By Kartik Pathania, Amity Law School, Delhi.
Education is a life saving jacket that will keep you afloat even when you delve deeper in the ocean. As a process of imparting knowledge, it enlightens or trains one in any of the fields. It is as vital as the basic necessities for survival like air, water, food and so on. It has brought evolution in every stream of life. It comprises knowledge imparted from the books as well as social and moral values which have a direct impact on our life leading to personal, social and economic development. By helping us acquire new skills and knowledge that causes our development, it enhances our awareness level, standard of living and makes us capable of earning a livelihood.
Origin of the Indian Education System:
Since ages, people have indulged in educating themselves. However the pattern, source and way of education has evolved since and is an ongoing process. The era of education in India started with the teaching of the Mantras, Shlokas, religion and traditions from the very beginning to the children. Then came the age of ‘GURUKULS’ where children were trained in various disciplines like Religion, Scriptures, Philosophy, Literature, Warfare, Statecraft, Medicine, Astrology etc under the guidance of sages called ‘Gurus’. As time progressed, these Gurukuls took shape of universities and more subjects like Law, Mathematics etc were introduced. Post independence period paved the way for emergence of the current education system which includes schools and colleges.
Significance and Role of Education:
Education empowers people to fight social evils and injustices thereby contributing to the development of the nation. The Government therefore aims to make education a contagious process, because the overall grooming of every individual is necessary for a developed nation.
As primary education acts as a vaccine against illiteracy which once imbibed, flushes the impairment of illiteracy forever, in 2009 the Government declared free and compulsory education up to the age of 14 years, a fundamental right under the Right to Education Act.
State of Government Schools:
Primary and secondary education is imparted by schools in the Indian education system. There are two major subdivisions of schools in India, the private and the public or government schools. Private Schools charge more fees as compared to Government Schools but provide standardised education as well as other facilities. They concentrate on holistic development of the children. Whereas Public Schools which are run by the Government of India fail even in providing proper basic education. The functioning of Government Schools seems more of a fulfilment of formality than a duty by the Government. Every Government promises facilitation of better and improvised education at the school level during their tenure but they have never been able to enact it. The predicament of the government schools subsists. Government schools need an urgent revamp to wipe away their flaws. There are many issues which require special attention, in order to change the conditions of the Government Schools, some of which are as follows:
Absenteeism on the part of both students and the teachers is a major havoc. Regular absenteeism especially on part of the teachers causes chaos in the classroom and hampers the learning procedure. This reflects a lack of seriousness in the teachers.
Government schools lack proper infrastructure. There is always a shortage of classrooms, desks, benches etc. There is neither any provision for clean and hygienic toilets nor proper drinking water. Children have to study without a blackboard, working ceiling fans and lights. They even have to bear the extremes of temperatures due to old and poorly constructed buildings.
QUALITY OF TEACHERS:
Most of the teachers of the government schools are under qualified. They barely know the subjects they are teaching. Multiple news channel reports document the abysmal state of affairs in the schools of rural India. The Principal and the teachers are ignorant about the subjects they are teaching and yet they are responsible for children in a classroom. As a result, most of the students of these schools, especially in rural India attend classes just for fun and to avail Mid-day Meal facility. They lack seriousness and determination. Some of them in higher classes do not even know how to write their names. News of students cheating, writing nonsensical answers and attaching notes with their answer sheets has been quite viral.
State of Government Colleges:
School education is followed by college or universities education. Universities are again of the private and government kind but the scenario here is just the opposite as of that in Government Schools. Government Colleges charge minimal fees, guarantee quality education with well equipped campuses, commendable faculty profile and good campus placements unlike the Private Colleges which though charge more fees, do not always guarantee quality.
Some of the features which help Government Colleges outshine Private Colleges are as follows:
Top notch colleges with meagre fees. What more could one ask for? This can be the most lucrative option one could desire for. Government colleges offer this golden opportunity to meritorious students, where quality is ensured through strict adherence to the result of entrance exams or handpicking students with an excellent academic record.
Government Colleges have better placement records than Private Colleges. It is quite obvious that colleges with meritorious students will attract the attention of the recruiters thus increasing the number of campus placements.They even interest international companies for placements. Many of these colleges rank among the top learning institutions of the world. Thus, studying in a Government College is a dream come true.
High salaries and perks by the Government, attract well qualified and experienced faculty members from across the nation.As good faculty members are the basis of quality education, their experience and knowledge helps them in providing world class education. Government colleges even have tie-ups with universities worldwide to promote students’ and teachers’ Exchange Programmes in order to diversify the horizon of knowledge.
From the aforementioned, it can be safely concluded that a lot of disparity exists between the state of affairs of a Government School vis a vis a Government College. While Government’s efforts are commendable when it comes to its colleges, the abysmal state of the Government Schools is hardly a secret.
Schools which provide elementary education are being neglected, when it is a universally acknowledged fact that elementary education serves as the foundation of our learning process. Therefore if not prioritized, the state of our government school structure could greatly affect the future of the students, as it is the stage when children are introduced to the fundamentals of learning that go a long way in defining their future. Therefore, if we wish for an education system which accelerates literacy, it is imperative that Government Schools and Colleges progress in concordance with each other.