Government will have to take the challenges of school education seriously

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Education is the main basis for building a new India and a developed India, but the Annual Status of Education Report (Gramin) 2023 regarding India’s rural education is worrying and challenging. This survey has given a picture of the condition of school education and learning of students in rural India, it is important to pay attention to these disappointing conditions of rural education. This survey was conducted in 28 districts of 26 states and reached 34,745 youth. According to the facts and truth expressed by rural students, children in the age group of 14 to 18 years are not able to read up to second class level in their regional language. If this age group is not able to solve simple mathematics questions of class 3-4, then it cannot be considered a good situation. The preference of rural youth for arts subjects instead of science and technical subjects only shows neglect and indifference towards education. The problem is not mathematics or language, this backwardness in education in rural areas is not a new thing for our country. This challenge is big because despite the announcement of new education policy, its solution has not been found in the regular process of school education. Obviously, special efforts will have to be made, education will have to be given priority in rural and backward areas, otherwise this challenge is a darkness for the country which is moving on the path of becoming the third largest economy in the world.

It is also a matter of concern that there is a lot of talk in the new education policy, especially about the provision of comprehensive improvement in the quality of school education, tempting plans are being made, but their results are not visible on the ground. Is this exposing our policies or is there confusion in the thinking of the policy makers? What will we call it when children are not able to even do simple addition and subtraction in the education that teaches life’s multiplication and division? Not only this, even though there is a lot of talk about the expansion of school education, the facilities are inadequate or there is a lack in formulating the new education policy. It may also be possible that due to lack of resources and lack of competently trained teachers, we are not able to implement the new education policy effectively. Our goal of providing better education has gone astray somewhere.

In this survey report, children of both government and private educational institutions of the villages have been included. Not only this, more than 90 percent of the students included in this survey have used social media. Smart phones are being used more for entertainment and less for studies. It is clear that devices like mobile and computer are not being used positively for spreading education. Most of the boys and girls seem to be lagging behind in studies through computer or mobile. To change the situation, it is not only necessary to recruit trained teachers in schools, but it is also expected to make access to education easier in remote areas. The country and the world have faced the tremendous challenge of the Corona epidemic. Especially the education of children in rural areas had almost come to a standstill during the Corona period. At a time when children are already facing tough competition and challenges for higher education, keeping their foundation weak is worrying. The responsibility lies more with the governments, who still have a lot of work to do in this direction. Even though we are making progress in the direction of expanding educational institutions, it is clear that we have failed in imparting education through digital technology. Another special thing that has emerged in the survey is that rural youth are lagging behind in vocational training. Only 5.6 percent of the youth surveyed are taking vocational training. The same report also shows that about one-third of the children do not study beyond class 12th. In the case of boys, the biggest reason for drop out was lack of interest, while in the case of girls, family compulsion was found.

There are many challenges facing modern education today. While students are forced to leave studies midway due to various reasons, some students are even committing suicide due to not being able to face the challenges of education. Whereas it is a powerful means of changing our nature by continuously harmoniously developing our physical, mental, material and spiritual powers and abilities. We have forgotten these features of the ancient education system. In the education system that has been running since independence, schools had become a business rather than a mission. With a view to correcting this huge discrepancy, extensive brainstorming has been done in the current education policy, but its lack of impact is forcing us to think afresh on education. Even though it is hoped that the new education policy has the potential to remove these shortcomings and imperfections in education. But for this, modern education and teachers will have to be made mature from an overall perspective, only then the shortcomings of education will be removed and the new education policy will bring effective results. Like other arts, teaching is also an important art, a teacher is like an artist who creates a worshipable idol and a holistic personality by carving a rough stone. Only these teachers can prepare students to accept the challenges of complex education.

At present a lot of research is being done on teaching skills and teaching methods. Like a creator, a teacher can try to fill the void created by the society by building the future generation of the society, but if there is lack in his responsibility then he cannot be considered forgivable. True education culture is not based on engineers and technicians, but on teachers. Now teachers and education policy should move towards a revolutionary change. The real goal of teachers and education should now be achieved. Despite numerous specialties, till now the post of teacher was blurred. As Mahatma Gandhi had said – If one school is opened, a hundred jails will be closed. But the opposite has been happening. With the increase in the number of schools, the space in jails has become smaller. The number of jails is also increasing in the same proportion. It is clear that Macaulay’s education system and teachers are also responsible to some extent for the increase in violence and crimes. Lack of passion and enthusiasm among students towards education is a major flaw in the education policy. Education is not holistic in building the life of the students, that is why the educated and intelligent have been committing more crimes than the uneducated and foolish. The attitude of narrow-mindedness and jealousy is also a major reason for the incidents of tension, conflict and disintegration that have been occurring in family and social life. Personality conflict has also increased due to this reason. What is the reason that despite such errors in creating the new generation, the governments remained in Kumbhakarni sleep? Why are teachers not able to create a generation with all-round qualities? The reason for this is corrupt political thinking. Man has made amazing progress in knowledge and science. But there has been a decline in respect for one’s own life and that of others. There were many revolutions in thought, but there were very few revolutionary changes at the level of conduct. There is a lot of talk in the world about peace, non-violence and human rights, but the lack of proper conduct is glaring. Now, through the new education policy, right character, right thinking and right conduct should be developed, attraction towards education should be generated in rural areas, there will be a shadow on the development journey of India becoming a world leader and economic superpower of the world.

-Lalit Garg

(The author is a senior journalist and columnist)

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