Primary Education And The Importance Of Universal Literacy Education Essay

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Education and universal literacy are integral to one another and is one of the building blocks in any nation's economic, social and political development. Education is important for an individual's personality development as well as the sustained growth of a nation. Elementary and primary education in India is the foundation on which the development of every citizen and the nation as a whole hinges. India has made tremendous progress in terms of growth of educational institutions at different levels, physical access to schooling for children, and diversification of educational programmes. Today, 18 crore children are taught by almost 57 lakh teachers in more than 12 lakh primary and upper primary schools across the length and breadth of the country.

The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), the large scale national program was launched in 2001 with an objective of achieving universal elementary education (UEE) by 2007. The program, which extends to all states and Union Territories to address the above mentioned objective in a time bound manner, has been successful. The Centre and states share funding of the programme in a ratio of 55:45. Reports indicate that the number of out of school children, which was 320 lakh in 2001-02, is down to 75.97 lakh in 2007-08. The first joint review Mission that visited eight sample states in February 2005, found that the SSA program had generated considerable interest, commitment and had put elementary education on the development agenda.

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Though progress has been made in the last 60 years to spread the education campaign, India needs to address the growing concerns which have so far kept us from achieving our set goals. This report enlists ten recommendations to improve the efficiency of the primary education system.

The areas studied are quality of education, infrastructure, high degree of dropout rates, socio-economical equations hindering participation and an effective supervision cum tracking mechanism to ensure that progress with the right utilization of funds is being made.

With respect to quality of education, not so encouraging trend in successful continuation from primary to upper primary, Pupil to Teacher ratio (PTR), number of contract based teachers, teacher qualification and their training. A lot more needs to be done to bring a stronger focus towards quality of education imparted at the primary level.

Infrastructure woes continue with schools trying to operate without a proper building, lack of basic amenities such as toilets and drinking water. Though at times schools have buildings, they don't have sufficient number of classrooms to cater to the numbers enrolling. In some states, schools continue to run with either a single teacher or a single classroom or both. Adding to this, the use of technology and computers in today's global world we find ourselves lagging further behind.

High student dropout rates are also seen in states/regions with lower socio economic fabric. Given the limited job opportunities, parents question the investment of sending children to school in the first place. We need to enforce a full proof system with checks and balances to abolish child labour as this has also resulted in children dropping out of schools. Though Govt and private initiatives such as the Mid-day meal have been successful to an extent, there is much ground to cover to ensure that primary education becomes a fundamental right for all instead of a privilege for a few.

10 Point Agenda

100% Enrolment in Primary Education :

India's double digit growth is dependent on ensuring enrolment of children in schools. The need of the hour is to ensure that a critical mass of people moves from class 12 to higher education so that they become creators of knowledge. We need to empower our future generations through a process of learning as only then will we be poised to take our country forward.

Improving Infrastructure (School Buildings) :

What do we need to do to ensure that we have a conductive environment for learning. Do we have school buildings, what condition are they in and how are they maintained?

Civic Amenities (Toilets, Drinking Water, Playground / Park) :

Schools need to be equipped with basic amenities such as toilets, dustbins and drinking water. We often say that Indians have a poor civic sense (Urinating on the road, Spitting, Throwing garbage from cars, balconies) Children have to be taught these basic values from an impressionable age so that they develop a civic sense.

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Improving Quality of Education :

There should be a national commitment to ensure that quality education is equally available to all (SC, ST, Minority, Differently abled) and not just a privileged few.

Qualification and Responsibility of Educators :

RTE stipulates that teachers who do not have the right qualifications must acquire these within 5 years maximum. What is the quality of teaching provided, how does it shape our leaders of tomorrow? Is teaching merely one sided and text book driven or does it allow our children to think, question and expand their horizon?

Control, Track and Report Progress on Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan

Controlling and tracking closely the progress on SSA initiative is very important. Identified the key gaps with indication on what should be the focus areas to further improve

Publicise Mid Day Meal

Mid day meal scheme improves nutritional status of children in schools and to encourage poor children to attend schools regularly , This also helps to increase school attendance, eliminate classroom hunger and foster social equity.

Retention, Contain Drop Out Rate

The enrolment of students has increased in most states, the dropout rate continues. As PROBE points out that the effect of poor teaching standards is slowly sapping parental and child motivation over time.

Improving the Female literacy in India

The percentage of female literacy is only 54.16%. sufficient initiatives need to be taken to improve the women's literacy rate. The initiatives required to be taken are explained below in detail.

Improve Female Teacher Ratio

Lack of female teachers is a potential barrier for girl's education. Girls are more likely to attend school and have good and higher acadwilemic achievement if they have female teachers.

100% Enrolment in Primary Education

The SSA objective to achieve near 100% enrolment has not been met and as per a 2007-08 DISE report, the enrolment rate (NRE) has been achieved at 95.92%. This implies that 4% i.e. 7.7 million children are still out of reach of primary education. The line of thought would include the reason for out of reach of primary education with respect to adequate number of schools the children to be enrolled.

By plotting the population census against the number of schools, the data below suggests that in certain states and Union Territories, there are fewer number of schools compared to the population that it caters to.

