From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Nothing much
Mains level : A new approach to Education
The work, Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty draws insights from various ground-level experiments that involve field trials in poverty-stricken areas. They offer policy advice based on their learnings.
Applying to education in India
- India should go beyond the mere supply of schools, getting children into classrooms and focus on the demand for education.
- The generation of demand is not always easy, especially in remote areas that aren’t exposed to the modern economy.
- School enrolment depends on the returns that families foresee on their investment.
- A study was conducted in three randomly selected villages in northern India.
- Exposed to job opportunities for women at business process outsourcing (BPO) centers, families began to re-evaluate their returns and the school enrolment of girls went up significantly.
Quality of education
- Education quality is essential for demand to rise, and supply lacunae act as a hindrance.
- Due to the exposure via the internet, demand appears to be increasing, but the government’s supply of education is at odds with new patterns of demand.
- Very few state-run schools in India are English medium while education in English is what the country’s have-nots are increasingly looking for.
India needs to work on both demand and supply. And the latter may still be what it’s best equipped to reform.