Partha Acharjee

The ball comes to the bat and the batsman hits a six. This may be the idea of cricket to those who might have just watched the game but never played it. Those who play or played it, know hitting a sixer is not so easy as it looks from far. It is in fact the outcome of long tireless practice and hard diligence. But with the education policy makers of india since its inception it seems to be just an easy game of fixing some rules and regulations and then trying to fulfill them without going to the root (perhaps keeping eyes shut because of  helplessness!) of the cause behind the dismal condition of the nation's education scenario.If we look on the education  policies going to be implemented( as the reports say) we hardly find any exceptions this time too.

It is not  yet clear why the new education policy is giving so much emphasis on so much discussed "India Centric" education.Draft Education  Policies itself declared that the main five objectives of the present education policies are 1.Access 2.Equity 3.Quality 4.Affordability 5.Accountability (Ref: DRAFT EDUCATION POLICY, 2019 ). Needless to say these five factors are the most essential factors for developing education system as well as the educational scenerio of a nation and they are strongly interlinked with each other. But when the question of 'affordability' comes what do we see at present? A simple look on the ministry of human resource department's facts and datas ( will reveal the dark truth that nearly 80% of Indians have never completed school education to step into the higher education since independence! Datas there reveal that in India if 100 students take admission at the primary level, it becomes around 60% in 9th standard and comes down to around 20% (23.4 according to MHRD) in higher education. Any inquizitive or uninquizitive mind would be eager to know where do the rest of 80% students go to? And it is not needed to become a Sherlock Holmes to trace them. They are easily available as labourers in factories, shops, or houses of the rich. Interestingly the admission ratio or the general enrolment ratio (GER) in higher education could cross 20% not due to collective average of the states but due to higher averages of some particular states or union territories like Chandigarh (57.6%), Delhi (45.4%), Tamil nadu (44.6%), etc. Otherwise the ratio of enrolment in higher education would have been more less! Naturaly two questions arise- 1. Why do these indian children leave education in the middle and go for earning?  2. If almost 80% of Indian students leave education in the middle then for whom are those decorumfull education policies, future plans etc. etc! Informations provided by MHRD give us the clear answer that all these decorum and policies and arrangements and etc. etc are just only for those 20% learners of the nation who need not leave education in the middle due to poverty or other socio-economic reasons (among this 20 %, a tiny percentage may be from poor sections of the society who fight an unequal battle to shine with the machineries of education but they are so less in number that they may be easily called exceptions). Our Government may reasonably boast of providing mid-day-meal, books, bicycles etc. free of cost to the students but we cannot deny the fact that these are not enough to continue one's study upto college level because even to efford the expenses of cost free education one need to cost much. Moreover they think why should they waste their hard laboured income behind their kid's education when they know that such education never give the guarantee of income to their kids? This simple arithmatic is known yo even illiterate indians because experience have taught them to realise this uselessness of academic learning.

That what can solve this grave crisis of nation's education system is,perhaps giving more emphasis on vocational education which has been largely ignored in our country since independence. At present only 5% studends, according to MHRD, belonging to the age of 19 to 24 are getting educated in vocational education in India while it is 52% in USA, 72% in Germany, 96% in South Korea .Perhaps, It is more important to concentrate on vocation based education which can at least give some monetary returns and while doing so it is not so important whether it would be India centric or China Centric or America Centric! What is needed most, as the post independence educational scenerio demands, it must be indian poverty centred. If not ,then the present trend of leaving schools  much before the completion of even school curriculam will perhaps go on increasing instead of decreasing. And it will push forward the same but eternal question to Indian education system years after years -"We can read but why should we?"   (The writer is PGT (ENG) and Hnry. Parichalak of education page of The Dainik Sambad)

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