Primary Education: India
This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.
Private-unaided school's autonomy
Schools happy, talk about self-regulation
New Delhi TIMES NEWS NETWORK The Times of India Nov 29 2014
The nursery nightmare is far from over with more court battles looming ahead. Sources say the government is gearing up to appeal against Friday's high court order “as soon as possible“. Lawyer-activists Social Jurist, whose case had put the onus of framing guidelines at the LG's door, will also file a plea. And finally , there's a case in Supreme Court on the applicability of Right to Education Act on nursery admissions, Khagesh Jha, a lawyer, told TOI. “The decision on this case could be a gamechanger“. However, none of that is curbing the enthusiasm of school associations that see the HC order as vindication of the “right to autonomy“ of unaided institutions. The restoration of management quota has been particularly welcomed. “This is a victory of the private-unaided school's autonomy as the order clarifies that government has no role and can't interfere in admission in these schools. But now we have to ensure there is no violation. We'll have to think how we can restore people's faith in private schools, we have to be more responsible, more transparent,“ said S K Bhattacharya, president, Action Committee for Unaided Recognized Private Schools, a co-petitioner. He said a committee will be constituted to frame a `common policy'. “We will self-regulate.“ Friday's order permits private-unaided schools to choose their own parameters and assign points out of 100, as they had been doing from 2007 to 2012. There won't be common criteria or fixed points. Calling it a “landmark judgment,“ Ameeta Mulla Wattal, chairperson, National Progressive Schools Con ference, said the order “takes into cognizance that Delhi is not ready for that kind of guideline or even implementation of the neighbourhoodschool concept as there aren't enough schools“. “We have to ensure that autonomy isn't misused,“ said R C Jain, president, Delhi State Public Schools Management Association, “The restoration of management quota is only fair. There are requests from various quarters and we need to oblige those who helped us set up the schools, but if someone is using it TO MAKE MONEY and there's a complaint, let the department take action“. He said last year's nursery mess was over a few schools that are in areas developed by DDA. “One size doesn't fit all and this year schools can once again create guidelines that best suit them, the areas they are in and the children who attend them.“ The court order “giving a free hand to schools“ has deeply disappointed Social Jurist. “The choice of the parent has prevailed but not the right of the child,“ said Jha.
Female domination in teaching: Elementary schools
Gender disparity in class
The Times of India, Jan 08 2015, Ramya M
Teaching in schools in some states in India is a female-dominated field. Close to 81% of teachers in elementary schools in Chandigarh are female, while Tamil Nadu, Goa, Kerala, Punjab and Delhi have women as more than 70% of their teaching force.
This is much higher than the national average of 47.2%. The figures are based on a National University of Educational Planning and Administration document titled `Elementary Education in India: Trends', prepared based on statistics compiled by all the states and Union Territories for the District Information System for Education.
Across the world, too, the percentage of female teachers at the primary level has been increasing over the last two decades -from 56% in 1990 to 62% in 2009, according to a 2012 Unesco document titled `World Atlas of Gender Equality in Education'. The document adds that in 9% of 171 countries, for which data is available, women constitute more than 95% of the teaching force. The report added that teachers’ pay is a factor in the proportion of female teachers. “The proportion tends to be high in places where teacher salaries are low. By contrast, males tend to dominate the teaching force in countries where teachers are relatively well paid,” the report said.
Local teachers said one of the main reasons for the gender disparity in the vocation is the low salary offered by private schools. Many teachers find that they get little in return for the amount of work put in.
Though government schools pay good salaries, urban private schools offer low salaries. So, it’s usually women who take up teaching jobs in these schools.
Academics said in rural areas, however, the scene is different.
Male teachers, who usually wait for a government job, sign up for one in the employment exchange and, while waiting, start a farm project or become real estate agents to earn a living. Once they get the job in a government school, many take it up and continue to get additional income by pursuing their other venture on the side.
Private school managements and parents also seem to prefer women as teachers. “Schools and parents prefer female teachers. It’s become something of a habit,” said Amukta Mahapatra, director of Schoolscape, a centre for educators.
