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The poor state of elementary education in Jharkhand

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education


Source: Economic Times, Indian Express

Context: Following the pandemic, attendance of students in Jharkhand schools dropped to 58 per cent at the upper primary level and 68 per cent at the primary level, according to a survey ‘Gloom in the Classroom: The Schooling Crisis in Jharkhand’ conducted by Gyan Vigyan Samiti Jharkhand.


The report, prepared by economist Jean Dreze and researcher Paran Amitava slammed “decades of state apathy” towards education in the state and said it was “both a mistake and an injustice”.


Key findings of the report:

  • The survey showed that underprivileged and tribal children were left abandoned by the Education Department.
  • Out of the 138 schools surveyed for the report, 20 per cent had a single teacher.
  • At 55 per cent, para-teachers (teachers who are not qualified to teach) accounted for the majority of teachers at the primary level in these schools. At the upper-primary level, the figure was 37 per cent.
  • Not one of the schools surveyed had a functional toilet, electricity, or water supply.
  • Around 66 per cent of the primary schools had no boundary wall, 64 per cent did not have a playground and 37 per cent had no library books.
  • The majority of the teachers said that the school did not have adequate funds for the midday meals


Issues prevailing in the Education sector:

  • Inadequate government Funding: The country spent 3% of its total GDP on education in 2018-19 according to the Economic Survey.
  • Pandemic impact
  • Digital Divide
  • Quality of Education: Only 16% of children in Class 1 can read the text at the prescribed level, while almost 40% cannot even recognize letters.
  • Lack of infrastructure
  • Inadequate teachers and their training
  • Huge dropout numbers


Way Forward

  • Experiential Learning Approach
  • Implementation of National Education Policy
  • Education-Employment Corridor
  • Reducing the Language Barrier


Some Government Initiatives Related to Educational Reforms:

  • Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
  • Mid-Day Meal Scheme
  • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao
  • PM SHRI Schools


Insta Links:

Initiatives to boost Education Sector


Mains Link: UPSC 2016

Q. Professor Amartya Sen has advocated important reforms in the realms of primary education and primary health care. What are your suggestions to improve their status and performance?


Prelims Link: UPSC 2012

Which of the following provisions of the Constitution of India have a bearing on Education?

    1. Directive Principles of State Policy
    2. Rural and Urban Local Bodies
    3. Fifth Schedule
    4. Sixth Schedule
    5. Seventh Schedule

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3, 4 and 5 only

(c) 1, 2 and 5 only

(d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Solution: C – 1, 2, and 5 only