1 to 2 years. The Industrial Training Institutes are also used as Basic Training Centres for Apprenticeship Training Programmes… There are 1,400 polytechnics in India (Short, 2008c, p. 8)
  18. 18. 4.2 Technical and Vocational Education • Facilities to impart skill development programmes for about 3 million persons per annum exist in the country whereas the total labour force is about 400 million. Every year 7 to 8 million labour force enters the market. Majority of it has not undergone skill development programmes (Working Group). • Today, less than 3% of rural youth and 6% of urban youth go through any kind of TVET programmes. 6 Roughly 92% of India’s TVET workforce is employed in the informal or unorganised sector having dropped out of school on average at the end of Year 8 meaning it is difficult for the TVET system to capture young people and educate them (Short, 2008c p. 9).
  19. 19. 4.3 Technical and Vocational Education • India has one of the world’s most youthful population (53% of people are aged below 25 years according to the 2006 Census) and there are 310 million people aged 15 – 25 years but only 5% of them have any TVET qualifications… Over ninety percent of India’s trades workforce is employed in the non-formal sector picking up skills and knowledge in the work place (Short, 2008c, p. 4). • Over 200 million students enroll for schools in Class I each year, but only 20 million of these are able to finish Class XII i.e. 90 % of the school students drop out at different stages. Only 2.5 to 3 million vocational education and training places are available in the country. Out of these, very few places are for early school dropouts. This signifies that a large number of school drop- out do not have the necessary education and skills to be productively employed in the industry (idem).
  20. 20. 4.4 Technical and Vocational Education • Private sector delivery of TVET has increased markedly in recent years, responding to both student demand and industry needs. Large companies like Tata, Reliance Industries and many of the IT firms like Infosys and Wipro have developed inhouse training programmes. As well, a network of community outreach programmes have been established to offer slum and rural communities training opportunities (Short, 2008c, p. 6). • Teachers in general are poorly paid in India with salaries ranging from NZD100 monthly in the private sector to NZD300 monthly in the good senior secondary public schools. TVET teachers salaries have been at the lower end of the public scale, and in many cases in rural polytechnics or technical institutes, the teachers have had only basic education themselves. Efforts are underway presently to improve the quality of teacher training for all education sectors, including for TVET teachers (Short, 2008c, p. 9).
  21. 21. 5.1 Tertiary Education • Higher education is provided by: – Universities – Deemed to be universities – Institution of National Importance – Open University – Industrial training institutes and polytechnics • India has about 350 universities… (National Knowledge Commission, 2006, p. 3) • There are a total of about 17,700 undergraduate colleges (idem, p. 6) • As of 2009, India has 20 central universities, 215 state universities, 100 deemed universities, 5 institutions established and functioning under the State Act, and 13 institutes which are of national importance. Other institutions include 16000 colleges… functioning under these universities and institutions (Wikipedia). • Instruction for almost 80 percent of students in undergraduate programs is delivered by colleges which are affiliated with universities… Universities prescribe the courses and set the standards for the colleges, conducting the examinations and awarding the degrees (Cheney et al., 2005, p. 21).
  22. 22. 5.2 Tertiary Education • The University Grants Commission (UGC)… is responsible for the development of higher education, allocating and distributing grants from the Central Government to all eligible central, State and deemed universities based on an assessment of their needs (Cheney et al. 2005, p. 18). • The UGC established an autonomous body, the National Accreditation and Assessment Council (NAAC), for carrying out periodic assessment and accreditation of volunteering universities and colleges. NAAC’s process of assessment and accreditation involves the preparation of a self-study report by the institution, validation of the report by peers, and final decision by the Council (Cheney et al., 2005, p. 18). • All universities are member of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU). The AIU has no executive powers but plays an important role as an agence of dissemination of information and as an advisor to the government, UGC and the universities themselves (Cheney et al., 2005, p. 19).
