In a country, education is the foremost and dominant sector which needs proper emphasis for the growth of the nation. The government both central and state plays a significant role in looking after the quality of education which is being provided in all the educational institutions. It is a herculean task for the concerned authorities to set up policies which supports the enhancement of pedagogical ways. According to the latest literacy rate rank report all around the world, India stands at 159 position which is a clear indication of the fact that we need to push the envelope to get better results in terms of education. Kerala has the highest literacy rate of 93.91% and the least literate state of all is Bihar with 63.82%.
Government of India is not lagging behind but is giving its best by implementing various policies to carve a nation which is literate and educated. It is important that we look at how these governmental policies are giving aid to create a better ecosystem for learning. They are carrying out various measures by adopting latest technology or providing pedagogical tools for the holistic development of students.
The Central and State governments have taken various measures in enforcement of policies at national and state level. Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) is in charge of providing appropriate educational resources and Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) is the highest authority to direct both governments in drafting out new policies.
What role does central government play in bringing out the best in education sector?
It plays an eminent role in the advancement of education and always keeps an eye on formulating educational policies and programmes. The most remarkable one is National Policy on Education (NPE) which was initiated under the PV Narasimha Rao government and the Programme of Action (POA), 1986 but it came into action in 1992. In recent years, the government is also engaged in bringing out amendments in the process of formulating new education policies which is supposed to incorporate latest technologies and is a great move towards improvement of education.
The revised policies anticipate to bring about uniformity in education, give access to quality in elementary education, setting up of schools like Navodaya Vidyalayas in every district and giving importance to vocational courses in secondary education. The government also executes its functions through various functionaries such as NCERT, UGC, central universities, central schools etc. It also plays a small part in funding to some state-initiated programmes.
Responsibilities of State Governments:
State government bears the responsibility of elementary education. It also has various training centres in fields of administration, industry, commerce, medicine, engineering, agriculture etc to train people for different career opportunities and the government has maintained setting up a large number of higher secondary schools, industrial and technical institutes, poly techniques colleges and universities. Teachers are trained to become available to these institutions.
State has its own prescribed syllabus for study and they have exclusively set up guidelines for the duration of the course, working days and hours, vacations etc. They appoint bodies to discuss on the aspects of educational activities in the State. These committees propose various methods to strengthen the quality of education.
Now, let’s put some light on the policies launched by the government.
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) It was initiated in around 2000 or 2001 which promised to provide elementary education to all the children in spite of caste creed or gender. This came into effect with a thought to bridge gender gap and increase the quality of education. The initiative positively impacted in starting up of new schools, construction of classrooms and washrooms and providing free textbooks and uniforms to children. The RTE 2009 furthered the scope of SSA.
Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDMS) Food is not a luxury but a necessity for every living being. The central government launched a scheme called National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NP-NSPE) on 15th August, 1995 with an aim to improve nutritional levels among children. Another scheme was also introduced under this programme which is called cooked mid-day meal scheme, it guaranteed to serve minimum of 300 calories of energy and 8-12 gram of protein every day to students.
Mahila Samakhya programme:A scheme which strongly gives out the idea of the importance of female education in the society. A great move towards women empowerment which clearly highlights the contributions that a woman can make towards building up a powerful nation. A country without an eye for women empowerment is a country doomed to fail.
Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) Its main focus was on improving the condition of backward areas. The scheme promised to give access to basic facilities in school such as libraries, washrooms, extra classrooms, drinking water etc.
Vocational courses in secondary schools:An initiative by the centre with a motive to increase skilled courses which would in turn increase the chances of employment.
Cashless Campaign: The removal of 500s and 1000s notes in 2016 by the Modi government resulted in the introduction of cashless payment in schools by the then HRD minister Prakash Javedkar. This helped parents to pay fees of their wards through online mode.
No Detention Policy:The HRD ministry revised the old policy of all promotion of children from 5th grade to 8th grade. The new policy demanded students to clear their exams in order to get promotion to next class.
Training in abroad for government school teachers Delhi government made public about providing teacher’s training in abroad so that those practices could be implemented here with a better scope for enhancement.
The policies state that there is some hope and scope to upgrade the quality of education. If the resources are utilised to their fullest and prescribed norms are followed properly, there is a chance for our nation to raise the bar
Founder & Consultant - School Serv
Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.