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Status of Govt. Schools

Topics Covered: Issues related to education.

Status of Govt. Schools

What to study?

For Prelims: Funding for govt schools under various schemes and schemes associated.

For Mains: Concerns expressed by the report and ways to address them.

Context: The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development (HRD) recently submitted its report on the 2020-2021 demand for grants for school education to the Rajya Sabha. In this report, the committee has made various observations on state of government schools in India.

What is the state of government schools?- Findings by the panel:

  1. Almost half the government schools in the country do not have electricity or playgrounds.
  2. The budgetary allocations saw a 27% cut from proposals made by the School Education Department. Despite proposals for ₹82,570 crore, only ₹59,845 crore was allocated.
  3. There is slow progress in building classrooms, labs and libraries to strengthen government higher secondary schools.
  4. Overall, for the core Samagra Shiksha Scheme, the department had only spent 71% of revised estimates by December 31, 2019.
  5. India is also dealing with a scenario of significant teacher vacancies, which are to the tune of almost 60-70 per cent in some states.

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Need of the hour- key recommendations:

  1. Core schemes should get additional funds at the revised estimates stage.
  2. HRD Ministry should collaborate with the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme to construct boundary walls.
  3. It should also work with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to provide solar and other energy sources so that schools have access to power.

Why reforms are necessary?

The learning crisis is evident in the fact that almost half of the children in grade 5 in rural India cannot solve a simple two-digit subtraction problem, while 67 per cent of children in grade 8 in public schools score less than 50 per cent in competency-based assessments in mathematics.

The Delhi Model of Education:

For too long, there have been two kinds of education models in the country: one for the classes and another for the masses. The AAP government in Delhi sought to bridge this gap.

Its approach stems from the belief that quality education is a necessity, not a luxury. Hence, it built a model which essentially has five major components and is supported by nearly 25% of the State Budget.

Key components of the model:

  1. Transformation of school infrastructure.
  2. Training of teachers and principals.
  3. Engaging with the community by reconstituting school management committees (SMC).
  4. Curricular reforms in teaching learning.
  5. No fee increase in private schools.

Insta Link:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Samagra Shiksha Scheme.
  2. Various schools run by the Centre including Navodaya, Morarji Desai etc.
  3. Special schools set for ST children.
  4. Overview of the Delhi Model of Education.

Mains Link:

Comparable to the role of a thermometer in diagnosing fever, an assessment of the quality of teacher education can be a status check on the schooling system. Comment.

Sources: the Hindu.