  23. 23. 5.3 Tertiary Education • At the pinnacle of the nation’s higher education establishment stand the seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), which have won fame around the world for their prowess in engineering, along with five institutes of management, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, and a handful of schools such as the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, focused on the physical sciences, and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. But all of these institutes are fairly specialized, lacking a university’s full panoply of research and teaching programs. And they are small. The seven IITs have a total of 30,000 students, about as many as a single state university campus in the United States… • Apart from the specialized institutes, there are some outstanding master’s- and doctoral-level academic departments in India’s universities, and a few schools have fairly high standards—such as the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, one of the few institutions sponsored directly by the central government… • The swollen middle tier of Indian higher education is full of universities and colleges that provide a mediocre education at best (Altbach, 2006, p. 50).
  24. 24. 5.4 Tertiary Education • While the students who graduate from secondary school number some 10 million annually, there are only places for 20% of them at the tertiary level, and only a few percent of these are admitted to the elite institutions (Short, 2008a, 2.10). • (O)nly ten percent of the age cohort is actually enrolled in higher education… ten percent enrollment amounts to 9 million students, resulting in 2.5 million new college graduates a year (Cheney et al., 2005: p. 1). • Almost nine in ten students pursue bachelor’s degrees, one in ten pursue post-graduate degrees (Cheney et al., 2005, p. 17). • Estimates suggest that there are about 160,000 students from India studying abroad. If their average expenditure on fees and maintenance is US$ 25,000 per student per year, Indian students overseas are spending US$ 4 billion (National Knowledge Commission, 2006, p. 13).
  25. 25. 5.5 Tertiary Education • Student enrollment has grown about five-percent annually over the past two decades (Cheney et al., 2005, p. 16). • The current Five-Year Plan has 5 educational objectives with one focusing on tertiary education: “increase the percentage of each cohort going to higher education from the present 10% to 15% by the end of the plan.” (Short, 2008a, 2.8) • The challenges that confront higher education in India are clear. It needs a massive expansion of opportunities for higher education, to 1500 universities nationwide, that would enable India to attain a gross enrolment ratio of at least 15 per cent by 2015 (Cheney et al., 2005, p. 16).
  26. 26. 5.6 Tertiary Education • The nature of annual examinations at universities in India often stifles the teaching-learning process because they reward selective and uncritical learning. There is an acute need to reform this examination system so that it tests understanding rather than memory. Analytical abilities and creative thinking should be at a premium. Learning by rote should be at a discount. Such reform would become more feasible with decentralized examination and smaller universities. But assessment cannot and should not be based on examinations alone (National Knowledge Commission, 2006, p. 3). • It is estimated that about 63% of all tertiary education (including TVET) in India is now provided in the private sector (Short, 2008a, p. 12).
  27. 27. 5.7 Tertiary Education • … India’s higher education system, like its K-12 counterpart, is fraught with politics and corruption and is considered to be highly inefficient in doing its job (Cheney et al. 2005, p. 19-20). • India’s current system of education is centralized and highly politicized, offering relatively limited access to higher education… Over the course of the 1970s and 1980s, politicians acquired a vested interest in universities, seeing them as ways to expand patronage. The result is that in many cases, universities are inextricably intertwined with government officers who oversee and/or fund them. The hiring and promotion of teachers is also politicized, providing teachers with inconditional job security and no accountability in improving student achievement (Cheney et al., 2005, p. 15). • First, the appointments of Vice-Chancellors should be based on search processes and peer judgment alone. (National Knowledge Commission, 2006, p. 5). • Only about one-third of the nation’s 472,000 academics hold Ph.D.’s. It is taken for granted that many professors will not show up for class; some supplement their incomes by insisting that students take their private “coaching classes.” (Altbach, 2006, p. 50).
