Educational Status in India

The Government of India has made sincere and constant efforts to enhance the literacy rate in the country. However, the literacy rate in India is still at a low of 74.37%. Although the literacy rate has increased substantially from 18% in 1950 to 74.37% in 2022, achieving a 100% literacy rate is still a distant dream. After going through this lesson, you will be able to understand the actual Educational Status in India and how to improve educational status in India.

The failure in achieving cent percent literacy rate can be attributed to a variety of factors including both structural and socio-economic conditions. The following are the important reasons consequent to which India is suffering from a low literacy rate.

Reasons for Poor Educational Status in India

Poor Educational Status in India (Reason#1)

Extreme poverty and huge drop-out rates: India, like any other underdeveloped country. Although its economy is growing, poverty is still a major challenge. However, poverty is on the decline in India. It has around 84 million people living in extreme poverty which makes up ~6% of its total population as of May 2021. Poverty is the cause and derivative of the low literacy rate. That is, on one hand, it obstructs one to acquire education and on the other hand, illiteracy pushes up the poverty level. In order to sustain a livelihood, people often engage themselves in marginal and low-paid casual jobs. These jobs not only make them more vulnerable but also impede them to be literate.

Poor Educational Status in India (Reason#2)

Gender biasness: In India, the male literacy rate is relatively much better than that of the females. The main reason for this difference is gender bias. Female education is accorded a secondary priority over male education in the same family. Often, it can be analyzed that the male child is sent to school at the cost of the female child. This has made women more vulnerable, thereby, undermining their social and economic status.

Poor Educational Status in India (Reason#3)

Lack of infrastructural development and facilities: India substantially lacks significant infrastructural development and facilities. The student-teacher ratio in primary education is as low as 26:1. This implies the availability of one teacher for 26 students. Further, the lack of a sufficient number of schools and colleges has further impeded the development of higher education in India.

Poor Educational Status in India (Reason#4)

High population growth rate: India has been experiencing an annual average population growth rate of O.95% as of 2022. This has not only resulted in a shortage of existing education facilities but also has simultaneously led to the rise in poverty rates. People, being ignorant, regard an additional child as an additional income-earning hand. Further, the preference for male children has further added to the high population growth rate.

Poor Educational Status in India (Reason#5)

Low women’s socio-economic status of women: The poor female literacy rate has lowered the socio-economic status of the women in India. The role of a literate mother cannot be neglected in the process of economic growth. A literate mother is more aware and can well take care of the education and health issues of her children.

Poor Educational Status in India (Reason#6)

Less educational provisions for underprivileged populations: There is a considerable portion of the underprivileged population such as ST, SC, OBC, and rural population. Although the Government of India has made special provisions and policies to provide education to them, this relatively falls short of the actual requirement.

Poor Educational Status in India (Reason#7)

Low government expenditure: According to the Education Commission, at least 6 percent of the GDP should be spent on education so as to improve the educational status. However, at present only about 4 percent of the GDP is being spent on education. Thus, the government expenditure falls short of what is actually required

How to Improve Education System in India

Although India has come a long way in terms of educational achievement, still a lot needs to be achieved. The following are the areas that require attention for improving the educational status of our country.

Universalization of education: Although the literacy rate in India has significantly increased, the absolute number of illiterates in India is still very high. In fact, the number of illiterates, today is equal to the total population of India at the time of independence.

There are many children who are either not enrolled in the school or even if enrolled, they drop out after some years. Emphasis should be laid on improving access to education for all. Various plans and policies focussing on education (such as free and elementary education, implementation of 2% education cess on the union taxes) must be formulated.

Improvement in gender equality: Access to education has always been lopsided towards India’s male population. Women have always been neglected in the field of education. The weaker and lower status of women in India can be attributed to the negligence of their education. However, the role of women in the economic and social spheres cannot be neglected in order to achieve overall economic development and growth. Therefore, there arises a need to promote women’s education.

The following are the important points that advocate in favor of promoting women’s education.

  • Women’s education is essential for improving their economic independence and economic feasibility.
  • Women’s education is important in order to raise the social and moral status of women.
  • It plays a significant role in maintaining a favorable fertility rate.
  • Health care of women and children can be enhanced with education imparted to women.
  • An educated woman can infuse good moral values and can impart quality education to her children.

Few beneficiaries of higher education: The number of people attaining higher education is very few. And even those who are having the access to higher education are unable to get jobs. This has resulted in the situation of educated unemployment. Unemployment among the educated population could be because of the lack of quality educational institutes. There arises a need to impart more technical, vocational, and job-oriented education.

Regional differences in education: There exists a wide difference across different states in terms of educational attainment. On one hand, we have Kerala with a 96.2% literacy rate, while on the other hand, we have Bihar with only a 69.8% literacy rate. Even the per capita expenditure on education differs from state to state.

Regulation of fee structure: Nowadays, privatization in education has increased. A number of private schools, colleges, and other educational institutes have opened up. Private players, guided by the profit motive, render education services at a high price. This has further widened the difference in the access to education by the rich and the poor. Government interference thus becomes necessary for regulating the fees structure and operations of private institutions.

Spread of awareness: Efforts should be made to increase awareness among people regarding the benefits of education. In addition to this, special programs and projects to check the growing difference between the Gross Enrolment Ratio and School Drop out Rate must be initiated.

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