State/UT

Total Schools

Population as on 2006

% School ratio

Primary Only

Upper Primary to Primary ratio

A&NIslands

359

419

1.167130919

199

0.445682451

Andhra Pradesh

100449

80,712

0.80351223

65352

0.349401189

Arunachal Pradesh

4547

1169

0.257092589

3677

0.191334946

Assam

66727

28,665

0.429586224

50655

0.24086202

Bihar

67874

90,752

1.337065739

49868

0.265285676

Chandigarh

176

1,103

6.267045455

28

0.840909091

Chhattisgarh

49708

22,594

0.454534481

32780

0.340548805

D&NHaveli

304

266

0.875

177

0.417763158

Daman&Diu

98

216

2.204081633

51

0.479591837

Delhi

4742

16,021

3.378532265

2454

0.482496837

Goa

1503

1,492

0.992681304

1013

0.326014637

Gujarat

39039

54,979

1.408309639

12775

0.672763134

Haryana

17743

23,314

1.313982979

9503

0.464408499

Himachal Pradesh

17197

6,455

0.375356167

11515

0.330406466

Jammu & Kashmir

20789

10,941

0.526287941

11782

0.433257973

Jharkhand

41944

29,299

0.698526607

28802

0.313322525

Karnataka

56441

56,258

0.996757676

28871

0.48847469

Kerala

12426

33,265

2.677048125

6704

0.460486078

Lakshadweep

37

72

1.945945946

16

0.567567568

Madhya Pradesh

129000

66,390

0.514651163

90092

0.301612403

Maharashtra

87280

104,804

1.200779102

40960

0.530705775

Manipur

4011

2,308

0.575417602

2564

0.360757916

Meghalaya

10572

2,470

0.23363602

7867

0.255864548

Mizoram

2783

946

0.339920949

1512

0.456701401

Nagaland

2523

2,119

0.839873167

1591

0.369401506

Orissa

59435

38,887

0.654277782

34286

0.423134517

Puducherry

703

1,098

1.561877667

306

0.564722617

Punjab

20026

26,059

1.301258364

13409

0.330420453

Rajasthan

103303

62,276

0.602847933

57332

0.445011278

Sikkim

1150

576

0.500869565

804

0.300869565

Tamil Nadu

53307

65,135

1.221884555

34835

0.346521095

Tripura

3901

3,407

0.873365804

2154

0.447833889

Uttar Pradesh

180058

183,282

1.017905342

128111

0.288501483

Uttarakhand

20610

9,219

0.447307132

14665

0.288452208

West Bengal

70010

85,216

1.217197543

58957

0.157877446

All States

1250775

1112184

0.889195899

805667

0.355865763

.The takeaway from the above data is that there is a need to increase the number of Primary Schools in their states for highlighted states such as Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Rajasthan as it is low compared to the population. The upper primary to primary ratio suggests the need to be consistent so as to sustain continuity in upper primary to achieve overall UEE. States such as Bihar, Punjab, UP and West Bengal although relatively healthy on the primary school front, face an uphill task in sustaining the trend.

Improving Infrastructure

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Infrastructure woes continue to plague us in achieving the objectives that SSA set out to achieve. Major problems are lack of 'pucca' buildings for schools, lack of basic amenities like drinking water, play ground, electricity etc.

More than 95% of students are enrolled in government-aided schools based in rural and urban areas. A baseline survey needs to be conducted across the country to take into account the current situation so that state governments ensure that infrastructure is available to all students in remote areas.

As the Government continues to be largest provider, covering nearly 95% of total primary education, around 40% of schools have buildings of their own. This implies that a majority of schools continue to run in make shift arrangements in buildings which are primarily meant for panchayat meetings, temporary establishments such as tents.

The data below on the number of pucca buildings and number of single classrooms suggests that schools in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar need attention as more than 30% of their school buildings are kuchha or in dire need of repair.