2006-14: unqualified teachers
Apr 05 2015
1 in 5 primary teachers not qualified
Elementary education suffers as just 30% of staff are qualified in some states
A fifth of all elementary school teachers in the country do not have the requisite qualifications to teach young children. If this doesn't shock you, take a look at what's going on at the state level. In a wide swathe starting from all eight states of the North-East (including Sikkim), through West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and up north in J&K, the share of qualified teachers is much lower, ranging between 29% in Arunachal Pradesh or 30% in Nagaland to 68% in MP and 70% in Jharkhand. It is through these untrained hands that the foundation of education is being laid in children.
What is even more worrying is that according to district information system for education (DISE) -it's a school education database managed by the National Uni versity for Educational Planning -this condition has persisted for past many years.
In larger states, 90% or more teachers are professionally qualified. In Odisha, the proportion is 79% while in Uttar Pradesh it is 78%. Karnataka (96%) and Punjab (88%) show decline in the proportion of qualified teachers. It's essential that teachers, especially of smaller children, be professionally trained, stresses Anita Rampal, professor at Delhi University's department of education. “Just knowing a subject or being a graduate is not sufficient qualification to become an elementary school teacher. You need to be trained in understanding the learning process of children, their diversity , and you need to develop necessary teaching skills under trained supervision,“ she said.
The situation in the eight North-Eastern states has been like this for many years.Elementary schools in Assam, the biggest state of the region, are running on just 39% trained teachers, virtually the same share as in 2006-07.Arunachal Pradesh has slid from having 35% trained teachers in 2006-07 to 29% now, while Mizoram is facing a calamity -its share of trained teachers has plummeted from 61% in 2006 to 40%. Tripura and Sikkim have seen improvements, but at a worryingly slow pace.
Bihar has one of the lowest shares of trained teachers, because teachers training colleges remained closed for about a decade, says Rampal, who explains the condition in North-East as arising from lack of teachers train ing colleges. In 2006-07, the share of qualified teachers in Bihar was 62%, which has now reduced to 43%. In West Bengal, too, the situation is fast sliding as the share of qualified teachers went down from 75% in 2006-07 to 49% in 2013-14.
In Chhattisgarh, with 59% share of qualified teachers, and in Jharkhand with 70%, there has been only a marginal improvement in the past seven years. A similar situation exists in J&K where only 51% teachers were qualified in 2006-07 and now this share is 52%.
School education is in the concurrent list of the Constitution with both, the states and Centre having power to deal with it. The regulation of teachers' qualification is done by a Central statutory body , the National Council for Teachers' Education. While it is mandatory for states to appoint qualified teachers to schools, clearly , the law is being brazenly flouted.
1999-2012: pre-primary education
Apr 09 2015
India made big gains in child edu: UN
Enrolment in pre-primary 58% in 2012
India has made significant strides in the past 15 years, but remains far from reducing adult illiteracy.
A UNESCO global education report that human resource development minister Smrit Irani would release has revealed this.
The report said gross en rolment ratio in pre-primary education touched 58% in 2012, compared to 19% in 1999. Primary education ne enrolment ratio reached 99% in 2012. India has reduced its out-of-school children by over 90%. Globally 52% of countries including India achieved universal enrol ment in primary education.
India is predicted to be the only country in South and West Asia to have an equal ratio of girls to boys in both primary and secondary education this year. Unesco's Global Monitoring Report (GMR) director Aaron Benavot praised India for making exemplary progress in helping children gain access to pre-primary and primary education since the global education goals were set in 2000.
“India's example clearly shows that with sufficient political will and resources the world can step up to meet the new education targets by 2030,“ said Benavot.
2014-15: ‘Flash Statistics’ on school enrolment
The Times of India, Sep 23 2015
Bihar school enrolment up, hits 94% at primary level
The latest data on education released by Nation al University of Educationa Planning and Administra tion (NUEPA) shows that the gap between the Gross Enrol ment Ratio (GER) and Net Enrolment Ratio (NER) at all levels of school education is stil very wide. One of the highlights is Bihar's Net Enrolment Ratio -93.77% at the primary lev el, 87.63% at upper primary level (from last year's 79.06%), 42.08% at secondary level, and 19.06% at higher secondary level. Jharkhand and West Bengal have also improved substantially . Tra ditionally well performing states Kerala, Karnataka Delhi and Meghalaya contin ue to be consistent with their past performance.
