Primary Education in India

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Since 2001, India’s Education for All program has brought nearly 20 million kids into primary schools. India is now trying to improve the quality of primary/elementary education as well as improve access, equity, and excellence in secondary education. Almost two decades of basic education programs have expanded access to schools in India. Today, Indias Education for All program Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan – panders to some 200 million kids living in over a million habitations throughout the country, making it among the most extensive primary education programs in the world. Since 2001, this program has brought nearly 20 million kids into primary school.

Remarkably few nations can parallel this impressive performance. Twenty four of India’s states have already reached universal primary enrollment, and several others are approaching it. The majority of the newly enrolled kids are first generation learners from extended deprived communities or kids with specific needs. There are more girls in schools now- there are 93 girls for every 100 boys in primary school compared to only 90 in the year 2001. World Bank Group – Universalizing good quality primary education – Having improved access, India is now seeking to enhance the quality of education provided and improve levels of learning.

Almost all these kids belong to marginalized communities or live in far-flung rural villages. The nation is also seeking to ensure that all members are retained in school until they complete their elementary education. Expanding secondary education and improving quality – Secondary Education is crucial to improve India’s competitiveness in a rapidly globalizing world. But, for this, all Indias kids will need to be equipped with at least ten years of schooling. This is the minimum level of education required to secure the jobs in the future, the tasks which will power India’s growth.

Nevertheless, today, while more than 95 percent of India’s kids attend primary school, less than 50% of 16-year-olds complete Class 10. That is a significant loss for a nation which will soon have the largest and youngest workforce the world has ever seen. The government is now actively working to bring 90 percent of the country’s 50 million secondary age kids into school by 2017. To accomplish this goal, curriculum and teaching practices will need to be updated to impart more relevant skills, like reasoning skills, problem-solving, learning-to-learn, and critical and independent thinking. Since this is a massive task for the public sector alone, public-private partnerships will have to be enlarged to tap into the potential offered by the 60 percent of secondary schools that are privately managed in India. Since 2000, the World Bank has committed over $2 billion to education in India.

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