Essay topic: Educational Reforms and Employment Opportunities.
Picture to yourself a crowded scene in a train crossing through the rural belt of India. The train stops for some time for track clearance and a couple of kids in rags enter the compartment with brooms. As the gentlemen seated in the seats discuss about the impact of recession on the Indian growth story a boy of about fourteen, brushes the area below their seats. He is at work. But what is the pay? After having swept the whole compartment he comes and begs. Some generous folks drop a coin or two on his hands; some give away some food that they had been carrying. With the same dirty hands that he had swept the passages he licks up a bowlful of rice someone was generous enough to give him. This he accepts as payment. The most distinctive feature about India is the huge income disparity and the diverse cultural fabric. So on one hand we have IITs and IIMs aiming at achieving international standards to match MIT and Harvard while at the other hand we even have many villages without a primary school. ” A 2007 report by the state-run National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganized Sector (NCEUS) found that 25% of Indians, or 236 million people, lived on less than 20 rupees per day with most working in "informal labor sector with no job or social security, living in abject poverty."(Ref: Wikipedia: This figure has been variously reported as either "2 dollars per day" or "0.5 dollars per day". The former figure comes from the PPP conversion rate, while the latter comes from the official exchange rate. Also note that this figure does not contradict the NSS derived figure, which uses calorie consumption as the basis for its poverty line. It just uses a more inclusive poverty line) With the second largest population in the world there is a huge pressure on economy and ensuring a basic standard of living becomes a mammoth task. With a large percentage of illiterate unemployed youth this manifests itself as a huge problem. Its not just labor that becomes cheap in such a scenario, it is human life that becomes too inexpensive. Hundreds and thousands of Indians work as weavers and craftsmen in leather tanneries and fire cracker factories, merely existing on peanut like pay scales. Education is the big leap that can convert this mass of unorganized cheap labor into a highly skilled professionally competitive workforce. It can alone pull up the economy from an animal like existence.
The pyramid of the Indian education system needs to be strengthened at its base .To bring up the weaker sections of the country especially the scheduled tribes and schedule caste members, who have been subjected to unjustified discrimination in the past centuries, the post –independence government has reserved seats in educational institutions and even public jobs for them. However, such affirmative action for the economically or ethically challenged groups cannot improve the scenario unless primary and secondary education is imparted efficiently. And efficiency cannot be brought in without competent teachers. Though there is no dearth of teachers in India, there is certainly a huge disparity in the quality of education being provided. Coupled with it is the problem of absenteeism of teachers in government schools. ”The ASER2005 report also found a teacher absence rate of 25%, as in Kremer et. al. (2005)” The leniency in work ethics and job retention seems to be the possible cause. A possible way of correcting this is to form a team of highly efficient teachers in various subjects at the school level, of international standards, chosen from the best schools in the country, and video linking their classes to those in the entire district or state. Every school will thus get the best teacher .It is easier to keep a check on the attendance and quality of education imparted by this smaller core team. To support the core team every class will have a supervising teacher .The supervising...
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