NER is calculated as the number of children of officia primary school age who are enrolled expressed as a per centage of the total popula tion of children of official pri mary school age. GER is calculated as total enrolment in primary education, regardless of age, expressed as percentage of the eligible official primary school-age population in an academic year.
Flash Statistics 2014-15, based on data from 1.52 million schools spread over 680 districts, shows that GER at primary level has been 100%, over 90% at upper primary level, 76.64% at secondary level and 54.21% at higher secondary level. On the other hand, NER at primary level is 87.41%, at upper primary level it is 72.48%, 48.46% at secondary level, and 32.68% at higher secondary level.
This year's Flash Statistics has many new components which show that retention rate is rising among Scheduled Castes (80.67% in 2013-14 to 82.93% in 2014-15), Scheduled Tribes (67.68% in 2013-14 to 68.64%), Other Backward Classes (91.42% from 89.54%), and Muslims (80.61% from 78.05% ). However, aspects that add to learning are far from visible in schools. For instance, percentage of secondary and higher secondary schools with librarians is on the decline.
Learning Poverty in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka vis-à-vis other countries, presumably as in 2019.
Out-of-School (OOS) children
2011 census: OOS and working children
78 Lakh Forced To Earn While They Learn
Freshly released Census 2011 data has revealed two alarming facts: as many as 78 lakh Indian children are forced to earn a livelihood even as they attend schools while 8.4 crore children don't go to school at all.
Although the share of working students is low, compared to the whole student population, the numbers are sufficiently big to show how much importance is placed on education by families and the children themselves.They also point to the increasing cost of education, which should ideally be free for the age group of 5 to 17 years.
Among students who work, 57% are boys, the remaining 43% are girls. Not surprising in a country where women account for only 27% of the workforce because patriarchal attitudes and lack of jobs force them into domestic work. Of working students, some of them as young as six years old, 68% are into marginal work. That's work which lasts for six months or less -predominantly agricultural or artisanal in nature. But they also serve as unskilled helpers in diverse enterprises. Main work, or work that continues year round, is the fate of the remaining 32%.How this affects the child's learning process is yet to be studied but it surely is not doing them any favours.
The other equally shocking dimension is that 8.4 crore children don't go to school at all -that's nearly 20% of the age group covered under the Right to Education Act.
Boys and girls make up nearly the same proportion of the out-of-school segment.But, contrary to popular perception that children don't go to school because they are forced to work, the Census data shows that just 19% of them are working somewhere.
But it's not as if the remaining 81% don't have to work.Many of them could well be doing domestic chores -from fetching water to lending a hand in whatever vocation their elders are engaged in.
The Times of India, Jul 27 2015
49% of children out of school are SCSTs, 25% are Muslims: Survey
Six years since the Right To Education Act came into effect, around 60.6 lakh children between the ages of 6 and 13 years are still out of school in the country.While SC ST children constitute 49.03% (29.73 lakh) of them, those from other backward classes (OBC) form 36%, which shows that RTE has brought little change in the lives of marginal groups. The trend was revealed in an extensive survey recently conducted by an independent agency for the Centre. According to the survey, the majority of out-of-school (OOS) children are in rural areas (77%). Besides, 15.57 lakh Muslim children are out of school, constituting 25% of the OOS children. The OBC category includes Muslims.
In all, 2.9% of the total 20.4 crore school-going age children have been deprived of their right to education.
Activists argue that fam ilies from backward communities fail to send their children to school largely due to non-affordability . They say non-affordability doesn't necessarily mean payment of school fees, which may be subsidized. It could mean sending a child to school would reduce the family's earnings by a few rupees the child could otherwise contribute by working.
The study also revealed that more than 48% of the children out of school, rough y 29 lakh, are girls. The statistics are based on a survey commissioned by the HRD ministry and conducted across all 640 districts of the country . This is the third round of such a survey , the previous ones having been conducted in 2006 and 2009.
