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Worldwide Educating for the Future Index 2019: EIU

  • 21 Feb 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

India ranked 35th in the Worldwide Educating for the Future Index (WEFFI) 2019, as per a report published by The Economist Intelligence Unit.

  • This year, India scored 53 and has jumped five ranks from the 40th rank with an overall score of 41.2 across categories in 2018.
  • Finland topped the index followed by Sweden.

Worldwide Educating for the Future Index

  • The index and report are commissioned by the Yidan Prize Foundation.
  • It was developed to assess the effectiveness of education systems in preparing students for the demands of work and life in a rapidly changing landscape.
  • It is the first comprehensive global index to evaluate inputs to education systems rather than outputs such as test scores and concentrates on the 15-24 age band in 35 economies.

Key Points

  • WEFFI ranks countries based on their abilities to equip students with skill-based education.
  • The rankings are based on three categories:
    • Policy environment.
    • Teaching environment.
    • Overall socio-economic environment.
  • The report analyses the education system from the perspective of skill-based education in areas such as critical thinking, problem-solving, leadership, collaboration, creativity and entrepreneurship as well as digital and technical skills.
  • Among the world’s largest economies, the US, UK, France and Russia fell back in the index while China, India and Indonesia took steps forward.

Reasons for the Growth

  • The report attributes India’s growth to the new national education policy introduced and published in 2019 that mentions future-oriented skills such as critical thinking, communication and entrepreneurship.
    • The education policy was highlighted in the Union Budget 2020 and it will come under ‘Aspirational India’ which will focus on skill-based education, a greater inflow of finance to attract talented teachers and innovate and build better labs.
  • A degree level full-fledged online education programme along with apprenticeship embedded degree or diploma courses in 150 higher educational institutions is also proposed which will begin by March 2021.

Aspirational India

  • It is one of the three prominent themes of Union Budget 2020, the other two being economic development (for all) and building a caring society that is humane and compassionate.
  • Under the Aspirational India theme, the budget covers rural, water and sanitation, and education.

Challenges

  • The report highlights the inability of the Indian education system to utilise the opportunity of internationalising the higher education system.
  • Another challenge is a decentralised education system according to the report.
    • Well-intentioned policy goals relating to future skills development often do not get filtered downward which is a problem in economies like the US and India.

Solutions

  • India should develop its education system so that it becomes a preferred destination for higher education.
    • For this, under the Study in India Programme, Ind-SAT exam will be held for Asian and African students for scholarships.
    • The programme will be used for benchmarking foreign candidates who receive scholarships for studying in Indian higher education centres.

Study in India Programme

  • It is a project under the Ministry of Human Resource Development with the primary objective to target foreign students by branding India as an attractive education destination.
  • It offers fee waivers to meritorious foreign students studying in Indian educational institutes.

Source: HBL

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