Education is essential for India's dream of a "demographic dividend." In India, the average age is between 25 and 30 years, compared to over 30 years in nations like the United States, China, and Japan, therefore it is critical that we not only create jobs, but also provide the kids with a well-rounded education that will enable them compete for jobs in the future.
Education has three facets: those who provide it, such as teachers, those who receive it, such as students, and those who pay for it, such as parents. All three of the above facets have witnessed an unfavourable fallout in the recent past. To modernise colonial educational structures and make them relevant to today's world, a new approach is needed.
It received the president's approval on August 26, 2009, and went into effect on April 1, 2010. In India, girls were better educated than ever before, but the difference in average years of schooling widened. From 1.7 percent in 1990 to 4.7 percent in 2018, the average year of schooling for girls has tripled.
The gender gap in educational achievement between men and women widened from 2.5 to 3.5 years. The National Achievement Survey 2017, which surveyed 22 lakh pupils, found that males and girls in primary and secondary school have similar learning levels. The dropout rate for boys is higher in class one, at 6.88 percent, than for girls, at 6.38 percent, but this pattern reverses by class eight.
When we gained independence, the percentage of educated individuals, both boys and girls, were below 10%. It took over six decades to refocus our attention on education and raising India's literacy rate. The RTE celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2019 with a renewed focus on higher education and skill development. Because it is a basic right, it was also enforced under Article 21A. The following were a few of the policy's benefits:
Children between the ages of 6 and 14 years are to attend schools.
For SC, ST, and OBC students, there is a 25% reservation.
Because education is a state matter, the state takes on the role of patron, but the obligation is split between the centre and the state.
Furthermore, according to statistics, almost 3.3 million students were admitted with a 25% reserve. The government has created Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, an integrated school education programme that combines the following three programmes: Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, and a centrally supported teacher education programme. However, it had a number of flaws and disadvantages that needed to be addressed, including:
- RTE is mandatory for children aged 6 to 14, but in a country where the voting age is 18, compulsory education should have started at the age of four and continued until the age of eighteen. The New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is now addressing this issue.
- The majority of ASER reports revealed that there is no input in high-quality learning, hence RTE is mostly input-oriented.
- The numbers of RTE were given more weight than the quality of learning.
- Religious schools are not covered under RTE.
- Because there is a lack of quality, the emphasis should be on quality-oriented education rather than quantity-oriented education. Finally, society should encourage children to be educated without prejudice, bias, or discrimination.
- Society should encourage children to be educated without bias, prejudice, or discrimination.
We need to ensure that all young people are properly educated so that our hope of a demographic dividend does not turn into a demographic disaster. The NEP is a step in the right direction, but the process will continue to evolve, and current legislation will need to be properly implemented.