State/UT

All

% Pucca Buildings

Average number of class rooms

Overall single class room

Condition of class rooms - Need Major repair

A&NIslands

359

67

7.9

2.51

11

Andhra Pradesh

100449

50

2.9

24.25

6

Arunachal Pradesh

4547

44

3

29.67

19

Assam

66727

58

2.1

56.67

37

Bihar

67874

61

2.7

5.83

18

Chandigarh

176

98

23.8

0

0.5

Chhattisgarh

49708

79

2.7

4.64

9

D&NHaveli

304

61

3.7

4.28

2

Daman&Diu

98

96

6.2

1.02

0.6

Delhi

4742

74

17.8

0.04

4

Goa

1503

97

2.8

16.17

3

Gujarat

39039

89

5.2

2.76

4

Haryana

17743

98

4.7

2.28

3

Himachal Pradesh

17197

76

3.2

6.17

9

Jammu & Kashmir

20789

82

3.3

9.07

11

Jharkhand

41944

68

2.5

2.63

11

Karnataka

56441

97

4

8.98

5

Kerala

12426

73

11

0.45

5

Lakshadweep

37

56

12.6

0

18

Madhya Pradesh

129000

91

3

3.64

4

Maharashtra

87280

88

4.3

5.52

4

Manipur

4011

45

4.5

1.67

28

Meghalaya

10572

75

2.6

21.25

24

Mizoram

2783

79

3.9

1.22

22

State/UT

All

% Pucca Buildings

Average number of class rooms

Overall single class room

Condition of class rooms - Need Major repair

Nagaland

2523

75

5.5

0.24

18

Orissa

59435

40

3.5

5.23

26

Puducherry

703

77

9

1.85

1

Punjab

20026

97

4.3

2.91

5

Rajasthan

103303

93

3.7

3.69

7

Sikkim

1150

52

7

1.91

15

Tamil Nadu

53307

70

4.7

0

4

Tripura

3901

62

5.7

0.7

12

Uttar Pradesh

180058

96

3.9

0.56

3

Uttarakhand

20610

95

3.1

2.5

9

West Bengal

70010

64

4.2

6.3

22

All States

1250775

75

5.57142857

6.7602857

10.86

Civic Amenities - Toilets, Drinking Water, Playground / Park

Whilst we lack infrastructure, housing, public parks, electricity to manage our growing population the lack of toilets and shortage of drinking water are the key requirements in schools. Overall, 7 lakh toilets for girls are required. The highest requirement is in Bihar with 90,000, followed by Madhya Pradesh with 63,000, and Orissa 54,000. Nearly 3.4 lakh schools require drinking water in the country.

The data below reflects the availability or lack thereof of basic civic amenities in States and UTs in India in 2008.

State/UT

Drinking water

Common Toilet

Girls Toilet

Electricity

Play ground

Book bank

A&NIslands

97.79

84.4

73.82

89.42

54.32

62.67

Andhra Pradesh

87.69

61.27

46.75

36.71

57.78

65.16

Arunachal Pradesh

64.19

21.73

11.9

15.92

24.5

15.2

Assam

65.61

26.33

10.54

7.42

44.05

20.44

Bihar

80.41

48.52

21.62

3.02

29

28.51

Chandigarh

100

38.07

94.89

100

93.75

44.89

Chhattisgarh

86.47

37.63

19.95

19.6

37.53

46.06

D&NHaveli

94.85

32.24

25.33

69.41

25.66

72.04

Daman&Diu

92.41

80.61

61.22

93.88

52.04

78.57

Delhi

99.43

90.45

74.15

98.63

79.29

59.49

Goa

95.51

54.96

45.38

94.74

44.98

21.42

Gujarat

85.03

70.65

65.26

80.46

70.35

40.18

Haryana

96.93

94.09

87.32

95.42

82.82

86.77

Himachal Pradesh

92.21

48.01

38.62

56.84

61.58

41.03

Jammu & Kashmir

70.77

37.81

21.99

19.82

42.21

46.46

Jharkhand

69.85

34.71

20.71

6.51

25.45

41.98

Karnataka

76.65

70.41

47.16

69.32

54.74

79

Kerala

98.05

84.11

78.99

88.72

69.72

84.4

Lakshadweep

100

75.68

62.16

100

24.32

56.76

Madhya Pradesh

90.66

71.62

46.98

20.5

56.24

41.47

Maharashtra

82.99

75.09

60.02

70.76

69.46

86.33

Manipur

73.51

51.28

18.03

20.59

53.5

17.48

Meghalaya

52.94

30.72

10.2

13.21

29.78

19.52

Mizoram

79.9

77.25

23.5

29.43

8.62

5.61

Nagaland

69.8

77.17

37.02

29.85

49.35

21.8

Orissa

86.28

50.86

28.04

18.39

28.27

19.94

Puducherry

98.64

69.99

86.2

96.3

58.46

15.22

Punjab

97.53

88.38

86.09

85.72

67.51

37.55

Rajasthan

85.65

36.09

79.32

26.42

46.09

52.38

Sikkim

76.55

88.7

42.26

39.39

62.78

21.91

Tamil Nadu

100

65.6

62.33

75.55

77.08

43.29

Tripura

76.52

69.11

22.58

11.92

60.86

13.41

Uttar Pradesh

97.14

91.04

82.36

16.86

65.83

51.45

Uttarakhand

85.59

84.45

52.13

28.06

55.43

51.47

West Bengal

93.42

68.95

35.13

21.1

34.53

57.18

All States

85.742

62.51371

47.99857

49.99686

51.368

44.20114

 

<80

<60

<40

<45

<45

<40

Other amenities in terms of gated security (Boundary Walls), Kitchens, Ramps for differently abled children, Computers and Medical facilities are in short supply in some States and UT's.

