The right to Education is guaranteed as a fundamental right in India. Earlier only being a directive principle of state policy, it was in 86th amendment 2002, inserted in the constitution as Part 3 as fundamental right. It is called as Right for Children to free and compulsory education from the age of 6 to 14 years.
Ever since Independence, our Education system in India has evolved many times. From teaching in Gurukul and Ashrams to well-developed modern Schools and Colleges. Government made National Education Policy in 1968 (on recommendation of Kothari Commission) and then revised in 1986. The policy called facilities in Schools and recruitment of teachers, to ensure children get adequate resources, more no. of school to be opened.
Illiteracy is however, still prevalent in India and shocking only 74.04% of people are literate on record. This means 1/4th of the country is running illiterate. As a result there are setbacks and hindrances in growth of country. There have been certain steps to give better Education to children by Schemes like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) implemented by Ministry of Human Resource and Development (HRD). The mission works for bigger infrastructure, funding for books, bags, uniform and services for poor and underprivileged kids.
Another initiative in the direction is Mid-Day Meal Scheme. It is a Scheme as National Programme for Nutritional Benefit of Children in Primary Classes. The Mid-day Meal Scheme provides nutritious meal to kids in lunch for free in Class 1-8th. But it also faces issues like poor food quality and lack of Supervision.
The status of Higher Education in India is also not very good. Many top colleges & Universities in World are autonomous but in India they are dependent on Central or State funding. This leaves them vulnerable to political machinations.
IIT’s and IIM’s have made some brilliant strides in imparting quality education but all is not well there too. Many colleges in states like Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, etc. are nothing more than degree-factories.
3 year or 4 year B.Tech, B.Com programmes are failing to give job opportunities. So, it is time for government to pickup the slack and become strict. AICTE & UGC also need to update their syllabus, curriculum and medium of teaching in accordance with latest technology.
Good teachers and professors coupled with the will of the administration and right amount of proactive scheme funding can lead to eradication of illiteracy in India. Only then, the vicious cycle of poverty, illiteracy and joblessness can be stopped and more employment and skill generation will come into effect.