Education is an individual’s dynamic force and plays a highly influential role in a person’s mental, emotional, social, physical, creative, spiritual, and ethical development. It helps an individual to go through various experiences and implement these experiences in creating a meaningful life. According to Plato,
“Education is the capacity to feel pleasure and pain at the right moment; it develops in the body and in the soul of the student all the beauty and all the perfection which he is capable of.”
Universalization of elementary education refers to the enrollment, retention, and universal access to qualitative education for children up to the age of 14. Elementary education is a Fundamental Right. The provisions included in the Constitution of India emphasize offering elementary education to all children. Attempts by India to universalize elementary education (UEE) date back to the pre-independence period. This fostered the inclusion of the same under the Indian Constitution’s Directive Principles of State Policy under Article 45 (1950).
According to Article 45 of the Directive Principles of State Policy,
“The State shall endeavor to provide, within ten years from the commencement of the Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they attain the age of 14 years.”
Problems in the Universalization of Education
The problems in the universalization of education in India 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.
The government has been taking many measures to universalize education through programs such as Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Kothari Commission, and National Education Policy to name a few.