State/UT

Medical check-up

Pre-primary

Boundary walls

Kitchen shed

Ramp to support Disable

Computers

A&NIslands

80.5

32.87

47.63

24.45

8.64

41.23

Andhra Pradesh

56.53

10.14

52.6

31.87

10.82

21.11

Arunachal Pradesh

9.24

58.1

27.07

20.05

2.99

9.15

Assam

5.93

52.97

28.33

39.66

14.71

3.69

Bihar

17.77

12.97

28.08

11.1

20.59

0.58

Chandigarh

89.77

86.93

100

26.5

35.23

76.14

Chhattisgarh

83.17

19.32

41.7

41.99

29.45

8.52

D&NHaveli

57.57

3.62

42.11

37.54

2.96

5.92

Daman&Diu

77.55

23.47

88.78

19.75

12.24

36.73

Delhi

83.99

24.38

98.67

11

65.04

72.8

Goa

76.85

24.22

62.74

4.59

18.23

30.61

Gujarat

92.1

23.6

80.43

42.32

71.55

36.5

Haryana

80.37

52.14

92.8

8.95

54.2

25.29

Himachal Pradesh

65.76

12.52

28.7

4.41

27.69

11.14

Jammu & Kashmir

23.09

78.12

33.58

1.81

11

12.99

Jharkhand

17.54

6.82

23.45

30.19

5.58

5.54

Karnataka

56.92

37.24

55.62

27.29

22.42

11.84

Kerala

71.01

23.75

70.59

48.62

57.95

71.2

Lakshadweep

8.11

0

40.54

51.35

75.68

81.08

Madhya Pradesh

66.82

36.79

46.23

44.39

34.16

12.36

Maharashtra

87.8

29.97

59.59

17.58

62.78

36.49

Manipur

12.84

40.86

33.03

NR

7.38

11.32

Meghalaya

13.5

71.45

17.84

6.64

5.29

6.24

Mizoram

21.63

34.1

30.69

45.02

27.6

13.94

Nagaland

21.6

84.19

75.15

38.78

6.42

19.66

Orissa

19.84

7.2

59.56

20.77

17.85

7.96

Puducherry

72.55

75.96

85.49

27.27

38.98

63.02

Punjab

54.84

18.1

91.2

5.6

40.92

30.61

Rajasthan

78.58

11.44

63.56

32.88

27.17

14.88

Sikkim

80.7

95.91

25.74

NR

6

21.91

Tamil Nadu

88.93

17.97

62.55

86.96

43.7

24.28

Tripura

19.28

3.36

15.77

65.3

46.73

7.9

Uttar Pradesh

34.66

27.06

46.62

48.33

52.5

3.3

Uttarakhand

50.13

22.37

70.91

61.11

29.34

22.64

West Bengal

36.22

9.42

41.44

64.12

53.42

4.99

All States

51.819714

33.409429

53.394

31.763333

29.920286

24.6731429

 

<40

<25

<40

<25

<25

<15

Improving Quality of Education

The focus on improving quality of education is based on the budget that gets allocated to SSA every year.

The following criteria are recommended for improving the quality of education

Pupil to Teacher Ratio to quantify attention paid to a student

Single Teacher Class Rooms to quantify retention of focus within manageable load

Gender Parity Index (GPI) to quantify spread of education equally among sexes

Availability of Teachers to quantify teacher availability

Female Teacher Ratio to quantify effectiveness in encouraging girl child education

Qualification of Teachers to quantify quality of education imparted

In-service trainings for teachers to quantify system preparedness to enable minimal necessary teaching skills.

Teachers on contract basis to quantify teaching as a profession

Number of instructional days in a year to quantify amount of time spent in school

India has one of the lowest student teacher ratios and teaching is considered a last career resort. In the US, student teacher ratio is 3,200 teachers per million people, in the Caribbean it's 1,500 in the Arab countries it's 800 and in India it's 456 teachers per million people. It is said that the Pupil Student ratio in urban India is as high as 80:1 and in rural India; the ratio is at 47: 1.

The data below provides details in which States and UT's the PTR is high as well as the need to bring women teachers in mainstream education.

State/UT

All

Average number of Teacher per school

% Female Teachers

PTR

% schools with PTR > 100

A&NIslands

359

10.35

57.34

15

0

Andhra Pradesh

100449

5

44.88

21

0.22

Arunachal Pradesh

4547

3.43

35.93

20

0.62

Assam

66727

4

30.16

24

3.9

Bihar

67874

4.84

36.5

54

11.39

Chandigarh

176

31

81.25

24

0.57

Chhattisgarh

49708

3.12

32.93

28

2.05

D&NHaveli

304

5

55.63

36

0

Daman&Diu

98

7.1

63.17

30

2.04

Delhi

4742

21

67.51

24

0.53

Goa

1503

5.18

76.51

19

0

Gujarat

39039

6

53.4

33

0.32

Haryana

17743

5.97

46.31

28

1.31

State/UT

All

Average number of Teacher per school

% Female Teachers

PTR

% schools with PTR > 100

Himachal Pradesh

17197

4

42.11

17

0.16

Jammu & Kashmir

20789

5.15

43.57

16

0.03

Jharkhand

41944

4

28.32

45

4.66

Karnataka

56441

4.61

53.2

30

1.93

Kerala

12426

13

71.65

22

0.06

Lakshadweep

37

14.92

40.18

20

0

Madhya Pradesh

129000

3

37.27

36

4.38

Maharashtra

87280

6.59

42.76

27

0.32

Manipur

4011

6

42.39

19

0.8

Meghalaya

10572

3.28

51.06

17

0.26

Mizoram

2783

6

42.55

14

0.32

Nagaland

2523

8.07

42.63

19

1.07

Orissa

59435

4

33.15

29

1.42

Puducherry

703

13.51

61.16

18

0.14

Punjab

20026

4

60.87

32

2.91

Rajasthan

103303

4.09

29.26

29

2.34

Sikkim

1150

7

45.08

14

0.17

Tamil Nadu

53307

5.94

73.87

31

0.94

Tripura

3901

8

24.78

22

0.77

Uttar Pradesh

180058

3.58

36.31

50

11.39

Uttarakhand

20610

3

46.2

25

1.81

West Bengal

70010

3.91

32.4

48

2.68

All States

1250775

7

47.494

26.742857

1.757428571

<=3

<=40

> 40

>=3

Given the paucity of teachers, it is not surprising that the students do not get the attention they deserve. A meeting of state education secretaries in May 2008 revealed that 5.1 lakh teachers are required to meet the Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR) of 30: 1 as stated in the RTE Act. "There are 5.3 lakh vacancies under state budgets, which states will need to, fill expeditiously. Under teacher posts already sanctioned under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), there is a balance of 2.25 lakh teachers to be recruited''. The recommendation is to make the teacher's salary comparable with other professions to encourage people to opt for it as a career.

