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PUBLIC POLICY. UNIT:4 –EDUCATION POLICY. 1 . Demographic Dividend Prof. Amartya Sen’s argument: No doubt, growth rate is important ,a country like India should give priority to spending on primary education +health; China’s example. Education will generate skills &more growth.
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PUBLIC POLICY UNIT:4 –EDUCATION POLICY
1. Demographic Dividend • Prof. Amartya Sen’s argument: No doubt, growth rate is important ,a country like India should give priority to spending on primary education +health; • China’s example. Education will generate skills &more growth. • Prof. Jagdish Bhagwati - Have Growth first, • Prof. Arvind Panagarih - generate resources to enable investment in education and health. • Views of these scholars may converge. • Give priority to GDP growth; liberalization. • Focus on social sector spending with high growth rate, it would help exploit demographic dividend.
2. Census 2011 Results— • Literacy rate increased much faster during 1991-2001 than 2001-11. • Does it mean that the efforts in 2001-11 got slackened? • Not necessarily. Period 2001-11 started with a larger base of literacy rate. Marginal increase in 2001-11 (9.2 percentage points ) was lower than that in 1991-2001(12.63 percentage points).Additional increase in literacy rate with high base is likely to slow down.
3. Poorer states gained in literacy much more than the better off states in general and southern states, in particular. • Literacy rate in the southern states was much higher in 2001 than the poorer states. Percentage points increase in literacy rate in poorer states, is better in 2001-2011 due to lower initial base. The renewed efforts to send children to school in poorer states has also helped. States that have recorded literacy below national average are: Bihar, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh,Chattisgarh, • Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. • Kerala experience –High literacy rate- slow further increase in literacy rate. • Birth rate falling fast- over decades not many children left in school- less work with teachers in many public schools.(Demographic Change).
4. GOI Expenditure on Social Sector Sharp increase in spending on social sector (health+education) as proportion of GDP. The increase in absolute amount would be much more impressive due to larger base of GDP in 2010-11 as compared to GDP in 1992. This happened during the era of economic reforms. Faster growth of GDP in the post reform period facilitated significant increase in GOI spending on the social sector.
5. Reform era impact (increased social sector spending) Much more positive impact on literacy (to increase) than on mortality (to decrease). Initially the campaign of child immunization paid off. Later on, it slackened. But in some poor states, immunization is still making significant impact
6. Literacy: Gender Bias Female literacy rose much faster than male literacy in the last decade. However, the gender gap in the literacy rate still remains large. Efforts of social sector spending influenced it. In order to increase female literacy rate, GOI initiated several schemes such as bicycles, toilet facilities for girls in school, mid-day meal, etc. In 2009, GOI launched Saakshar Bharat with special focus on districts with female literacy of 50 or below. The general perception is that private schools which are much more expensive than government schools, are better than the latter. Annual Status of Education Report(ASER),2010 shows that parents prefer to send sons to private school and girls to government schools.
7. Sex Ratio (no. of female per 1000 of male population) improved in the • last decade. But child sex ratio declined. • Female-male ratio: 940 females per 1000 male. • Child sex ratio(girl child to boy child): 914 girl child per 1000 boy child. • This indicates that the bias against new born girl child continues.. • Son-preference theory continues to be strong, unfortunately. • Human Right question:- Right of the unborn girl child --- • PIL was filed in supreme court by Sabu George— • New Act was brought in to reality– Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT)Act.
EDUCATION POLICY • Education as a Commodity. • Two distinguishing features: • Education is a highly complex good— • It provides benefit to both individual and society.(quality is an issue at every • level; value system, philosophy and enlightenment). • Gestation period is long (several years of education- before a child is called "educated”). • B. Education as an engine of Growth. • Engine of growth by providing skills & thereby raising productivity. • Engine of growth by itself due to high demand in this sector. • C. Huge demand for education in India. • By 2025,70% of Indian population will be of working age. • Only 15% of Indian reach high school; and 7% reach graduation. • Only 7% of India’s college-age population get seats in post-secondary high schools. • Estimated Exp. on private tuitions & coaching(annual):Rs.35,000-40,000 crores. • Estimated annual expenditure by Indian students going abroad:Rs.35,000-40,000 crores. • Private education market in India by 2012 estimated to be order of $68 billion. • (present market around $40-50 billion). • 57% of college teachers lack either a master’s degree or PhD degree.
