The nation with the second largest population struggles with education on a countrywide level. The bitter truth is that India is still seen as a land of farmers and uneducated across the world, and somewhere deep down the line, it is the stark reality as well. Over 7 decades have passed already that the colonial rule of East India Company ended, yet the countrymen have failed to achieve the target of making India a developed nation. The lack of education plays one of the most crucial roles in pulling the country back and pushing it down the list of underdeveloped/developing nations.
Article/ Schedule 45 of Directive Principles of State Policy – Constitution of India, speaks of providing free education from 1958, “The State shall endeavour to provide, within a period of ten years from the commencement of this Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years.” Yet, the condition of India is nothing, but worsening with every passing year.
On searching the literacy rate of India, Googleshows that it is 74.04% and Wikipedia further defines the growth of literacy rate and reaching 79.31% as per the 2011 census. While the use of word growth offers respite, the ground reality is further bitters up as 2014 data shows a terrible decrease of up to 10% as the Literacy rate of India plummets to 69.1%, as per the report shared by MHRD.
With such an inverse trajectory, the literacy rate is expected to fall further, owing to the uneducated masses increasing with time and involuntarily adding anchors to the slowly sailing nation. Starting from high end donations in private and public institutions, to education getting costlier day by day, not only in private, but government institutions as well, has stirred the population. This is creating an uproar across the country, where people are opposing the fee hike and asking for controlling the cost of education, at least in the government-run institutions.
With a child reaching the age to receive formal education, the question to choose a private or public school arises. Generally, people choose private over public ones, considering the quality of education provided, but the donations to enter such schools nearly empties bank accounts of middle-class sector. This goes hand in hand with high fee structure and additional costs for extra-curricular activities, year after year. All such situations combined makes it troublesome for parents to maintain the education for their children. Further, for the lower income group, the idea of studying in a private school is quite alien and the standard of education in public schools varies from state to state.
In order to control this, the state and central government requires to keep a check on how private schools are charging the parents, furthermore, maintain the quality of education across public schools. With this being taken case of, the generations to come will be of well-educated and intellectual beings.
Is there something individuals can do? As per the Census of India, a person aged seven or above, who can read and write, is literate. The least to do is to volunteer in different education programs, organized by the government, NGOs or private bodies and further help making people literate. As per the Chaos theory, a single step forward today will create ripples of the size of Tsunami, all in a positive sense. So, a literate today, is a strengthening pillar for the nation in the future to come. With this being followed, there is much more to do and work upon. The aim is not to cut down on education funds or bring down the costs of education, but to bring free education for all.