In pursuit of my preparation for mains essay, i have written this essay. being my 1st essay i ended up writing only around 900 words. feedbacks are welcome
India has one of the youngest populations in world. Most of the developed countries will soon be facing a problem of sustaining an ageing population characterised by a declining population in working age group and a growing old age population . This impact is already being felt in some countries like france, which has undertaken pension reforms to reduce social security burden on government. On the other hand, India is on the verge of demographic dividend. A large section of population is in working age group. For long, India’s population growth was seen as a ticking time bomb, but now, with a rapid economic growth and a skilled population , it is seen as a key asset
The demographic dividend that India stands to gain can only be leveraged when its population is educated , skilled and have enough job opportunities . Education hence has a pivotal rôle to play in sustaining India’s growth.
The prevailing indian education system is a legacy of British education system. The british introduced english in India with an intention of creating a literate middle class who could be employed as administrative staff. Post independence same system was continued
The establishment of IITs and IIMs brought about progress in higher education sector. These institutes have produced world eladers who have improved India’s image at global level.
The liberalisation of economy in 1991 led to unprecedented growth in services sector which was knowledge intensive. Hence education is all the more important today. Universalising education can help bridge social inequalities and facilitate inclusive economic development . hence there is a need to universalise education at all levels i.e. primary, secondary and higher education.
Several steps are being taken by government to improve access to education. The right to education act was a land mark event in Indian education system. It universalised primary education and had provisions to ensure opportunities were available to people below poverty line. A national skill development mission has been launched tot ackle the prblem of skill deficit in population. The fruits of these policies and schemes can only be enjoyed when inherent defects in education system are rectified.
Indian education system is faced with numerous maladies. At the primary education level, emphasis on rote learning has lead to loss of creativity. There is an acute shortage of infrastructure. Despite the RTE act, no major progress has been made due to alck of political will to implement the act. Apart form following problems, there is a shortage of teachers
At secondary education level, students are subjected to intense pressure leading to high drop out rates. There is no emphasis on functionala nd vocational education , As a result poor don’t find any utility in educating their children.
At higher education level, there is a gradual decline in quality of education. Although there has been rapid growth in number of colleges, quality is found wanting, the fact that majority of engineering graduates are not industry ready reflects the alarming decline in quality of education. There is a large supply demand mismatch resulting in exorbitant fees and sky rocketing cut offs. Research field has been neglected resulting in lack of innovations and new technologies . Education has been transformed into a commercialised commodity leading to alienation of poor from access to higher education
These problems, if unattended, may turn demgraphic divident into a demographic disaster. Education development is crucial for turing population into social capital and making economic development inclusive.
Education development requires a political will from our elected leaders. Policies need to be framed to incetivise the poor for educating children. The curriculum must be reformed and focus should be on imparting functional and vocational education. The respect for teaching profession has been on a decline. To reinstill the lost pride, all India cadre of teachers must be setup and salaries of teachers need to be revised in line with prevailing economic conditions. There is a lack of opportunties for semi skilled work force. This has driven away the poor and lower middle class from pursuing higher education. To address the problem, government need to formulate manufacture policy to facilitate growth of manufacturing sector which can help in widening job opportunities for smei skilled work force. Access to education needs to be scaled up by leveragin technological developments like EDUSAT. Regulation over private sector needs to be strengthened to ensure that quality is not traded off for quantity. The literacy rate among women is lower than that of men. No country can make progress with half of population remianign out of development process. There is a need to create an environment that facilitates women to pursue education. Despite having a large number of universities, india’s contribution to global research has been minimal. Research can help in innovation to solve problems faced by india. Steps need to be taken to expand infrastructure for research.
Education must be the bedrock for India’s growth story. It is only through education that one gets opportunity to pursue varied productive activities. Socio economic development can be hastened by education development . therefore education has a key rôle to play in bringing about inclusive development and int akign india closer towards goal of becoming a developed nation.