RIGHT TO EDUCATION (RTE) Ref:Praveen Jha and Pooja Parvati; EPW, March 27,2010. Pp.20-2 • RTE Act 2009. “Every child of the age of 6 to 14 years shall have a right to free and compulsory education in a neighborhood school till completion of elementary education” • RTE as a fundamental right. • Parent or guardian made responsible for providing opportunities for education to their children between 6 to 14 years. • Model rules to operationalise the Act being framed. • Act passed without an accompanying financial memorandum—How about sharing cost between centre and states?—Contentious issue. • How about enforcing uniform quality of education? • RTE does not incorporate the elements of common school system (CSS). • Rules of the game for admitting students and bearing the financial burden laid down for different categories of schools as below.
Govt. Schools------- --- Entire cost of wards to be borne. • Govt.aided schools---- These schools would be accountable to admitting students • proportionate to 25% of their annual growth. • Special category Kendriya Vidyalaya • Schools ------ Navodaya Vidyalaya • Sainik schools • Unaided Schools ------ They are required to admit 25% children from the weaker • sections and disadvantaged groups of population.But the • reimbursement based on per child expenditure will be done to • the unaided schools. • What is the time frame up to when the provision of reimbursement of cost to private schools would continue. • Monitoring of quality of education—school committees formed for all schools except private schools– who will ensure quality of education in private schools?
ENROLMENT Vs LEARNING • Sixth Annual Status of Education Report(ASER) brings out that there is improvement • in enrolment but not in learning. The real issue is: how much progress in education outcome? • What is the strategy to improve education outcome in a time bound manner? • Are the goals being set in a measurable way? • Three flagship programmes of the central Govt. • --Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) • --Right to Education(RTE) • ---Mid- day meal. • Stability of officials maintained by not transferring them before 3 years of continuous service in a particular program. Officers-in-charge of programs were supported by the senior officers in terms of policy and decision making. That is, • administrative stability is maintained. • State level Experience • Different States set different goals and implement their schemes in their own way.
Examples from three States: BIHAR:-- Focus – improvement in school enrolment --teachers recruited. --schools constructed. --volunteers mobilized to give bicycle , esp. to girl students. Result: 1) Proportion of out –of- school girls came down significantly. 2) Learning did not improve in any significant way in spite of supply of schools and teachers. TAMILNADU:- Focus:-- improvement in learning. project named’ Activity-Based learning’ launched. Observations:- 1) Class room process become child-centric. 2) No or little effort– to modify the programme. 3) Result:- Little or no visible improvement in learning levels.
PUNJAB:-- Focus:-- Learning of reading, writing and mathematics. Strategy: --setting aside two hours every day for students of std I to II to focus on basic reading and mathematics. ---First hours –grouping of students by learning level and second hour grouping by mathematics ability. No grouping by standard or age. ---Teachers were trained to conduct activities with students. Each group called ‘ mahal’. ---While activity was on, students were allowed to move from one ‘mahal’to another as per their ability. ---Strict monitoring of these activities was done by youth hired by the state Govt. ---The program continued for some years (3 years). Result: Improvement in the performance of students (std I to V). The proportion of students/children who can read or do simple mathematics has improved. Comments: Need for strategic plan and implementation .Modification may be done based on experience and evidence. 2.State Govt. tend to resist outcome measurement. This needs to be overcome if demographic dividend is to be reaped.
PRIVATE SCHOOLS & Quality of Education • Role of Vouchers to level off Quality & Market Mechanism • Govt. vouchers provided to poor parents- • It is a certificate which parents can use in lieu of fees at school where they cannot afford fees. • Child’s education at private school by using Govt. funds. • Question: • Whether vouchers provides better access to school education. • Whether poorly performing schools can be improved by implementing vouchers. • The second question is difficult to answer- no systemic scale else where exists • comparable to India. • Supply side differences(school quality) are very large. • Success of Voucher Scheme is Conditional • It would succeed if- • Certain reforms in public school education are undertaken to increase transparency & accountability (e.g.; monitoring by Panchayats/local bodies along with parents/NGOs/civil society). • Voucher follow (not precede) important reforms. • There is sufficient supply of schools to compete with (that is why state’s initiative in providing infrastructure & schools is crucial; further the Govt. has to play the role of a facilitator; it has to facilitate the process, not control it).
‘Ratings’--- cannot improve quality. • Schools accessed by the poor--- both public and private are of low quality. • Critical issues are --- • Teacher “professionalization” • --Training • --Selection • --- Academic support • ---Provision of adequate resources for universal education…. • Local administration can make effective difference by checking— • ---Discipline • ---Punctuality of teachers • ---General cleanliness.
Monitoring • Panchayat oversees the local public school. • Keep a watch on the regularity of teachers/ their presence and involvement in teaching. • A Committee consisting of local representation and parents may recommend • disbursement of salary of salary of teachers upon verification of teachers presence • and their involvement in teaching. It has been successful in some cases—not • others wherever local political environment is vitiated. • RTE • OK. But how do you attract poor students? • How to induce poor parents to send their children to school and not to work? • Make certain benefits to poor conditional upon sending children to school. • (e.g. ration card- subsidy/food coupons/kerosene subsidy/ other subsidies relating • to housing, etc.) • Mid-day meal delivery needs to be improved cooked food that is liked by local children needs to be served.
