A teacher has to start where children are, not where the teacher wish they are. This is the thought that comes in the mind first when I go through the ASER (Annual State of Education Report) every year.
According to the ASER 2016, the proportion of all children in Class V who can read a Class II level textbook is 47.8%. This means every other student is unable to read something meant for someone three classes below.
Similarly, ASER 2017 again shows a gloomy picture of Indian school education.
The report shows that learning deficits carry forward as 14 to 18-year-olds go from being adolescents to young adults.
Unlike the last 12 years when it focused on students in elementary school, this time ASER teams went beyond basics and surveyed students on activity in schools, ability to solve problems, exposure, awareness, and aspirations across 28 districts in 24 states to gauge the ability of adolescents aged 14-18 years to lead productive lives as adults.
The above findings are disappointing and point towards a larger problem.
To give a massive push to promote literacy and quality education, since two decades, many initiatives have been taken by the Central government like Right to Education Act, 2009, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA). And, now the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (merger of SSA and RMSA).
These schemes have helped in reducing illiteracy among primary and secondary schools but the above reports depict that the challenges still persist. Several states in the north and center of the country still lag the rest.
But what are the bottlenecks which restrain government schools to achieve the quality level of education which only private schools are providing so far?
Let’s have a look at some of the issues which I have observed