August 29, 2016

The Quality of Quantity and the Broken State of Education

In this New Indian Express article, Shankkar Aiyer, Visiting Fellow at IDFC Institute, speaks about the underperformace of the county's education system and provides solutions to remedy this. Excerpts from the article can be read below:


"For decades, governments in India have taken refuge in the alley of alibis—about diversity, complexity and scale. And even lack of resources. Thailand and Indonesia, much smaller economies with lesser resources, have shamed India with literacy rates of 94 per cent and 84 per cent, way before the dawn of the new millennium. As for scale, China in the 1980s had a literacy rate higher than India has today. That this is not an issue of resources is better proved by the Kerala model. In every decade, Kerala has outdone not just India but also China. The causal reasons for the flailing state of education are many —from the rather casual approach of political class to complex issues that determine learning. That said, the failures of the past decade dictate exit from the business as usual mindset. The first principle must be to fix the structural flaws —for the Centre to facilitate autonomy of policy for states, which translates into facilitation to achieve learning outcomes. The states on their part too must enshrine autonomy to local governments with a similar objective. The aspiration of Reform, Perform and Transform is a noble intent. Education would be a good place to start. Shanmugaratnam observed that the Modi Sarkar is batting on a good wicket. He urged the government to graduate from singles and hit boundaries. The advice to eschew incrementalism and  adopt radical change to achieve transformation is well-intentioned and well-timed."


The article can be read here.

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