Qualification and Responsibility of Educators

The number of qualified teachers is as important as the number of teachers itself. A teacher's qualification plays an important role in bringing uniformity to the education imparted. Apart from the qualification, teachers undergoing formal training in teaching and schools advocating these trainings add a professional edge which will help improve the overall quality of education. Another aspect to consider is the percentage of teachers on a contract basis.

State/UT

% Teachers with Graduation

% Teacher received in-service training

Contract Teachers

A&NIslands

37

17.175

1.11

Andhra Pradesh

57

37.32

15.19

Arunachal Pradesh

50

7.47

17.31

Assam

32

28.49

8.03

Bihar

32

44.575

7.16

Chandigarh

38

16.815

1.49

Chhattisgarh

28

34.025

9.11

D&NHaveli

27

78.675

0.07

Daman&Diu

30

29.985

3.11

Delhi

36

28.26

2.37

Goa

38

50.805

1.28

Gujarat

16

71.58

1.04

Haryana

36

46.98

12.49

Himachal Pradesh

32

54.12

16.2

Jammu & Kashmir

45

27.04

22.44

Jharkhand

42

36.615

44.57

Karnataka

20

36.45

0

Kerala

41

64.68

2.63

Lakshadweep

18

51.24

0.55

Madhya Pradesh

33

37.555

1.42

Maharashtra

35

17.305

1.09

Manipur

54

8.715

1.52

Meghalaya

22

20.76

6.36

Mizoram

34

36.02

24.66

Nagaland

36

12.26

0.94

Orissa

43

45.755

25.09

Puducherry

36

8.64

2.05

Punjab

35

56.37

1.59

Rajasthan

47

38.99

7.88

Sikkim

31

0.305

0.66

Tamil Nadu

32

56.94

0.66

Tripura

37

32

3

Uttar Pradesh

38

15.345

25.9

Uttarakhand

30

43.595

7.01

West Bengal

39

50.955

14.51

All States

35.34285714

35.53742857

8.299714286

 

<30

<30

>15

From the above data we can infer that formal teaching training programs need to be increased in regions like Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Nagaland and Uttar Pradesh. States like Jharkhand, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Mizoram, J&K and Arunachal Pradesh, need focus on hiring teachers on permanent basis either through fresh recruits or through conversion of contractual basis to permanent roll.

A Supreme Court Order in 2007 stated that government school teachers should not be burdened by non-academic duties such as census work and election duty which interferes in their teaching. Elections should not be done at the cost of students unable to complete the syllabus due to missing teachers. The quality of teachers and the quality of teaching is also in question. The RTE Act for does not make teachers accountable. Those in aided schools unlike in unaided (private schools) are less motivated to improve their skills as they are less likely to be pulled up for non performance. There is no incentive to improve and if the bonus paid to teachers was directly proportionate to the standard / level / quality of teaching offered, and then perhaps teachers would seem more responsible and accountable.

Control, Track and Report Progress on Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan

Control and close tracking of progress on SSA initiative is of prime importance. Apart from updation of the progress made, it can also serve as a data source for allocation of funds, identifying key gaps with indication on what should be the focus areas to further improve. For the same, District Information for Education (DISE) was developed to collate and establish data centre for elementary education in India. CRC (cluster resource centre) is the first nodal agency in the entire chain to facilitate in addressing school needs, primary source to inspect schools and report progress data. Closer the schools to DISE centre, the better the attention easy provision of quick logistical help.

The table below gives data on percentage of schools away from more than 5km from nearest CRC centre. The break-up of government and private schools has been given to relate the understanding of split, which on an average shows 95% total schools are still government owned and CRC being near will certainly help.

State/UT

Total Schools

GOVT Schools

Private

CRC > 5 km

A&NIslands

359

317

42

36.49

Andhra Pradesh

100449

79324

21125

20.72

Arunachal Pradesh

4547

4331

216

54.56

Assam

66727

53950

12777

17.09

Bihar

67874

66627

1247

16.45

Chandigarh

176

110

66

13.07

Chhattisgarh

49708

45578

4130

30.19

D&NHaveli

304

272

32

37.17

Daman&Diu

98

79

19

5.1

Delhi

4742

2982

1760

12.76

Goa

1503

1092

411

14.04

Gujarat

39039

33114

5925

29.64

Haryana

17743

14729

3014

25.53

Himachal Pradesh

17197

14968

2229

21.46

Jammu & Kashmir

20789

16502

4287

18.44

Jharkhand

41944

39511

2433

26.18

Karnataka

56441

45622

10819

0.85

Kerala

12426

5087

7339

26.9

Lakshadweep

37

37

0

2.7

Madhya Pradesh

129000

106408

22592

29.25

Maharashtra

87280

61708

25572

30.22

Manipur

4011

2620

1391

37.67

Meghalaya

10572

3999

6573

33.08

Mizoram

2783

2298

485

37.23

Nagaland

2523

1854

669

16.92

Orissa

59435

53667

5768

20.76

Puducherry

703

441

262

4.13

Punjab

20026

18508

1518

19.13

Rajasthan

103303

77319

25984

47.58

Sikkim

1150

870

280

17.13

Tamil Nadu

53307

35336

17971

28.36

Tripura

3901

3739

162

22.3

Uttar Pradesh

180058

135484

44574

20.5

Uttarakhand

20610

16971

3639

38.39

West Bengal

70010

57461

12549

52

All States

1250775

 

 

 

West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Andaman Nicobar islands and Rajasthan need more CRC centres to be established. The CRC currently involves people from NGOs, State and people who are internal to the system. It is recommended that CRC to have more people from Private Industries, Software Industries to occupy key roles and the companies to which the CRC representatives belong to be given good tax rebates to would motivate private companies to nominate responsible employees into the CRC.

