A country like India, rich in cultural diversities and pregnant with possibilities could focus on nurturing the resources for a sustainable future. Improvising the quality of education is an area of focus when considering the century ahead. Every girl and boy should be empowered to shape a positive change in a developing nation like India. Equitable education emphasises access to learning, the quality of learning, and global citizenship.
Unquestionably, education plays a pivotal role in determining how an individual should spend his/her adult life. Equity and quality in education speak for the elimination of personal or social considerations like gender, ethnicity, and family background obstacles that hinder an individual in receiving an education.
The architecture of educational systems can perpetuate original imbalances and have a detrimental influence on student motivation, leading to increased school dropouts. Making educational systems more equal helps disadvantaged students without hindering other students’ progress. A few points that help in promoting education or completing upper secondary education are as follows:
- Avoiding the repetition of grades
- To eliminate segregation and increased inequities, manage school choice.
- Making the financial strategies more responsive to student and school needs.
- To assure completion, create equal upper secondary education pathways.
When looking at the priorities in the Indian education system, there is a dire need for access to education with equity followed by quality education and global citizenship education.
Unfortunately, a million children in the middle school category do not attend school, or do not have access to any sort of academic education- the majority being girl children. The Indian education system must bring on changes to provide access with a focus on equity. Along with this, girl children, students from disadvantaged groups, and specially-abled children should be prioritised to receive an education.
Regardless of their backgrounds, every boy and girl in India should receive the fundamental right to an eight-year quality education that helps them acquire basic reading and numeracy, enjoy learning without fear, and feel included. One of the most pressing issues here is the quality of education.
Children should be entitled to learn the basics of reading as well as mathematics. Establishing more child-friendly schools where students are assured a physically safe, emotionally secure, and psychologically enabling environment must be taken into consideration. The RTE Act (Right to Education Act) states that the pupil-teacher ratio should be one teacher per thirty students for primary level, whereas it should be one teacher per every thirty-five students for upper primary level.
It is equally important to train teachers effectively, for the success of providing basic education to young children. Government teachers should be trained well and possess professional qualifications, skills, and the knowledge to bestow quality schooling. Fostering transformative teaching among students enables critical thinking and stimulates participation with local/global communities. This mainstreams a global citizenship education.
- To summarise how equity in education can be achieved in India, the following points derive advice to execute a bright future for future generations:
- Increase the enrolment and ensure retention of children from disadvantaged backgrounds through an improved identification system and guiding them into age-appropriate classes.
- Expanding quality early childhood education with basic reading, writing, speaking, and mathematical skills.
- Train teachers for inclusive education, especially for tutoring students with disabilities.
- Improve teacher learning outcomes.
- Ensure that schools have age-appropriate teaching/learning materials, and a proper school infrastructure.
- Promote the use of communication and technology to expand access, and improve the quality of learning.
- Improving sanitation infrastructure by providing separate toilets for boys and girls.
- Connecting schools with parents and communities should be kept a top priority.
It is a known fact that education systems that combine quality and equity yield the best results. All over the world, education policies need to be aligned with government policies like housing or welfare to ensure considerable student success. Knowledge is power, and gifting a child with it can give hope to a better future.