Status of Govt. Schools
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Status of Govt. Schools

Why in News?

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development (HRD) recently submitted its report on the 2020-2021 demand for grants for school education to the Rajya Sabha. In this report, the committee has made various observations on the state of government schools in India.

What is the state of government schools?-

Findings by the panel:

Almost half the government schools in the country do not have electricity or playgrounds.

The budgetary allocations saw a 27% cut from proposals made by the School Education Department. Despite proposals for ?82,570 crores, only ?59,845 crores were allocated.

There is slow progress in building classrooms, labs, and libraries to strengthen government higher secondary schools.

Overall, for the core Samagra Shiksha Scheme, the department had only spent 71% of revised estimates by December 31, 2019.

India is also dealing with a scenario of significant teacher vacancies, which are to the tune of almost 60-70 percent in some states.

Need of the hour- key recommendations:

Core schemes should get additional funds at the revised estimates stage.

HRD Ministry should collaborate with the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme to construct boundary walls.

It should also work with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to provide solar and other energy sources so that schools have access to power.

Why reforms are necessary?

The learning crisis is evident in the fact that almost half of the children in grade 5 in rural India cannot solve a simple two-digit subtraction problem, while 67 percent of children in grade 8 in public schools score less than 50 percent in competency-based assessments in mathematics.

The Delhi Model of Education:

For too long, there have been two kinds of education models in the country: one for the classes and another for the masses. The AAP government in Delhi sought to bridge this gap.

Its approach stems from the belief that quality education is a necessity, not a luxury. Hence, it built a model that essentially has five major components and is supported by nearly 25% of the State Budget.

Key components of the model:

a. Transformation of school infrastructure.

b. Training of teachers and principals.

c. Engaging with the community by reconstituting school management committees (SMC).

d. Curricular reforms in teaching-learning.

e. No fee increase in private schools.