Saturday, June 4, 2011

Schools in India

State schooling in India is, for the most part, abysmal. The government has invested far too little in necessary education of the country's children, and what it has invested has been badly managed. There aren't enough teachers; and while the entry requirement for teachers is decent enough, there is no accountability once they get in. Teachers, like other government employees have their jobs secure until they retire. They are not reviewed on what they teach, or if they are maintaining or improving their knowledge and skills over the years. I know of teachers of English who struggle to form a sentence in English. Teachers in state schools have become, for the most part, no more than babysitters for children, just there to keep children occupied during the school day. Parents and the children have no say in anything regarding the school, apart from the choice to not go to the school if they so wish. Private schools are not much better. They give low salaries to teachers, or, sometimes I think the more valid perspective, there are no good teachers available even if they do want to spend money.

The state education boards, trying to look good, choose to lower the standard of exams to get a better pass percentage rather than trying to better the standard of education. We end up with the most ridiculous results: most above average students can get near full marks rendering the system worthless. Indian education system needs a major overhaul, the first focus being on teacher training, and reviewing teachers constantly on their performance.

The RTE act passed in 2009 is a step in the right direction, but I haven't seen any changes yet springing from it. I hope for change in the next few years.

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