How Realistic is the Goal of RTE? (Further comments on RTE)* Some scholars have reacted with great skepticism about RTE, calling it unrealistic. Some even argue to scrap it altogether(* e.g., the Manish Sabharwal, ET 12.11.11.p.12). Sabharwal advances his argument citing 5 C,s in favor of scrapping RTE as below: (i) Capacity : Government just does not have the capacity to cope with the required number of elementary schools, then why so much noise about the so-called ‘not recognized’ schools. In the absence of grossly inadequate number of well equipped schools, the choice before the poor parents in past has been either ‘no’ school or ‘not recognized’ school. Should the public be left with a choice like “ if you can’t have cake , don’t eat bread” ? Contd..
(ii) Cost : RTE lays down norms for teacher salary, qualification for teachers, land for playground, and mandatory admission (25%) to disadvantaged groups. This would push cost per student. More specifically, the acquisition of land is going to be a big issue. Some states may not be ready to reimburse the full cost per student to private (unaided) schools (e.g., Karnataka has fixed Rs. 7000/- per student which may not cover full cost of a student). Such micro level issues need to be worked out to avoid a chaotic situation. (iii) Competition : Several states propose to regulate fees. Decision is not clear on the issue. Entrepreneurs in school education face uncertainty. This is blunting the competitive spirit which leads to lower capacity , ultimately harming the cause of students from supply side point of view.
(iv) Corruption: RTE envisages admission of 25% of ‘poor’ disadvantaged groups. ‘Poor’ is still to be defined on the basis of a rigorous criteria. If the job of identifying poor is left to the Block Education Officer (BEO), it would lead to corruption like the case of deciding BPL for issuing ration cards for grain subsidy. Further, Karnataka Government wants to keep the record of each child(1-14 yrs.) in the area of 1-3 km. Who is going to keep these records? (v) Confusion : Mid-day meal is provided in the government schools. But RTE envisages 25% of the students from weaker sections to be admitted in private schools. How is mid-day meal going to be delivered in private school to the 25% of poor students? Who is going to monitor it? What happens to these students after grade VIII? Where will they go? The message is that unless the micro management is done at the ground level, RTE is likely to create confusion and uncertainty. This would restrict competition and hence supply of quality schools/education.
SECONDARY EDUCATION • GOI’s Efforts for Secondary Education • 6000 model schools (secondary education) at block level. • 2500 to be located in educationally backward blocks (on the pattern of kendriya • Vidyalaya ). • 3500 to be set up under public-private partnership. • (Efforts are to make secondary education moreinclusive by guaranteeing state funding • of schools in backward blocks. At the same time ,allow private initiative with partnership).
Focus on ICT enabled education to bridge rural-urban divide– implement/encourage computer aided learning in both government and government aided schools. • (imparting computer skills at secondary school level even in backward areas). • Raising enrolment in secondary schools: • (current enrolment ratio is 53%-- to be raised to 70% within 5 years for class IX and X. Many students drop out after class VIII. • Schools to be provided within reasonable distance). • Budget 2009-10 did not have any great vision nor policy. • (see Tilak,EPW,March27,2010; p.60-64). Criticism justified to some extent. However, the Union budget 2010-11 • did allocate resources for the education sector with some vision– discussion to follow…)
Is there State Failure in School Education? • Is PPP Model the Answer? • Shortcomings of public (govt) schools: • --teacher absenteeism • -- low “teacher activity”. • --low outcome (student achievement/ learning). • ---Systemic failure • (administrative & organizational failure—lack of accountability and transparency). • Fallout effect of large scale public intervention in elementary education—state monopoly and inefficiency in the system. • Is it really market failure? * • Is it not failure of regulation? • ( *see Venu Narayana, EPW,Feb 06, 2010, p.p 23-26).
PPP Model in School Education • Supply Side: (State’s role) • -Aiding private schools to augment supply of elementary education. • -Supply can be augmented further by providing • autonomy • democracy • technology, and • infrastructure. • -This would help foster innovative ideas. • Demand Side: • -Step up demand by providing • mid-day meals. • linking mid-day meals with other subsidy ( e.g. PDS benefit, etc). • providing vouchers to give parents a choice of school • (this is also expected to increase competition among schools for excellence and enhance outcome).
SKILL DEVELOPMENT (see attached article, Financial Express ,March 3,2011,p.9.)