India is one of the fastest developing economies across the globe. Over the last many years, post-independence, the state’s role towards its citizens has changed and transformed into a combination of a welfare state and a night-watchman state.
- 1 India’s education policy
- 2 The Kothari Commission (1964)
- 3 National Policy of Education (1986)
- 4 Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
- 5 Right to Education Act (RTE), 2009
- 6 Criticism of Education Policies of Central and State Government
India’s education policy
Education is a need emphasized by various theorists for the nation’s social and economic growth.
Some of the Indian educational policies of the state and central government are as follows:
The Kothari Commission (1964)
The Kothari Commission was an ad hoc commission formed by the Government of India under the Chairmanship of Daulat Singh Kothari on 14 July 1964 and dissolved on 29 June 1966. He was the chairman of the University Grants Commissions (UGC) when the Kothari Commission was formed. The Commission consisted of twenty members who were experts in the education domain and based out of the UK, USA, Japan, Sweden, and France.
The main objectives of the Kothari Commission (1964-66) were as follows:
- Provision of guidelines and policies for education development in India.
- Evolution and finding of a general education pattern in India.
- Examination of every aspect and domain of the Indian education system.
National Policy of Education (1986)
The main goal of NPE was to universalize elementary education through facilities such as quality education, trained teachers, adequate teaching and learning materials. It also took steps to remove inequality and discrimination based on social criteria.
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan is a flagship program started by the government of India in 2001. It was developed to achieve the Universalisation of Elementary Education (UEE). The provision of legal backing for SSA occurred when the Indian Constitution under Article 21 A, made free and compulsory education for the children in the age group of 6-14 a fundamental right in. In a time-bound manner, SSA aims to fulfill the objectives of this fundamental right. It is anchored by The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India (GoI) and has been operational since 2000-2001.
Right to Education Act (RTE), 2009
The Right to Education Act (RTE) is enacted to make the right to education a fundamental right in the country. It marks a watershed in the Indian education system and that is why it is essential legislation. In August 2009, Parliament passed the act and came into force in 2010. Following this, India became one among the 135 countries that have made education a fundamental right of every child.
Criticism of Education Policies of Central and State Government
Despite having a public expenditure of 351145.78 crores (4.18 percent of GDP) in the year 2011-2012, the educational policies of India have not yet fully achieved their outcomes. The problem of inequality in education persists in four different stages:
- Inequality in Educational Opportunity (IEO)
- Inequality in Educational Attainments (IEA)
- Inequality in Occupational Attainments (IOA)
- Inequality in Returns to Education (IRE)
There are many other hindrances in the functioning of these national policies which are as follows:
Ignorance by parents
Despite the government’s efforts to offer free and compulsory education, many people living in remote areas still ignore sending their children to school.
Lack of coordination
There is a lack of coordination between the local community and the educational institutions which leads to issues in universalizing elementary education.
An attitude of Indifference
There is an air of indifferent attitude by the higher authorities which leads to a lack of effort in the universalization of elementary education.
Lack of funds
There is an inadequacy of funds which leads to a lack of learning resources and materials.
Even though education may be free, there are still some expenses parents have to incur and those belonging to a poor social class may therefore refrain from sending their children to school.
Lack of resources
Even with the government’s provision of learning resources, it continues to be inadequate for quality education.
Lack of motivation
Those who belong to a poor socioeconomic economic background may not consider education to be important. They motivate their children to work instead of to become educated.
In the Social Choice Theory, Condorcet argued that education is an implied right in the constitution. He further stated,
“there is a need to make it a right as it will increase the competence of the participants in a society, leading to better and more reasonable outcomes.”
He also believed that improvement in the quality of education would lead to a better quality of inputs to the legislative process.