The frequency of the CRC report also needs to be at more frequent intervals and should be reviewed for allocation of funds. The funds allocated to various units should be based on the CRC report.

Publicise Mid Day Meal

The Mid-day Meal Scheme is school meal programme in India which provides lunch free of cost to school-children on all working days. This scheme was introduced in Tamilnadu in 1960s and adopted by most of the states in India post direction by the Supreme Court of India on November 28, 2001.

The objectives of the mid day meal scheme are as follows:

To improve nutritional status of children in 1-V classes in schools

To encourage poor children to attend school regularly and to help them concentrate on classroom activities

To provide nutritional support to children of primary stage in drought affected areas

The National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NP-NSPE) was launched on 15th August 1995 to enhance enrollment, retention and attendance and improve child nutrition. The scheme included free supply of food grains at 100 grams per child per school day. In September 2004, cooked mid day meal was provided to all children studying in classes I-V in Government and aided schools.

The Prime Minister launched the Mid Day Meal Program in 35 States in 2005 with the government bearing the cost of food grains, transportation and cooking. Uncer the Mid-day Meal Scheme, 12 crore (120 million) children are covered with enhancement of allocation from Rs 3010 crore to Rs 4813 crore in 2006-2007.

Mid day meal scheme is present in Gujarat, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa. On November 28, 2001, the direction of the Supreme Court of India instructed government to provide cooked meals to all children in all government and government assisted primary schools and has become universal by 2005.

Mid-day meals help to increase school attendance, eliminate classroom hunger and foster social equity. The mid-day meals had made it much easier for parents to persuade their children to go to school. Mid-day meals had raised daily attendance, especially among young children and helped to retain pupils after the lunch break.

For improving mid day meal scheme, the following are the recommendations suggested:

Financial allocations need to be raised and urgent improvement of mid day meal infrastructure, with a cooking shed and cook assisted by a helper at primary schools

Close supervision and regular inspections to achieve higher quality standards with better monitoring to eradicate petty corruption

The lunchtime routine can be used to impart various good habits to children, including washing one's hands before and after eating

In areas with a conservative social outlook, such as rural Rajasthan, issue of dalit cooks would be an opportunity to break traditional prejudices and foster social change

There is scope for varied and nutritious lunch as in Rajasthan.

Retention, Contain Drop Out Rate

The problem of children being deprived of schooling refuses to go away. Almost 98 per cent of children in the age group of 6 to 11 years reportedly have a school within walking distance, and the situation is much better in urban areas. A survey carried out in January 2000 in Delhi by Pratham, a non-government organisation, revealed that almost 2,500 children in Trilokpuri were not attending any school. Similarly, a 1999 survey of Calcutta, funded under the West Bengal District Primary Education Programme (DPEP) and carried out by the West Surveys done under the aegis of the India Education Initiative and Pratham Mumbai in Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Jaipur and Patna reinforce that a very large number of urban children are not attending any school, even though primary schools are available within "walking distance".

Even though the enrolment of students has increased in most states, the dropout rate continues. As the Public Report on Basic Education in India (PROBE) points out that the effect of poor teaching standards is slowly sapping parental and child motivation over time, but the last straw that causes a child to drop out is often something else, like illness in the family or financial hardship. Beating, social discrimination (including caste and community-related comments), gender biases all these work together to push children out. It is indeed quite revealing that an overwhelming number of out-of-school children are from Dalit or tribal groups, are first-generation school-goers, face particularly difficult circumstances (for example, children of sex workers) or are working (in hotels and mechanic shops, or as roadside vendors).

Bihar and West Bengal have created a record of sorts by contributing the maximum in reducing the number of out of school children in the age-group of 6-14 from 75.97 lakh in March 2007 to 45.05 lakh in March 2008 with the maximum number of children going back to school is Muslims, SCs and STs. In Bihar, the number of out of school children in the age group of 6-14 is down to 10.10 lakh in 2008 from 21.19 lakh in 2007. In the case of SC children, only 2.71 lakh SC children are out of school. In March 2007, 4.99 lakh SC children had not been to school. The number of SC children in Bihar is 38.10 lakh. West Bengal (WB) too often considered in the same bracket as Bihar has shown tremendous progress in improvising education so that it is all inclusive. The number of out of school children in WB is 1.13 lakh, a significant decrease from the 3.67 lakh in 2007.

The initiatives to control dropout rates include:

Publish Learner's Achievements

The dropout rate can be controlled if the achievements on the pass percentage, district ranks and state ranks are published. Provisions for scholarships and fees concessions for students topping in each class needs to be provided.

Awards for Good Attendance

It is recommended that awards and recognition should be given to students who attend more than 75% of the total classes.

Build Close Interactions with Parents

The teachers and the representatives from the NGOs should arrange frequent meetings with the parents and encourage them to send the students to school. One of the reasons that children are disinclined to attend school is due to Child Labour and taking up small, odd jobs. Due to the limited job opportunities, parents at times question the investment of sending children to school in the first place.

