HISTORICALLY, three systems have served the Educational needs of Indians: Bureau of Indian Affairs schools, parochial or mission and public schools. Recently, through the office of Economic Opportunity, the tribes themselves established a fourth school system, primarily in the Head start Program.
These systems – still involved in attempting to better the lot of the Indian-have had much experience in providing programs to meet Indians’ needs and have been in the business of Education on and off reservations for many years. In spite of what they have attempted and of what contributions they have made, acute problems exist in the Indian Education field. And Indian Education will not progress, develop or evolve into a dynamic field unless the problems inherent in it are identified and solved. In an analysis of the situation, categorized problems into eight broad areas, from “lack of money” to “too many Indian experts”.
• LACK OF MONEY.
• LACK OF QUALIFIED INDIANS IN INDIAN EDUCATION.
• INCENTIVE SCHOOL PERSONNEL.
• DIFFERING EXPECTATIONS OF EDUCATION PROGRAMS.
• LACK OF INVOLVEMENT IN AND CONTROL OF EDUCATIONAL MATTERS.
• DIFFICULTIES OF STUDENTS IN HIGHER EDUCATION.
• TOO MANY INSTANT-INDIAN EDUCATION EXPERTS.
Lack of money
By far one of the most pressing problems is the unavailability of money or inadequate funding of Indian Education programs or systems. The demand far exceeds the supply, and available monies are only for the most basic Educational needs of the students. . . “the traditional curriculum”. Very small amount, if any, are available for innovative programs and ideas.
Without adequate funding, the ideology and philosophy of Indian Education become so many words. The concept of Indian Education faces a bleak future characterized by stagnation, insensitivity, inadequate facilities and personnel.
Lack of qualified Indians in Indian Education
By far the most glaring problems are the acute shortage of qualified Indians in Indians Education. Materialistic gains, incentives and opportunities entice the qualified Indians educator away from this challenging field. There is much hard work and many challenges in Indian Education: isolation, poor or inadequate facilities, eager but academically deprived students, but one’s ingenuity, creativity, patience and forbearance are put to a real test in facing these and other challenges. If Indian Education is to meet the needs of the students, if it is to have the sensitivity required, if it is to be dynamic and viable, it must have more qualified Indian educators- it must reach the stage where in it will challenge the Indian educator to take up arms to join its rank and to improve its lot.
Incentive school personnel
It is tragic that this exists in the 20 th Century. Too many administrators and teachers are not knowledgeable about the American Indian. Whether it is attributable to apathy, indifference or design does not lessen than problem. If school personnel are truly educators, it behoves them to learn about the people they are teaching. To fail in this task is to fail to educate. The burden of this responsibility rests squarely on the shoulders of the educator, and the exercise of that responsibility is long overdue.
Differing expectations of Education programs
As noted in the section on irrelevant curricula, the American Educational system is foreign in concept, principle and objective to the Indian student. The thinking, attitudes and experiences of the non-Indian are the base of the value structure rather than the aspects of Indian culture. Thus the Educational perspectives of the Indian are not considered. The Indian views Education as providing him with immediate practical skills and tolls, not a delayed achievement of goals or as means for a future gain.
Lack of involvement in and control of Educational matters
The Indian has not been able to express his ideas on school programming or Educational decision-making. When they have been expressed, his participation has been limited and restricted. If problems in Indian Education are to be resolved, the Indian citizen must become involved. He needs to have more controls on the program to which his children are exposed, to have a say in what type of courses are in the curriculum, to help hire teachers, to establishment employment policies and practices, and all of the other responsibilities vested in school administrations-that of being on a board of Education.
Difficulties of students in higher Education
Colleges and universities need to establish programs which can deal effectively with the problems and needs of the Indian students-if he is to remain in school. In general, the Indian student has an inadequate Educational background as he may have been looked upon as less than college material in high school. He has unusual adjustment problems and usually inadequate financial help. It is time that more colleges and universities attempt to solve these development factors and provide a more successful Educational experience for the Indian student.
Too many instant Indian Education experts
To the determinant of Indian Education and its growth, each day sprouts more “instants Indian Education experts”, who do more damage than good. Usually, these experts have all the answers: they have completely identified the problems and have formulated solutions, but they leave it to the Indian to implement. Again, the Indian is given something to implement which he has had no part in formulating. These experts usually depend on superficial, shallow studies done in one visit to a reservation or school, or they depend on one or two conference with Indians who have little or no knowledge of the critical problems confronting the Indian generally. Indian Education can well do without these experts who cannot be reasoned with or who feel they know what the best is for the Indian.
The challenges of Education in rural India
When we talk about Education in India, we can’t just talk about how Education in Urban cities of India, without going deep into rural Education that constitutes almost 90% of the schools being located in rural areas. When we think about bring in a reformation in Education, we have to point out what all prevent the Education system in India to develop. The most common problems that hinder the growth of Education in rural India can be pointed out as:
• Lack of proper transportation Most villages have poor connectivity from one place to another, despite efforts by local governing bodies to build schools, often go in vain. Children, most of times have to walk miles to reach these government funded schools and this often demotivates them to attend the school on regular basis.
