Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development & management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Annual Status of Education Report 2017, NGO Pratham, RTE act, digital divide
Mains level: State of education in India and measures needed to improve outcomes
Findings of the Annual Status of Education Report 2017
- The state of rural elementary education is far from encouraging
- Only 5% of the respondents in the survey, which was aided by the NGO Pratham, reported doing any kind of vocational course
- Only 43% of the youth could solve an arithmetic problem involving division of a three-digit number by a single digit
- Read full news here: India’s learning deficit is worsening: ASER study
What does this point to?
- The insights available from successive studies point to progress being made in raw enrolment of children in school, but miserable failures in achieving learning outcomes
- Enrolment figures often do not mean high attendance
- A significant section of secondary level students find it difficult to read standard texts meant for junior classes or locate their own State on the map
- The ASER data point to a massive digital divide, with 61% of respondents stating they had never used the Internet, and 56% a computer, while mobile telephony was accessible to 73%
What needs to be done?
- The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act should cover the entire spectrum of 18 years, and not confine itself to those aged 6 to 14
- Guaranteed inclusion will empower those in the 14-18 age group who are not enrolled anywhere, and help them acquire finishing education
- This is vital to their participation in the workforce
- All expenditure on good education is bound to have a multiplier effect on productivity
- Objectives of the RTE Act need to be translated into a comprehensive guarantee, expanding its scope to cover all levels of education