Role of NGOs

NGO's should educate and spread the message to the illiterate parents and ensure their children are sent for schooling regularly.  The message needs to be conveyed in all possible mechanisms either by visiting the village or using the appropriate media.

Improving Female Literacy

The percentage of female literacy is only 54.16%. sufficient initiatives to be taken to improve the women's literacy rate.

The Challenges faced in female literacy and solutions are:

Gender based inequality

The gender based inequality is more across the country and especially the in these states of Bihar (33.1) , Jharkhand (38.9), Uttar Pradesh (42.2), Jammu & Kashmir (43), Arunachal Pradesh (43.5), Rajasthan ( 43.9)  the problem seems to be prevailing more when compared to other states.   The NGO's should create awareness programs in order to eliminate the gender based inequality and spread clear crisp and strong messages both male and female are equal all aspects of life

Social discrimination and economic exploitation

Even though the Indian government is taking necessary initiatives to abolish child labor,  girls are not allowed to go to schools in comparison with boys and are made to work as domestic servants in rural and as well as urban areas. This problem should be abolished by enforcing strict laws against the people who are providing domestic jobs to these children. 

Low retention rate of girls

Government should create more job opportunities for female workers and more tax benefits, higher salaries for female employees to motivate and encourage the female literacy within the society. Earlier research on primary education in rural India suggests that mid-day meals enhance school participation, especially among girls.

Low enrolment of girls in schools

To increase enrolment of girls in schools, the infrastructure facilities for states provided in the table below needs to be improved, including increasing the number of schools with girl toilets.  Government should create a separate committee to monitor the funds allocated for these schools are been properly utilised. The progress made in improving the infrastructure report should be sent to the Prime Minister on a monthly basis.

State Name

Total Number of Schools

Number of Schools With Girls Toilet

Percentage of Schools with Girls Toilets(2006-07)

BIHAR     

67874

14675

16.2

JHARKHAND

41944

8687

15.5

UTTAR PRADESH  

180058

148289

78.2

JAMMU&KASHMIR           

20789

4571

20

ARUNACHAL PRADESH   

4547

541

12.2

RAJASTHAN  

103303

81941

41.3

Government to ensure that funds allocated for education are allocated correctly. Establish checks and balances to ensure that the funds are spent on the objectives that they were intended for.

10. Improve Female Teacher Ratio

One of the important focus areas for us to consider while we improve the quality of education is to increase female teacher ratio.

Lack of female teachers is a potential barrier for girl's education. Girls are more likely to attend school and have good and higher academic achievement if they have female teachers. This is because we have gender-segregated societies in most parts of India. Female teachers are helpful in talking to parents and reducing the negative attitude of parents in education girls and suitably mentoring girls to take on higher responsibilities.

Currently, women account for only 29 percent of teachers at the primary level (MHRD, 1993).

The above table shows the ratio of the number of school vs. number of teachers vs. number of female teachers.

State/UT

All

Average number of Teacher per school

% Female Teachers

A&NIslands

359

10.35

57.34

Andhra Pradesh

100449

5

44.88

Arunachal Pradesh

4547

3.43

35.93

Assam

66727

4

30.16

Bihar

67874

4.84

36.5

Chandigarh

176

31

81.25

Chhattisgarh

49708

3.12

32.93

D&NHaveli

304

5

55.63

Daman&Diu

98

7.1

63.17

Delhi

4742

21

67.51

Goa

1503

5.18

76.51

Himachal Pradesh

17197

4

42.11

Jammu & Kashmir

20789

5.15

43.57

Jharkhand

41944

4

28.32

Karnataka

56441

4.61

53.2

Kerala

12426

13

71.65

Lakshadweep

37

14.92

40.18

Gujarat

39039

6

53.4

Haryana

17743

5.97

46.31

State/UT

All

Average number of Teacher per school

% Female Teachers

Madhya Pradesh

129000

3

37.27

Maharashtra

87280

6.59

42.76

Manipur

4011

6

42.39

Meghalaya

10572

3.28

51.06

Mizoram

2783

6

42.55

Nagaland

2523

8.07

42.63

Orissa

59435

4

33.15

Puducherry

703

13.51

61.16

Punjab

20026

4

60.87

Rajasthan

103303

4.09

29.26

Sikkim

1150

7

45.08

Tamil Nadu

53307

5.94

73.87

Tripura

3901

8

24.78

Uttar Pradesh

180058

3.58

36.31

Uttarakhand

20610

3

46.2

West Bengal

70010

3.91

32.4

All States

1250775

7

47.494

 

 

<=3

<=40

We note that Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Jharkhand, Orissa, Rajasthan, Tripura and West Bengal have a female teacher ratio which is less than 40 percent. Government needs to take concrete steps towards increasing this percentage to at least 70.

Negative parental attitudes towards educating daughters can also be a barrier to a girl's education. Many parents view educating sons as an investment because the sons will be responsible for caring for aging parents. On the other hand, parents may see the education of daughters a waste of money because daughters will eventually live with their husbands' families, and the parents will not benefit directly from their education. However, education sometimes lowers the dowry for a girl because it is viewed as an asset by the husband's family. By appointing more and more female teachers, we are indirectly addressing the issue of improving female literacy also.

The proposed solutions to this are

Increase the percentage of intake of female teachers from 25% to 60%. This way more lady teachers would be eligible for getting selected.

