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The history and structure of Indian education has not been stable and it has been varying from time to time. Indian education system has moulded itself on the pattern of the British education system. After independence the central and the state governments have emphasized on spreading education to all corners of the country.
With hundreds of universities and thousands of colleges affiliated to the Indian education system, India has positioned itself as a country which provides higher education to the World citizens. The segments of our education system are:
Play-school and Pre-school education
PLAY-SCHOOL AND PRE-SCHOOL EDUCATION
Lack of a regulatory system to monitor the practices followed by the schools in this segment and to act as a governing body
The target segment is the age group of 2-6 which forms around 9-11 % of the total population. Thus the scope for the segment is huge with lot of untapped segments in the rural areas.
Gross Enrollment Rate (GER) in pre-segment is around 18%
With the advertising by various government agencies there has been an increment in the significance of early education for the child development
The presence of majority of play schools is in the urban areas which leaves lot of untapped markets in the rural segments
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) along with other schemes has been instrumental in increasing enrollment rates of students in primary schools
With the increase in enrollment rates there has been a decrement in the social disparity which was highly prevalent in the 1990's
The dropout rates are very high which is around 48% in elementary education
There is a state disparity with states like UP. Bihar lacking behind in terms of GER'S , Dropouts etc
There were infrastructure issues with 8% schools lacking drinking water facilities and 14% do not have a school building
Teacher absenteeism and inefficient regulatory system are issues hampering the inefficient regulatory system
According to ASER survey by Pratham , 60 % of the children aged between 7 -12 are unable to read a paragraph
DROP-OUTS ACROSS VARIOUS EDUCATION LEVELS
The success of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) has benefitted the secondary education
The major issue is that the number of secondary schools is less than half the number of upper primary schools in the country
Source: Credit Suisse Report
Most secondary students are boys thus there is a gender inequity
While India has been pursuing the goal of universal education , the share of financing to secondary education has declined over the years
As per the current trends the enrollment in government schools has decreased over the last decade
There is trend to opt for private education in urban as well as rural areas
TEACHER-STUDENT RATIO (SECONDARY SCHOOLS
Source: Angel Broking Report
POLICY INITIAVES FOR SECONDARY EDUCATION
Construction of classrooms and schools in rural areas where there are no many private players in operation
Training and hiring of various teachers in order to prevent a demand-supply mismatch
Investment in curriculum revision , technology reforms and examination reforms to increase the relevance of education in the society
Provide financial assistance to the disadvantaged students and overcome household reluctance to send their children to school
Promotional campaigns about the benefits of education
Programs to improve the internal efficiency and quality of secondary education with programs such as SSA
Promoting ICT's so that students can gather knowledge from secondary sources other than textbooks and teachers
India has the third largest number of universities after US & China
This segment is growing rapidly with the inclusion of major disciplines
The medium of professional education is English
The enrollment rate is the major drawback
The expansion in this segment is highly unplanned and the regulatory system is highly controlled
The institution fails to maintain international standards due to the lack of accountability and autonomy
Mismatch between the industry requirements and the curriculum
Inefficient internet penetration leading to lack of alternate avenues
POLICY INITIATIVES FOR HIGHER EDUCATIO N
Increasing reach and removing regional imbalances
Empowerment and accountability of institutions
Increasing quality and effectiveness of teachers
Innovation in learning processes
Facilitate resource sharing among students and faculties
Encourage private funding in higher education
Private schools - Meeting the demand for quality and access to a great extent
There are approximately 50,000 private schools in India. A majority of these schools are present in the urban pockets and cater to more affluent classes. The parents whose children are studying at these schools expect a higher standard of education and have comparatively higher expectations from these schools in terms of infrastructure, facilities and courseware. Similarly, they expect better academic achievements from their children. These schools are constantly trying to upgrade their facilities and courseware to improve the standard of education provided by them and to match up to the expectations of the students and their parents. Thus, the new products using multimedia-based platforms to enhance the quality of education and equip the educators to a better extent are being sought.
