Challenges faced by Government schools

  • Infrastructure issues:
    • Most of them do not have proper infrastructure like class rooms, black boards, drinking water, toilets and sanitary facilities.
    • The school environment is so suffocating that the students are dissuaded from attending the classes which is why the dropout rate is also high.
    • Almost half the government schools in the country do not have electricity or playgrounds.
    • There is slow progress in building classrooms, labs and libraries to strengthen government higher secondary schools.
    • The secondary and higher secondary level government schools do not have adequate capacities, so the net enrolment falls, especially girls, sharply beyond the primary level.
  • Budgetary and expenditure issues:
    • 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.
    • Overall, for the core Samagra Shiksha Scheme, the department had only spent 71% of revised estimates by December 31, 2019.
  • Poor quality of education:
    • Several reports suggest that nearly 70% of students studying in government schools are ill-equipped to learn in the class they are admitted to.
    • The private schools offer an enhanced teaching experience, better student-teacher ratio, efficient learning methodologies, and superior infrastructure, thus driving parents away from government schools.
  • Teacher issues:
    • 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.
    • Teachers’ professional development is a very weak area in government schools.
    • Almost half the regular teacher vacancies are filled by guest or ad hoc teachers.
    • Nearly, 95% of teacher education is in private hands and most of it is substandard.
    • Absenteeism of teachers in these schools is very high. Even though they are paid a much higher salary than the teachers in private schools, they cheat the government and fail to discharge their duties as teachers. And sadly, no action is being taken to prevent this.
  • Poor implementation of RTE Act:
    • Barely 15% of the schools can be called compliant with the RTE.
    • Section 29 of the RTE explains what kind of education every child has a right to. There is no government school that is complying with that, including elite schools.
  • Corruption:
    • The officers in the education department, being ‘managed,’ file false reports about the working conditions of schools.
    • Political interference and patronage shield the corrupt and incompetent.
  • Perception of private schools:
    • People feel there are not enough teachers in government schools, or the schools may not be functioning regularly.
    • They get carried away by the notions of a branded private school, even though it may not have good teachers.
    • Also, private schools’ brand themselves as English medium and it is most imperative for children’s education.
  • Patriarchal norms and gender bias:
    • According to the ASER report by Pratham in 2020, parents prefer private schools for education of boys while girl students are primarily sent to government schools to get basic education.
    • The ASER 2019 report states that parents exhibit a unique bias when it comes to selection of schools for their children.
    • The report shows that parents are more likely to opt for a private school when selecting a school for boys while government schools are primary choice of parents when it comes to girl’s education.