  28. 28. 5.8 Tertiary Education • Research weakness in the universities has been exacerbated by outdated approaches to Faculty career development. Once an academic is appointed a Professor, they can remain on tenure until age 65 with the possibility of another 5 years without any performance assessment. While there are many excellent Professors taking advantage of the government’s new efforts to revitalise the universities, there are also many more that lack the motivation to do research, publish or provide appropriate support to graduate students to mould new researchers. (Short, 2008b, p. 4). • Average Monthly salary of Entry-level Faculty Positions (2005-2006) – India: $ 1,151 / Canada: $ 5,206 • Average Monthly salary of Senior Faculty Positions (2005-2006) – India: $2,071 / Canada: $7,992 • Ratio of Average Monthly Faculty salaries, in World Bank parity Dollars to GDP per capita (2005-2006): – India: 8.73 / Canada 2.24 (Altbach et al., in Jaschik, 2008)
  29. 29. 6.1 Research and Innovation • Over the past 40 years, India has concentrated on developing excellence in five key research areas – space research, civil nuclear energy research, agricultural and water research, pharmaceutical research, and bio- technology. India has been a global leader in creating an endogenous space industry developing satellites to provide telecommunications throughout the country (Short, 2008b, p. 3). • China allocated 1.34 per cent of its GDP in 2005 on R&D (which, incidentally, is well below 3.6 per cent in South Korea) while expenditure on R&D in India was barely 0.61 per cent in the same year (Kumar, 2009). • China has 708 researchers per million population compared with 19 in India (idem). • Four percent of research expenditure is made through higher education institutions (Agarwal, 2009).
  30. 30. 6.2 Research and Innovation • The majority of India’s research is government funded (73%) providing both financial support and personnel, and takes place presently within specialised autonomous Centres of Excellence… These Centres, however, are not firmly connected to the universities. One result of this is that the teaching and training of young scientists and other researchers is not well integrated with active research projects as these happen mainly in the Centres of Excellence (Short, 2008b, p. 3). • It is fair to say that no Indian university today is, as an institution, research-intensive. (Altbach and Jayaram,2009). • Linkages between the specialised Centres, the universities and industry have been forged using linear rather than tripartite partnerships inhibiting the potential for existing and future research results leading to patents and commercialised products (Short, 2008b, p. 4).
  31. 31. 6.3 Research and Innovation • Despite, being widely recognized that teaching and research are complementary, there is growing dichotomy between them and the two systems work in isolation in India. Merely four percent of research expenditure is made through higher education institutions in India compared to 17 percent in the US and Germany and 23 percent in the UK. Even in China, more than 10 percent funds on research are spent through the universities… (Agarwal, 2009). • Interestingly the IITs themselves have not historically been strong centres for research, focussing instead on teaching to produce world class technical graduates. With the IITs now recognising the important role they must play in training more technical graduates up to doctoral level, they are beginning to build bigger research programmes in engineering and other technical disciplines. Newer research disciplines such as micro- engineering and bio-medical sciences are being developed with support from central government funding (Short, 2008b, p. 11).
  32. 32. 6.4 Research and Innovation • The recommendation to change this situation, put forward both by the NKC and the Prime Minister’s Science Advisory Council is the creation of a new super public body, the National Science Foundation. NKC takes this one step further and suggests a body which would also include the social sciences to build much stronger inter-disciplinary linkages. Thus the agency would be known as the National Science and Social Science Foundation (Short, 2008b, p. 13). • With a national illiteracy rate of 35% and a third of the just over 1 billion population living below the international poverty line of 1 US dollar a day, India needs its research community to be contributing solutions to these problems as well as engaging in world leading innovation in science and technology (Short, 2008b, p. 4).
  33. 33. 7. Conclusions • Challenges – Growth of both population and participation – Drop-out rates – Confidence crisis in public institutions – Private Sector, NGO’s Initiatives, Internationalization – Economic Growth, Urbanization & Social Mobility – Linguistic Diversity & English – Curriculum and Pedagogy – Governance and Accountability – Educating Educators and Administrators – Balancing quality and excellence with social justice
  34. 34. 8. References