- Briefly write about Right to Education (RTE) Act 2009 and its current status.
- Discuss the challenges faced at primary level of Education in India.
- Discuss the major reforms suggested at primary level in the recent draft education policy 2019.
With 86th amendment, education was made fundamental rights of the citizen under Article 21(a). Right to education act 2009 was brought in to give effect to Article 21(a). The country has moved forward in bringing every children to the school. But there still remains challenge of huge dropouts and poor learning outcomes.
Various challenges that primary level of education in the country faces are:
- Poor teaching quality: Teachers are not given proper training. They are engaged in administrative works like implementing Midday meal schemes.
- Poor school infrastructure: Schools lack basic facilities like toilets and drinking water. Lack of toilet facility results in huge dropouts among girls.
- Poor recruitment process of teachers: Since education is a state subject. Some state recruits teachers on contracts without Bachelor of education qualifications.
- Detention policy: Students are being detained above class 5 level. Detention deters children from completing the primary level of education. Hence, increasing dropouts.
- Poor pedagogy practices: Child friendly pedagogy is lacking in Indian schools. Curriculum and exam system promotes culture of rote learning and deters creative thinking.
- Poor regulatory framework: Regulatory framework differs from state to state. Few states like Bihar lacks proper regulatory framework to monitor the functioning of primary schools.
These challenges have hindered India in achieving its objective of providing free and compulsory education with good learning outcomes. The country is still far from achieving the target of 6% of GDP expenditure as suggested under different national education policy.
The recent draft on national education policy 2019 has suggested following reforms keeping in mind the above challenges:
- To discontinue detention policy: The draft focuses on adopting continuous and comprehensive assessment (CCA), no detention policy (NDP) together. CCA and NDP if adopted together can reforms the examination system of the country. It will also promote creative learning and end rote learning system.
- School infrastructure: The policy suggested that small size of schools makes it operationally complex to deploy teachers. Hence the policy recommends that multiple public schools should be brought together to form a school complex. The school complexes will also include anganwadis, vocational education facilities, and an adult education centre. Each school complex will be a semi-autonomous unit providing integrated education across all stages from early childhood to secondary education.
- Teacher management: Draft Policy recommends that teachers should be deployed with a particular school complex for at least five to seven years. Further, teachers will not be allowed to participate in any non-teaching activities (such as cooking mid-day meals or participating in vaccination campaigns) during school hours that could affect their teaching capacities.
- Teacher training: the policy recommended to replace the existing B.Ed. programme by a four year integrated B.Ed. that combines high quality content, pedagogy and practical training.
The above recommendation can bring significant positive changes in learning outcomes of the children. There is need to effectively implement the target of 6 percent of GDP expenditure and to effectively implement the recommendation of draft policy.Click to View More