FICCI Arise Analyses Indian School Education after 71 years of Independence

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Bangalore: As India completes 71 years of Independence, FICCI Arise a collegium of members representing various facets of the education ecosystem takes the opportunity to analyze the progress our country has made in the school education system. While India has made significant strides in providing education to its citizens, which is evident from the considerable rise in our literacy rate that has increased from 12 % to 75%, there is a growing need for the Government to increase its education spends. India’s per capita (PPP basis) spend on education is US$500, which is about 4 times less than the average per capita spend of upper middle-income countries. Countries like Finland, Singapore and US are making huge investments in R&D and Innovation and leading the global K-12 space.

Prabhat Jain, Chairman, FICCI Arise says, “The Education system of a nation plays most vital role in nation building, not just for current generation but generations to come. India of 21st century is young, ambitious, aspirational and eager to bridge the gap with developed economies. It is poised to be a global power in this century and in order to achieve this dream, it is necessary that the academic ecosystem facilitates quality education”.

Prabhat adds, “In last few decades ‘need for imparting quality education; has rapidly changed into ‘demand for quality education’. This demand has led to more and more students opting for self-financed institutions. Today over 43% of school students are enrolled in self-financed independent educational institutions’’.

There is a need to devise commercially viable PPP models to attract private sector to come forward and run government schools with sufficient autonomy to innovate and run sustainable operations. Such a model should have requisite measurables’ to assess the improvement and impact. FICCI ARISE and the Government of Haryana have jointly launched Project Hum Saarthi, a programme to catalyze quality transformations in the government school system. The programme is launched with a vision to help every child to actualize his/her potential where they can contribute in nation building.

Mr. Manit Jain, Co-Chair, FICCI Arise said “21st century classrooms require 21st century teachers who can take up the role of mentoring and as a learning facilitator; we need to rightfully glorify and make teaching one of the most noble and aspired professions. We must ensure adequate training and development for teachers to improve quality of education. Such Motivated teachers should be rendered a modern day working environment with independence for experimentation and innovation.”

There is a strong need to uplift our education system which is embedded in rote learning to a place that fosters creativity, analytical thinking, problem solving in learners, our system requires rethinking the traditional education model and adopting cutting edge teaching practices. There is a need to reimagine the existing heavily regulated and restrictive system to one that provides an enabling and facilitative policy framework that not only incentivizes and promotes good performers and challenges low performers. This enabling framework should promote the highest standards of governance and transparency based on principles of self-regulation. Lastly, there is a need to create a credible third-party rating system that can be used to classify schools into different categories based on a variety of input and output measures.

Ms. Shobha Mishra Ghosh, Assistant Secretary General, FICCI said “In the journey of last 90 years, FICCI has witnessed the evolution of the Indian economy from pre-independence to post independence, from the plan era to liberalization, from a closed economy to a vibrant global player. Through all these times, we have continued to support all our stakeholders towards making India a fountainhead of all the activities which lead to human development. We continue to envisage this growth trajectory where today’s learners will rewrite the story of new India”.