The number of OOS chil dren has always been a bone of contention. A July 2015 Unesco report saying India “has made mpressive progress provision of primary education“ is based on the 2012 figures provided by ndia, according to which 17 akh children are out of school.The number was borrowed rom various agencies.
The UNESCO report clubs India with some of the worst performing nations. “At least 10 lakh children were denied he right to education in each of the following countries: India, Indonesia, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Sudan, Sudan and the United Republic of Tanzania,“ it notes.
Impact of Right to Education Act on marginal groups
The Times of India, Jul 27 2015
Nearly half of out-of-school kids SC/STs
Nearly 50% of the 61 lakh children out of school in the country are from SC/ST families while 36% are OBCs, according to a survey commissioned by the Centre. Six years after coming into force, the Right to Education Act seems to have made little impact on marginal groups, reports Chethan Kumar. A quarter of the children are Muslims (15.6 lakh), who were also included in the OBC category , while a majority, 77%, are from rural areas. At 29 lakh, girls constitute about 48% of the children out of school.
Standards of govt. schools
1971-2017: India vis-à-vis other countries
See graphic :
Enrolment as % of children in primary school age group, 1971-2017, in India, China, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the UK and the USA
In the 1970s, nearly half of the children in the primary school age group were out of school in Bangladesh and Pakistan. In countries like India and Indonesia, about 2 of every 10 children of that age were deprived of schooling. Today, all children across the world are attending primary school at least.
2015: UP HC: Send officials' children to govt schools
The Times of India, Aug 19 2015
Send officials' kids to govt schools: HC
The Allahabad high court took a serious note of the pathetic condition of primary schools in the state and directed the chief secretary to ensure that childrenwards of government officialsservants, those serving in the local bodies, representatives of people and judiciary , etc., send their wards to these schools. Only then would they be serious enough to look into the requirements of these schools and ensure that they are run in good condition, the court observed.
Hearing a slew of writ petitions filed by Umesh Kumar Singh and several others, Justice Sudhir Agarwal directed the chief secretary to take steps within six months so as to make the aforesaid directions effective from the next academic session of primary schools.
The court also directed him to submit a compliance report immediately after the lapse of six months.
The issue involved in the writ petitions was with regard to appointment of assistant teachers in state's primary schools.
During the course of hearing, the court noticed the deplorable condition of these schools and observed that although they are catering to the needs of 90% population of children, their condition could be described as shabby.
The court further observed that as the officials responsible for running these primary schools are treating them in a shabby manner, these schools have given rise to multiple litigations.
2015> 18: Fewer children joining elementary school
The net enrolment ratio (NER) at the elementary level in most states and Union territories is declining, revealing a serious challenge for the Centre and states according to the Niti Aayog’s school eduction quality index.
Eight of 20 large states also show a dip in mainstreaming of out-of-school children by over 10 percentage points from the 2015-16 base year. Mainstreaming here implies bringing these children back into the school system.
In the first statewise ranking on education, majority of the states also showed a slide in learning outcomes in languages and mathematics as the levels go up from class III to class VIII. This is in keeping with other national level education outcome surveys over the past 10 years or so.
As reported by TOI on Sunday, Kerala, Rajasthan and Karnataka are the top three respectively in the largestates category, while Punjab, J&K and UP are at the bottom at 18, 19 and 20, respectively.
States seem to have failed in mainstreaming a large number of identified out-ofschool children, with Kerala showing a 24.3 percentage point drop, and Punjab (18.8), Chhattisgarh (15.5), and Bihar (14.4) recording a big drop.
The index also has an “incremental ranking” and states to have significantly improved are Haryana, Assam and UP, though they have a lot of catching up to do in terms of overall ranking. Among smaller states the best ones are Manipur, Tripura and Goa, while the same is true for Daman & Diu, Dadra Nagar Haveli and Puducherry among UTs.
Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said: “This index brings an outcome focus to education policy. We’ve developed a platform to foster the spirit of competitive and cooperative federalism to facilitate sharing of knowledge and best practices across states and UTs.”
The states’ education system were assessed based on outcomes—lear ning, access, infrastructure and equity.