As per existing Government policy, 50% of vacancies for female teachers seats are reserved for people from Scheduled Tribe, Scheduled Caste and Back ward classes. Since it is extremely difficult to fill these vacancies as we do not have many education female teachers in these communities, these vacancies need to be opened up for teachers from general merit. Government could open a reserved vacancy for a period of 3 years and then appoint a teacher from General Merit.

Role of Industry Associations/Non Governmental Organizations/Civil Society Organizations

Role of Non Governmental Organization's

India is unable to fulfill the need of compulsory education for the children of up to the age of 14. India is still struggling with problems to improve the quality of education and fixing the inefficiencies in the schooling system.

The NGO's which are currently available in India are not sufficient to cater the need for out of school children e.g. working children , street children , slum children , children of migrant families and tribal children.

Governmental and NGO's estimates vary on the number of child laborers, NGO's estimates are more than double than those of government. The government data collection does not include the unrecognized colonies, school-less habitations and hamlets. It is recommended to use the NGOs and other independent bodies to develop reliable estimates of children who are out of school.

It is important to curb the drop-out and increase the enrolments in education. It is evident from the experiments conducted by NGO's the quality of education for school based initiatives requires significant improvement. The no of teachers needs to be improved and quality of teachers needs to be improved substantially.

The government of India should partner with NGO's to achieve the goal of universal elementary education.

The NGO's successful in India with the objectives are as follows

M. Venkatarangiya Foundation with the objective of abolition of child labor through education

Pratham Mumbai education foundation with the objective of low cost early childhood education and universalization of pre-primary and primary education in a metropolis

Bodh Shiksha samiti with the objective of appropriate schooling for urban poor

Rishi valley rural education centre with the objective of multi-grade , multi level classes

Eklavya with the objective of pedagogical renewal through academic and administrative restructuring.

Centre for Education management and development with the objective of school improvement through management inputs

NGO's have worked extensively in developing new teaching learning methodologies. The teacher training models developed by NGO's should be evaluated by District Institutes of Training (DIET) and should be adapted. The government should identify the NGO's which are performing excellently in each state and should establish partnership to share/replicate their models across the country rather than implementing them in isolation.

Role of Industry Associations

Government has to enhance the Public Private Partnership (PPP) across all the states to leverage the expertise of the private organizations for enhancing the literacy programs in primary education. The private organizations in return receive the fee from government as per the criteria defined by government.

Existing Public Private Partners in India include

Government aided schools

Residential schools in Andhra Pradesh

Adarsh schools in Punjab

Schools in Rajasthan

Types of Public Private Partnership in School Education

Provision of Infrastructure (Private Financing Initiative)

Provision of support services

Infrastructure , support services and educational services

Management services

Operational services

Professional services

In India very few states have implemented the PPP, government can

partner with the private organization and improve the

Infrastructure facilities

Quality of education

Student retention rate

Teacher retention rate

Increasing the enrolment of girl in primary education

Decrease in drop out of student rate in primary education

Achieve the stipulated Pupil Teacher Ratio

Government will have significant benefits of Private Public Partnership, Optimal utilization of Budget, Improved Efficiency, The risk is shared between the private sector and the government, the implementation time can be reduced, and the cost of operations can be reduced significantly as many private organizations would be competing. The performance of the schools can be easily measured as it is managed by private partners and the government can monitor the performance and release the payments accordingly. The government monitors the quality and the payments are tied up with quality managed by the private partners.

METHODOLOGY

In our research on this topic, we found lot of resource articles throwing wide spectrum of datum on the subject matter. Most of these sources indicate importance of elementary education, Government/Non-Govt initiates, and progress so far, author's views but none relates these views with justifiable data on most of the occasions. Also, in some cases source of data is unknown. That's when we found reliable source of data in DISE.

 

DISE district Information for Education was developed as part of National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA). DISE program has successfully created comprehensive database on elementary education in India, collecting the data from all states and UTs (union territories). DISE keeps updating the data year-on-year basis and is part of government initiative to formerly track the progress of SSA.

 

DISE data collation process is established at grass root level, where CRC (cluster resource centre) in each region is directly interfacing with schools on the ground. CRC is responsible for collation of relevant data from each of the schools in its jurisdiction, which is fed into DISE software.

DISE software has been running in all districts throughout India and data are being shared every year with planners, administrators, policy makers, educationists and various users like us.

 

In this research we have used DISE reports for year 2007-2008, which consists of data classified in five major categories. These are namely

a)      School based indicators à the data on number of schools, primary, upper primary, number of classrooms etc

b)      Facility Indicators à Data providing details on availability of various facilities like drinking water, toilets, play grounds, etc in schools

c)      Enrolment based Indicators à Data on total enrolments, gender ratio, disable pupil etc

d)     Teacher Related Indicators à Data on number of teachers, qualification, training provided, permanent Vs contract based teachers etc

e) Evaluated and analyzed the current activities performed by various NGO's in India on the primary education, provided the gaps which government can act upon improving on the infrastructure , quality of education , student retention rate , teacher retention rate.

For the mid day meal scheme, the references include articles from Frontline, India's national news magazine and other web sources quoted in references.

As you can see later in the report, all our findings, views and recommendations leading to ten point agenda are based on various data indicators collated consistently over last 5 years through DISE. We have referred to this data with respect to topic or agenda in question; carefully choosing the tables among various data points and brings out the inference through careful analysis.

We have referred resources mentioned in the reference section.