The poor condition of education in the far-flung and backward areas across the country can be gauged with the fact that it is not at par with the standards even in national capital Delhi. Worsening situation is that number of students continues to grow while quantum of schools is unlikely to increase. The schools have huge shortage of teachers. At a time when neither enough schools nor adequate numbers of teachers are in the country, it is not impossible to understand that how are the schools functioning? Delhi immediately needs 100 schools and 8000 teachers. But the government is unlikely to take steps in this regard. Given the following facts, it is worthless to talk about quality education in the government schools. The Centre as well as states has given priority to the education for all. How it will be possible, is a moot point.

Education for all is essential. For this not only law was made but efforts were also made to spread awareness among the masses. It’s clearly reflecting that people became aware in providing education to their children. Everybody wants to provide quality education to his/her children. They want to give education to their children by cutting budget for other needs. However, the pace of literacy is not up to the mark. Lots of children can be seen weaning garbage on the roads, cleaning plates at dhabas and engaging in hazardous works. Children with begging bowl can easily be seen around Delhi and NCR areas. Majority of children are those whose parents are not in a position to provide education to them. Such parents cannot send their children to the government schools as their children are the bread winner of the family.

Despite weak economic condition of people, the condition of schools in the country continues to get worse. The Ashok Ganguli Committee report says that not more than 45 students should be in a class. This standard is practical. It is not possible for any teacher to pay proper attention to over 45 children. But the ground reality is that 60-100 children are pursuing education in a single class. Due to scarcity of buildings, class cannot be carved into sections as the move will need extra class rooms. Therefore, students are not getting proper education in such situation. It will make adverse effect on the quality of education. Whatever the result is being shown, the truth is that the quality of education is on the wane. That is why, those parents who are in a position to bear the cost of providing quality education, do not want to send their wards to the government schools. We have already witnessed the failure of draconian education system in the modern country. It has been repeatedly said that this system has failed to improve creative skills among the children. That’s why the efforts are being made for commercialization of education which led to cropping up separate type of educational institutions in the country. Such institutions were expected to impart technical education on the minimum cost. But all the students are not in a position to get technical education. They need to acquire some basic education to the certain level before joining technical stream. After completing 10th or 12th , the students can be enrolled for technical education. The million dollar question is that if the facility for getting quality education is not available up to class 10th 12th, what steps will take the children for technical education. The question arises that he can do nothing after getting formal education.     

Quality education should be provided so that children can understand whatever they have learnt is of immense importance in their life. They should be competent enough to take right decision for the upliftment of the society. It can only be possible when the role of teachers should not be limited only to provide certificate after completing the courses but the system should be overhauled. The teachers should keep in contact with the children so that they can sustain their life. Teacher should make contact with every child and promote them. The entire exercise will take long time and huge resources. It cannot be possible in the classes having children 60-100. 

It became clear that such system of education, which is based on reciting some lessons, is of no importance. Memory without fundamental ideology has no utility. The education is useful only when it can bring positive changes in the life and society. For this, it is essential that the efforts should be made for quality education. There is huge shortage of teachers and schools in the country. If we cannot make arrangement today, how can it be possible in future? Therefore, concrete project should be prepared and adequate number of new teachers and schools should be ensured to meet the target.

(The author is Resident Editor of Haryana, Punjab, and Himachal Pradesh editions of Dainik Jagran)