• People belonging to remote rural areas have meagre incomes, which at times is to less to sustain a family of may be four or five. Most likely, children from these families won’t not be sent to schools, instead would be asked to assist the earning member of the family to add up some extra income. On the other hand, Teachers in rural educational centres in villages are paid poorly, often leading to lack of attention by teachers, ultimately forcing the student to suffer.
• Lack of proper infrastructure at these rural schools is also a big concern. Most of the school don’t have proper classrooms, teaching equipment, playgrounds and even basic facilities like sitting chairs, blackboard etc. Thus, the poor conditions of schools are the big reasons to away the students.
• Problems of Rural School Teachers Compensation.
• School Employees.
• School Building.
• Technology Funding.
• Promoting Technology Private Endowments from private and public business.
• Creative fund raising by the school district.
• Solving the Problems of Funding Centralize school finance so that the state, rather than local districts, has the primary responsibility for funding schools.
• Base school funding on an explicit assessment of the actual costs of Educating a child.
Education in India faces following primary challenges
• QUALITY: Maintaining standard of Education in more than million schools nationwide, offering training programs too teachers, and keeping good balance with Education system worldwide is a big challenge. School vary in size and are forced compromise in all round development opportunities they must provide to students.
• ACCESS: Having infrastructural constraints and social issues, it becomes harder to make Education accessible to all segments of the society (women, minorities, poor).
• COST: The cost of Education is very high even for the people and places where it is accessible. E.g. the competitive pressure on students & parents forces them to appoint private tuitions & trainings to supplement the school Education.
• SOCIAL & CULTURAL: The ethnic diversity in India poses challenges to implement consistent Education nationwide. There are more than 300 languages spoken in the country and makes it difficult to offer Education tailored to specific social segment. Educating women in some societies is a big issue. Children of poor families are forced to work and miss out the learning opportunities. Illiterate adults have very limited opportunities to get educated at later age in their lives.
ARE THEY LEARNING : A comprehensive survey conducted by the NGO Pratham , called ASER (The Annual status of Education Report)- which has reached about 3,00,000 households and 7,00,000 children’s, spanning every rural district in India – has put out interesting and alarming statistics.
• 31.4% of std. III Children cannot read words in their own language.
• 70.1% of std. III Children cannot solve a 2-digit subtraction problem.
• 72.5% of std. V Children cannot do a simple division problem.
• 51.8% of the std. V Children cannot read a std. II level text.
This is definitely a cause of worry. Rural schools are not only failing existing students, but also poised to fail the 15.8 crore (158 million) children in the age group of 0-6 who was slated to join the ranks of primary school goers in the coming years.
• THE POVERTY EFFECT: Secondly, families in rural India struggle to make ends meet. Their low income is hardly enough to cover daily supplies of food and shelter let alone Education. Children are needed to work in fields, which eventually mean that they drop out school, usually after their primary Education. A report by UNICEF estimates that there is a 40-percentage point difference in attendance rate between primary (69.4%) and secondary (39.1%) students coming from poor families. Also, more children in the age group of 5-14, whose parents are not educated, seem to be opting to go for work instead of staying in school (UNICEF report) . Clearly financial stability and awareness of the opportunities provided via a good education are big factor in ensuring continued education in these families.
• OPPORTUNITIES: The opportunities for improving rural Education are endless. Government do their part , but NGOs and private-sector companies will play a vital part as well. Unit us seed fund has made it first Education-sector investment in Hippocampus Learning Centres, a for-profit Bop start-up that’s already improving the Education of children across 80 villages in south India.
Presently Education Research and Development Organisation (ERDO) actively seeking additional entrepreneurs across in Uttar Pradesh with plans for scalable and affordable Education services or products that will help India’s children get the Education they deserve.
By seeing these problems in rural area Education Research And development Organisation (ERDO) decided to provide the Tuitions at affordable centres in every village, rural centres lack in quantity and it’s high time, proper attention will be paid through the Department on their centres and will create a platform where mostly students from rural areas can get proper Education, the right encouragement to purpose further studies and jobs. Proper availabity of basic facilities like adequate classroom facilities, timely motivational programs, and science projects for definitely being about a positive change rewards the development of rural Education in India.
The role of the Education in facilitating a social and economic progress is well accepted. Access to Education is critical to access emerging opportunities that accompany economic growth. Keeping in view of this accepted fact there has been a major thrust on Education since Independence; but as far as ensuring quality Education in rural India is concerned it has always been one of the biggest challenges for the government.
Children in rural areas continue to be deprived of quality Education owing to factors like of competent and committed teachers, lacks of textbooks or teaching-learning materials, and so on. A large number of teachers refuse to teach in rural areas and those that do, are usually under qualified. The much publicised mid day meal scheme meant to reduce drop-out rates in school, seems to be not yielding the desired results due to alleged misappropriation of funds meant for the scheme, mismanagement, lack of seriousness among the implementing authorities, diversion of funds, lack of awareness among the parents of poor children, etc.
The next most pressing challenge is to boost the access in rural areas to secondary Education, particularly for girls, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and minorities as well as to ensure availability of technical and vocational Education and skills. At this level of the Education system the private sector is growing rapidly and playing an imperative role of service provider.