Mumbai; February 06, 2013
Hon'ble Minister Shri. Jitin Prasada releases the 11th India Infrastructure Report: Private Sector in Education
February 6, 2013, New Delhi: IDFC’s annual publication, the India Infrastructure Report 2012: Private Sector in Education, was released by Shri. Jitin Prasada, Union Minister of State, Human Resource Development, in New Delhi today. This report is the result of the IDFC Foundation’s collaborative approach towards providing a forum for free, frank and open exchange of views necessary to arrive at innovative and workable solutions across various infrastructure sectors that would find acceptance among various stakeholders. It is the outcome of the efforts of academics, researchers and experts, and is widely disseminated. Eleventh in the series, since 2001, the India Infrastructure Report 2012 continues to be a momentous collaboration aiming to provide pragmatic solutions to overcome challenges on various facets around the central theme in the infrastructure space.
Education is central to India’s growth and socio-economic development. An educated population not only drives economic growth but also has a positive impact on health and nutrition. India’s population has a large young age population, which implies a massive addition to working age population over the next couple of decades. This on the one hand gives India an enormous opportunity to reap the benefits of demographic dividend, but could also result in social disaster unless harnessed well. Sadly, the education sector in India today is galore of contradictions. It is a matter of grave concern that children are enrolled in schools, but are not learning. Parents are increasingly voting with their feet to seek private inputs – school and tuition – for their children. Children drop out from secondary school, and those that complete it have poor conceptual knowledge. Higher education is over-regulated and under-governed, keeping away serious private operators and reputed global institutes. Graduates from high school and college/university are not employable and nobody wants to pay for skill development. The India Infrastructure Report 2012 discusses challenges in the education sector — elementary, secondary, higher, and vocational — and explores strategies for constructive change and opportunities for the private sector. The report lays down several suggestions for improving the quality of education in an inclusive way, keeping the child and the youth at the centre of the process. The Report suggests major reforms in the education sector. The education policies and initiatives of government should move from being focussed on inputs and standardised norms, to becoming more outcome oriented. Additionally the higher education space should be allowed greater autonomy but with accountability. And high school and higher education should ensure employability of all graduates.
On the occasion, Dr. Rajiv Lall, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of IDFC said, “Considering the role of education in bringing about socio-economic transformation of a country, and given IDFC’s focus on nation building, this year for the first time in our India Infrastructure Report (IIR) series, we turn to social infrastructure — in particular the educational system. Today, raising the quality of education is the biggest challenge in our educational system.This IIR makes a plea for a radically different approach, which entails taking on board the lessons from various experiments and try to apply them in a systemic way. Also, there is an urgent need for non-traditional approaches to regulate these institutions.”
In addition to this, Ritu Anand, Group Head Policy and Chief Economist, said, “The state of education in the country is one of policy failure, wrongly-focused regulation and poor governance. The over-riding concern echoed throughout this Report is the abysmally poor quality of learning of the vast majority of students reflected at all levels of education. There is thus an urgent need to reform the pedagogy and curriculum in schools, teach children according to their learning abilities, and need more professionally trained and motivated teachers. The Report also provides suggestions on overcoming issues in assessment, creating an enabling environment and regulations, and financing issues.”
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Mr. Arun Raste
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