We asked prominent voices in education—from policy makers and teachers to activists and parents—to look beyond laws, politics, and funding and imagine a utopian system of learning. They went back to the drawing board—and the chalkboard—to build an educational Garden of Eden. We’re publishing their answers to one question each day this week. Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.
While the government is in the process of implementing the new education policy, PRS Legislative Research has compiled data collected through various sources – district information system for education (DISE), statistics of higher and technical education 2012, national facts and figures, rashtriya madhyamik shiksha abhiyan (RMSA), key indicators of social consumption in India education, NSS 71st round.
India has a reading crisis. Year after year, the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) highlights that more than half of the students in government schools are unable to read text books of lower grades. It is important to note this is the measure of their reading ability in their first language of instruction. Given the plethora of languages in India it is also important to remember students quite often are being instructed in a language that is not their mother tongue. English, an aspiration for most, is obviously a greater challenge for these students.
As per ASER 2014, in middle school only a fourth of the students could read a simple English sentence and, a large number of those who could read did not comprehend what they were reading.
Asia’s Most Innovative Universities, a list by the the top news Agency that identifies educational institutions has been announced and India’s report card isn’t a very rosy one. India, World’s second largest in population lacks big time in the education sector and the recent list just sealed it.