Saturday, May 23, 2015

Quality of Education and Employability of youths are big challenges in India

Quality of Education and Employability of youths are big challenges in India

With 13 lakh schools, 750 degree granting institutions / universities, 35500 affiliated colleges and 315 M students (equal to population of US), India operates the biggest education system in the world.  Literacy rate has gone up to 74% (2011 census). RTE puts the onus on the government to provide quality education with all facilities, but there are big differences in quality of education across the States in India. By 2022, India will add about 25% global workforce, with close to 93% in the informal/unorganised sector.

In Primary Education ASER 2013, major findings are: 
1. Enrolment (6-14) is 96.7%
2. 29% pupils going to private school, enrolment increasing.  
3. 40% students of Std III can read Std I level text and can do two digit subtraction. 
4. Only 41% Students of Std V can read Std II level text and 20.8% can do division. (ASER 2013). 
5. Girls attendance is higher than boys
6. Not big difference in quality of education between public and private schools. 
7. Physical infrastructure has been improved but learning level is dropping. 

What is the way forward to improve primary education?

Roll out "Pratham model" of 5 phases (each 10 days) teaching to weak students through volunteers so that their reading, writing, calculating (reasoning) and leaning skill improve.

The students in Higher Education are in different streams: Arts (37%), Science (19%), Commerce & Management (18%), Engineering & Technology (16%), Medicine (4%), Education (4%), Law (2%), Others (1%). Generates more engineers (1.5 M) than Doctors (35000) per annum. Large number of Arts graduates are unemployable. College Infrastructures have been developed and teaching staff provided but majority of youths are seen outside the class in most of the college campus.

There are academic gaps in higher education in terms of inflexible curriculum, exam centric teachings, outdated techniques, unprepared teachers and disinterested youths.  The regulatory mechanism is rigid with limited autonomy and no focus on accreditation.

Technology has changed the world.  Students want to study any time, any where, any thing.  900M phones and smart phones changed information transmission mode. Teachers role become of a guide or mentor. Learners have developed collaborative skills with instinctive use of technology. Internet, social media etc playing bigger role in connecting people with knowledge.

What is the way forward to improve HE?

Remodel apprenticeship act and ensure on job skill training to the youths. Improve collaboration between institute to institute within India and globally. Foster entrepreneurship, as entrepreneurs creat jobs. Increase use of technology. Establish Global India University. Accreditation of all institutions. Private sector to drive 50% students. Academic institutions to be given more autonomy. Government funding to be moved from institutions to students so that students get choice of institute. Make Indian university global and Research Excellence for Global recognition.

What is way forward for 70% dropped after 8-10 and unemployable graduates?

70% of the students enrolled, drop after 8th or 10th standard. They enter into market as workforce and learn on job and working uncertified. They and unemployable graduates need vocational training so that they can learn key skills that will improve their employability quotient.

Need for employers involvement in the education space and the youth also shall explore alternative career routes and support their dreams.

12 M new workforce entering in the market every year and training capacity is only 3.1 M. Indian Apprenticeship Act has 3 lakh apprentices while Germany, Japan and China have 3M, 10M and 20M respectively.  Need for a change in apprenticeship act to widen its horizon. There is need for vocational universities as well involvement of private sector in imparting skill training. Labour market information for skill anticipation to be made available to youth. Mobiles to be use for skill guidance. 48% salary confiscation for low wage employees need modifications. 

And the Society to respect the dignity of labour.

"I call myself a labourer because I take pride in calling myself a spinner, weaver, farmer and scavenger" -Mahatma Gandhi

"All types of jobs are respected equally, and no occupation is considered superior" -Mahatma Gandhi.



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