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). Universal retention in education means that all children should complete their education or else, the objectives of universalization of education will remain unfulfilled.
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.”
Steps for Universalization of Education
Some major steps taken by the government for universalization of education are:
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.
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.
Sarvarva 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.
Importance of Universal Retention in Education
The importance of universal retention in education are as follows:
Increases National Productivity
Universalization of education leads to the literacy of more citizens which fosters the productivity of the nation.
Spreads Mass Literacy
Literacy is the basic criterion of economic development and universalization of education will facilitate mass literacy.
Through the universalization of education, the equality of all citizens can be fostered.
The competence of the average worker is increased through the universalization of education.
Fosters National Development
Education is a must for a country to develop and thrive and through the universalization of education, more citizens can be educated.
Effective Democratic Functioning
India is a democratic country and when everyone receives equal education opportunities, the democratic institution can function effectively.
Through the universalization of education, more citizens can gain opportunities and develop efficiently.
These are the various reasons why the universal retention of learners in education is extremely important for Indian citizens.