Quality education requires teacher training
In India, as many as 54% of the Primary schools (4.17lakh) have only one or two teachers. The number of primary schools with three or less teachers is a staggering 71.5% (5.49lakh). Most of the government's teacher training programs have been designed for mono-grade teaching situations. Wherever training programs on multi-grade issues have been held, they provide some learning organisation ideas, but not a comprehensive guideline for teachers who have to teach the entire curriculum to five classes. A significant 31% of Primary schools in the country have enrolments less than 60. These schools would have actual student attendance of 40-50 students only, spread over five classes. The key to effective teaching-learning practice in such schools is
multi-level teaching using group and self-learning materials. There have been several
experiments in the country for such school situations. What is required is systematic work for appropriate materials and teacher training for 'small school' situations.
The issues of teachers' competence, teaching at Upper Primary levels in subjects like
Mathematics, Science and English needs to be addressed. For the Upper Primary stage, linkage with Secondary/Higher Secondary schools and good subject teachers could prove useful for upgrading skills of Upper Primary teachers. In several states and union territories, as part of the initiatives of the respective governments, a 20 days' training program is being implemented in a routine manner.
There is a large backlog of teachers who have been recruited, but have not received induction training. This means that teachers, most of whom do not have a pre-service training qualification begin teaching in schools without any orientation. In some states, 7-15 days' training is imparted to these new teachers along with regular in-service training of teachers. This is not adequate, as the new teachers need a different orientation with an overview of the Primary curriculum, textbooks and teaching methods. This aspect needs greater attention, since large teacher recruitments are taking place in several states.
Thus, the need for teacher training stems from the significant impact it has on the overall quality of education imparted to students. Not only does capacity need to be created (ie., the sheer number of teachers needs to be adequate), but the quality of education imparted also has to be monitored, through teacher training, apart from providing better quality courseware and material and implementing IT-based education.
There are approximately five million teachers in India. There is also a requirement of a substantial number of additional teachers to sustain the growth level in the field of education. All the fresh recruits would have to be imparted induction training and the existing teachers would have to be provided with orientation to upgrade their teaching techniques or re-skill them to impart better quality education. Apart from the government-provided training, companies like Educomp also provide professional training to these teachers as a part of their joint ventures.
Demand for education in regional language
As per the Right to Education Bill 2005, it is the intent of the government to provide education to children in their mother tongue or the appropriate regional languages. The motivation of the government is due to the fact that the child would understand instructions easily in his/her mother tongue and thus, the quality of education would be better. In the computer literacy initiative that is being undertaken by the state governments, there is a clear mandate to the education companies to develop and provide the education content in regional languages. This leads to strong demand
for content in regional languages and companies with strong content development teams with the ability to modify the content as per regional requirements stand to benefit.
Need for Multimedia-based education in schools
One of the innovative ways to teach students is through the use of multimedia. Multimedia helps the child to understand the instructions and courseware better thereby enhancing the quality of instructions by explaining the content graphically wherever needed. Companies like Educomp and Everonn provide various products that enhance the capabilities of teachers and help students understand the courseware better, leading to a significant improvement in the quality of education imparted. Out of the 50,000 private schools in India, 10-12,000 charge a fee of over Rs1,000 per month per student. These schools are the immediately addressable market for such courseware.
Demand for Post-school mentoring - Hampered by low broadband penetration
A lot of students to get better quality of education take the help of Post-school mentoring. This need also arises from the fact that individual children do not get sufficient attention from the school teachers due to the large class sizes, more specifically in urban areas. The demand for post-school mentoring has led to the development of several innovative products such as virtual class rooms and coaching through broadband connections. These products are currently not very popular, as India has very low penetration of broadband services (a mere 0.32%), which are necessary to access these products. With the increase of broadband connectivity, the popularity of these products is expected to increase. These products are expected to directly compete with the existing providers of such services, which forms approximately two-thirds of the education budgets of regular Indian middle class families, according to our interactions with the managements of companies operating in this space.
