Survey takes note of rot in education

Survey takes note of rot in education

The Economic Survey has taken note of the decline in educational achievements, underlining that quality education is must for India to reap the benefits of its demographic dividend to the full.

The Survey, conducted for 2012-13,  suggested that decline in educational achievements of the country was not just because of lower levels of learning, but also due of the schools reaching out to enrol students with lower preparation than they did earlier.

It, however, failed to establish the extent of contribution made by these two factors towards decline in the educational achievements. 

 “The declining levels of educational achievement are a cause for concern, though it is unclear how much of the decline is because of lower levels of learning, and how much is because schools are reaching out to enrol students with lower preparation than they did earlier,” the Survey, which was tabled in Parliament on Wednesday, noted.

Despite the efforts of the government to provide primary and elementary education, there was a lot more to be done in terms of quality. “To reap the benefits of the demographic dividend to the full, India has to provide education to its population and that too quality education,” it added.

The Survey took into account the latest Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), prepared by a non-government organisation, Pratham, saying it has highlighted many “positives and negatives”.

The ASER, in its annual survey of rural school children conducted in 567 districts, has noted many positive outcomes of the steps taken by the government in the education sector that included rising enrolment of children, both in government and private schools.

The report, however, also indicated decline in basic reading and arithmetic levels and attendance of students. It also indicated that there was a decline in the proportion of schools with at least one classroom per teacher, from 76.2 per cent in 2010 to 74.3 per cent in 2011 and further to 73.7 percent in 2012, the Economic Survey observed.

It, however, also noted that the draft 12th Five Year Plan on education had focus on teacher training and evaluation, and on measures to enforce accountability. The proposed plan also stressed the need to build capacity in secondary schools to absorb the pass outs from expanded primary enrolments.

A number of initiatives were taken by the government during the 11th Five Year Plan period with focus on improvement of access along with equity and excellence, adoption of state-specific strategies, reforms in governance in higher education and others.

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