It is not unknown to many how the Indian government is pushing hard for the use of technology in schools to promote education. The use of laptops, tablets and internet-assisted smart classes is already a reality in public schools and it is already foraying into the government schools with silent footsteps. But on the brighter side of educational development lies another India which still lives in the days of the medieval times. It is a nation lying on the wrong side of the light under sheer darkness and unheralded anonymity.
What lies on the darker side?
The India that lies on the other side of educational development lacks even the basic necessities of proper education and associated infrastructure. Recent surveys have revealed that as many as 25% schools in India lack blackboards which happens to be the most primary requirement in any class without which the most modern of classes cannot feel itself complete. Even more shockingly, 75% schools lacked the minimum number of benches, chairs and tables required to run the institution healthily. The demure state of lack in infrastructure is furthermore reflected in the fact that students in 41% schools still happen to witness classes being conducted in open air under the mercy of natural elements.
Beside these primary inadequacies lie the secondary yet equally important shortfalls like electricity, toilets, cleaning staff, teaching staff, library, playgrounds and access to clean drinking water. Statistics reveal that almost 44% schools have no access to electricity at all. Toilets are nowhere to be seen in more than 11% schools while almost half of the schools have common toilets meant for both staff and students. Libraries in schools are another missing feature which is shamefully found in only about a quarter of the schools. Playgrounds are a must in schools but this time too 60% schools fail to impress as they completely lack playgrounds of any sorts. Midday meals are not prepared in proper designated kitchens in more than 18% schools. Finally as many as 30% schools suffer from a severe dearth of cleaning staff and teachers while astoundingly many even lack principals.
The reasons behind the shortfalls
The shoddy state of affairs in the education sector can be attributed to many causes. The neglect shown by government for the all-round development of education at the grass root level is the prime reason of all. The government has so far been delinquent in spending for education. The budget allotments for education remained dismally low over decades which resulted in the absolute sufferings for the education sector. Moreover spending in education has often been short-sighted as extravagant initiatives like technological advancements got precedence over basic amenities. The basic pay handed out to teachers lies exorbitantly high compared to the national GDP meaning that a large amount is spent for paying teachers who are very often found negligent and missing their basic duties.
Working for a better future
The government has finally risen from its prolonged slumber and realized the crisis that plagues the education sector. Even though late, the education spending have increased manifolds yet much still remains to be done. Minimization of corruption and increasing credibility among the teaching masses is an utmost necessity which must be ensured. Distribution of laptops and tablets must be given a backseat and development of infrastructure must be accelerated at an unforeseen pace. Policymaking and development must be done rationally and selectively. After all how can one expect to propagate education through internet when half of the nation’s schools operate without electricity?