Analysis of Education Data- I
This section deals with data crunching on education data. Various works done under the section are as follows:
Hypothesis Testing: "The ratio of expenditure on education has remained almost constant over the years, vis-a-vis expenditure on all sectors."
Relevant data taken from IndiaStat.com  , and plotted using MS Excel Software.
Result 1: Hypothesis rejected. The variation is random as shown graphically in the following graph.
I also plotted the absolute figures of GDP, at current price factor with base year 1993-94.
Result 2: The expenditure on education sector has increased but not as fast as the GDP growth, as graphically shown in following graph.
Testing the trickling-down effect of production factors:
Theory: As a sector grows in an area, the trickling effect causes nearby areas to grow in the sector. This is measured through Coefficient of Localisation.
Coefficient of Localisation: Èµ = (Percentage Expenditure on Sector in a locality) ÷ (Percentage Expenditure on Sector by country)
Data: I took proxies as the percentage expenditure of GDP on Education of States and divided them by Country's expenditure percentage on Education.
Data Source: State and Union Budgets or Budget Speeches. Data 2008-09
Literacy Data: IndiaStat.com
Method: Normalisation of states' percentage GDP expenditure on Education with India's percentage GDP expenditure on education.
Result: No significant trickling-down effect found out. A quick sample of results is as follows:
Irony: Irony was that Maharashtra was found spending less than Bihar in both absolute figures and in indexed normalized figure- in highly significant and blatant figures.
Resolution: Going a bit deep, we found out the data of literacy for the states and found the inverse relation between percentage GDP education expenditure and the literacy rates.
Normalised Index of exp. On Education
Population-Universities Ratio of Different States
Method: The data of 2007 was collected from UGC's website as follows:
No of Universities
Ratio of Univ./Pop
Index = State Ratio / National Ratio
Graphical Representation: is as follows-
Analysis on Higher Education -II
India remains poised to cash on the much talked about "Demographic Dividend" , but to do so we hardly have a window of 10-15 years, Education will be crucial in cashing on the opportunity at hand.This will be dependent on policies of both central and state governments. But, effects of policy occur at a time lag , and the stakes are so rare.
Although, recently we have seen string of some highly encouraging government policies towards higher education investments much still needs to be done ( University system lacks in quality , only Delhi University features in top 300 universities of world).
The vital question then remains to increase both size and quality of higher education and to measure what effect will it have on India's economic growth. The study also includes the discussion of increasing public expenditure in education sector as a whole (primary , secondary and tertiary) , India has on average spent 4% but they need to spend in the range of 6% as recommended by Committee reports.This study will focus on the long term relationship between expenditure on education and GDP growth .
In the Study1: We attempted to study the relationship between Higher Education and GDP-growth
In the Study 2: We deal with the question of public expenditure in education ( primary, secondary and tertiary) causes GDP growth ( GDP-at factor cost , base year 93-93).
These questions are relevant from the perspective of policy issues of governments both at state and central level.
Relationship between Higher Education ( Enrollment-University) and GDP growth (GDP-PPP) terms
In order to study the problems of long-term and short-term interactional mechanism between scale of evolution of higher education and economic growth in India , we used the method of co-integration.
We choose the data set of enrollment in higher education ( Only Universities-Public, Private,Deemed and Open -) and its effect on actual GDP-PPP terms .
The time series considered was 1980-2007.Sources of data included UGC website and Indiastats.com
We checked both the time series for stationary .Co-integration relationship existed at lags of 2 and 5 .The influence of the time series was positive. We then checked for Granger -Causality test for the two time series and found the following results
We found that the granger causality runs one way from GDP growth causing enrollment in higher education and not vice -versa at shorter lags (2).
However , at longer lags of 5 , Enrollment in Higher education causes GDP growth .