India needs to invest more on education
Mains Paper 2:- Education
Prelims level:- Annual Status of Education Report
Mains level:- Challenges towards education infrastructure improvement
- The latest Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) by the NGO Pratham
that studied as many as 37,000 children in 26 rural districts across 24
States points out that only 16 per cent children in Class 1 can read text at
the prescribed level while 40 per cent cannot even recognise letters.
- Only 40 per cent of these children could recognise two-digit numbers.
Need to improve the learning program:
- A comprehensive and creative learning programme at the foundational
stage is critical.
- As 90 per cent of the brain’s growth has already occurred by the time a
child is six years old.
- Nobel laureate James Heckman has demonstrated that investment in the
early childhood stage when brain growth is at its fastest, yields maximum
returns as compared to later stages of childhood and education.
- A comprehensive and creative pre-school programme is absolutely
essential for the development of human capital.
- This entails having qualified teachers, appropriate curriculum and
Upgrading the amenities and infrastructure:
- The total number of privileged schools where such creative learning
programmes are instituted through pre-school facilities is about 17,000,
constituting about 1 per cent of nearly about 1.5 million schools in the
- These are privileged, high-fee charging schools, typically affiliated to
CBSE, ISCE or international systems.
- Alongside are the low-fee private schools and then come the government
schools that constitute 77.25 per cent of all elementary schools.
- There has been an unprecedented expansion of government schools through
the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan which added more than a lakh schools between
2000-01 and 2010-11.
- Most government schools have poor physical and academic infrastructure.
- Around 10 per cent of these primary schools are single-teacher schools,
around 45 per cent schools at all levels do not have playgrounds, 45 per
cent do not have electricity, only about 12 per cent have computers.
- Clearly, school education is fragmented and inherently discriminatory.
- The poor have been provided access without ensuring that they acquire
even the most the basic cognitive skills, despite the hype around Right to
- World over, it has been seen that a State-run common school system has
been the basis for universalising quality education.
- There is evidence in Delhi of the radical transformation in local
schools in just five years, with the State government spending as much as 26
per cent of its budget on education.
- The Centre and States’ spending on education is just 3 per cent of GDP.
This ratio should be doubled.
Q1. With reference to the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion (NSFI),
consider the following statements:
1. It aims to strengthen the ecosystem for various modes of digital
financial services in all Tier-II to Tier VI centres to move towards a less-cash
society by March 2022.
2. It aims to see that every adult had access to a financial service provider
through a mobile device by March 2024.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Q1. What are the steps needed to transform the school education system?