Education is an important factor to keep a nation held together and on a progressive path. Education provides understanding to the people of social right & social wrong. Though basic education doesn’t have high returns, it is essential to have access to secondary and higher education. All the economic development theories identify technological progress as an important factor for long term growth. And to have technological progress we need secondary & higher education.
In India condition of education is not good and presents a gloomy picture. Since the Independence, the role of Indian Government has been very pivotal in the education system in India. It controlled and regulated everything. To analyze the role of government, we first need to understand the current status of education in India.
Current Status of Education in India
As per ASER 2016 report which measures the performance of primary education in India –
- Only 26% of enrolled students in Class V can divide 3 digit numbers by one digit number. This was 42.5% in 2007.
- Only 47.8% of enrolled students in Class V can read a text of class II. This was 45.9% in 2007.
- 20% of enrolled students in class III are at grade Level. Minimum of 10% in Utter Pradesh.
At the conclusion, The Status of primary education is very poor. Enrollment has increased but the quality of education has decreased. This is the reason that government has moved to an old strategy of not promoting the students which are not at grade level.
As per All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2015-16 –
- Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Higher education in India is 24.5%, which is calculated for 18-23 years of age group.
- About 79.3% of the students are enrolled in the Undergraduate level programme.
- Student enrollment in Ph.D. is less than 0.4%.
As clearly shown by figures, the coverage of higher education is very low. It is primarily because of poor basic, secondary education which doesn’t provide a strong base to students. Secondly, return on higher education is not enough to encourage them for higher education, because of low quality and fewer employment opportunities. The report has been silent on this aspect. It didn’t mention about the quality of higher education and employability of students with higher education in terms of skill set. Experts from industries have over and over again raised questions over the employability of students both with technical & non-technical education. Therefore there is a huge gap which needs to be full fill in terms of both quality & coverage of education in India.
Governments Efficiency & Role of Private Sector
Government’s expenditure on education is far lower in India than the developed nations, specifically with higher education. And that’s too with lower efficiency. As per the ASER report in case of primary education, the private schools do fairly well then the government’s schools. The same can be observed in case of higher education apart from few government Institutes.
Private Player’s involvement will increase the coverage of education and also the quality. Competition among private players will make them thrive by improving performance. The important point is that the government cannot diminish its role in education financially. India per capita Income is very low and availability of education loans is also scarce. We need both increased government expenditure and increased private players for better education. Education subsidy can be transferred directly to the account of students who are taking education in government approved private institute.
The government will have to reduce regulations on course curriculum and at other places to the minimum. Regulations should be limited to stop exploitation or monopoly in any form by private education Institutions. But their increased participation is must for the betterment of education in India.