Speaking at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, Minister For Human Resource Kapil Sibal said on Friday that improving the education system of India was a very complicated issue but we are moving in that direction. He also said that the whole nation must come together and work towards improving the quality and quantity of education in India and thus empower the country.
Explaining the complicated nature of the problem, Sibal said that access to education in India had different hurdles at different places like in the North East, in the Naxal affected areas, villages etc. However, the problem of access was not there in some urban centers where it was available to all.
Speaking about improving the quality of education in the country, the minister said that it depends on the kind of students we want to produce in our institution. He said to improve education we need to change the change the curriculum and for that we need to train the teachers. He said that the problem was different at the higher level as many of the training institutions in the field of medical, engineering etc were private ones and many of them were not of very good quality. He also expressed the need for change in people's mindset for improvement in the quality of education.
Explaining the magnitude of the problem, the minister said that about 220 mn people go to schools in India out of which only about 13 million reach college. As we don't have a critical mass of students going to college, we don't get enough intangible wealth of knowledge. So it is important that a critical mass of people go to school and also a critical mass of students go from elementary to higher level of education.
The minister further said that all this was not an easy task but we are moving in the direction and hope that from the present about 13-14 mn million students about 45 million students will go for higher education by 2020.
Here, he pointed out the need of private help. The minister said that there was a need to increase online education in a big way and for that the country needs more broadband and for that a huge investment. The minister said once that happens any child can take any course in India and can also choose the teacher he wants even if he is in a different city.
After explaining his plan till 2020, the minister said that still about 150 million students won't go to college in India.
To meet this problem, Sibal said that the nature of education must change and we should put in place National Vocational Policy Framework. He said that CBSE will give vocational certificates and teach vocational courses to students between class VIII and XII.
Explaining the magnitude of the problem, the minister said there was a need for the civil society, NGOS and many other such organisations to come together on education to empower India.