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mains Test Series 2018
Q. Education and funding: Comment on issue related to funding in education and suggest measures.
Jan 14, 2017 Related to : GS Paper-2

Ans :

Introduction-

The expenditure on education as share of GDP has fluctuated from 3.55% to 4% over the last decade. Though successive governments have promised of 6% of GDP, but it has fallen short throughout the decade. Despite various initiatives education in India is suffering from various issues. 

Issues-

  • In last decade education has accounted for nearly 50% of total social services spending. Despite the increased funding, the poor learning outcomes mark the Indian education system.
  • Various studies have shown that at least a third of students failing to meet the required minimum learning levels in mathematics and reading comprehension.

Ways ahead-

  • Improving learning outcomes will require looking beyond funding to the central component of an effective education system i.e. the quality of teacher.
  • Despite better pay and job security, government school teachers’ performance is very poor compared to their private counterparts. Remedying this requires that teachers have greater autonomy, assessment and accountability.
  • Teachers must have the freedom to devise the curriculum in a manner suited to their classroom, going beyond the textbook to design of lessons tailored to the students rather than a mythical matrix.
  • It requires assessment of teachers on regular basis to check their knowledge as well as methods. Teacher training must be in sync with the realities of their schools and classrooms to help teachers be the best they can be. 
  • Teachers must be made accountable, not by a faraway centralised system but at the local level to the school administration and school management committees. A system that rewards performers, helps laggards improve, and punishes the habitual poor performers is essential.
  • More money for education is welcome and necessary but it is not everything. Fixing our schools requires optimum leveraging of existing funding, and systemic changes to achieve both empowerment and accountability.

Conclusion-

Successive governments focused on expenditure in education, but improving our education system requires more actions than mere spending. To improve we must improve knowledge and teaching methods of teachers. Autonomy of teachers must enhanced and make them accountable. It can be achieved by making optimal utilisation of existing funding.    

 


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