Primary and Secondary Education – RTE, Education Policy, SEQI, RMSA, Committee Reports, etc.

Private unaided schools deserve a better bargain

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Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Read the attached stories

Mains level: Complement this newscard with India’s learning deficit is worsening: ASER study

Annual Survey of Education Report (Aser) 2017: “Beyond Basics”

  1. The survey finds that while 86% of adolescents are enrolled in schools, they are under-equipped to contribute to the economy in any meaningful way
  2. Twenty-five per cent of the students cannot read a basic text in their own language fluently
  3. Forty per cent of 18-year-olds cannot read a simple sentence in English
  4. And they lack basic arithmetic skills; only 43% of them could perform a simple division

Enrolment at the elementary level

  1. India has achieved universal enrolment at the elementary level
  2. This is a great achievement, but getting students to school is only the beginning of human capital formation
  3. The drop in the enrolment rate in secondary education (78.5%), shows that something is wrong in our quality of instruction

Comparison of the performance of private unaided schools and government schools

  1. Private unaided schools have much better learning outcomes per unit of expenditure
  2. Contrary to popular opinion, most private unaided schools are inexpensive
  3. 80% of them charge a fee that is lower than the government’s per-pupil expenditure (PPE)
  4. In terms of learning outcomes, both private and government schools performed poorly, but private schools perform better
  5. Thus, the data shows that private unaided schools are delivering the same, if not better, despite resource constraints

Increase in enrolment rate: Private School

  1. Despite qualified teachers, mid-day meals and free admissions, 13 million students left government schools between 2011 and 2016
  2. While private school enrolment increased by 17 million in that duration
  3. Clearly, people are choosing private schools for their better service

What should be done?

  1. The government should support children education by giving school vouchers to all underprivileged students
  2. The students can choose to spend the voucher in their government school, or give it to a private school
  3. This will increase the purchasing power of all parents and allow them to send their child to school for more years, or send them to a better school

Drop out rate is higher in girls

  1. The Aser report points to another important problem: more girls than boys drop out of school between ages 14-18
  2. What can be done: Policies such as free bicycles to girls in Bihar have been successful in increasing enrolment by improving mobility
  3. Building gender-specific toilets in schools is another measure that helps in improving girls’ enrolment
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