Expressing concern over declining educational standards in both public and private schools, government on Friday said there is a need to improve the quality of education to reverse the decline in enrolment.
“There is a need to improve the quality of education provided in schools to arrest and reverse the decline in enrolment in government schools and improve the educational outcomes in both public and private schools,” the Economic Survey for 2015-16 tabled in Parliament by finance minister Arun Jaitley said.
Increasing investment in human capital is a key requirement to improve productivity of the population, the survey observed, adding that there is a need for professionally qualified and trained teachers.
In India, the proportion of economically active population (15-59 years) has increased from 57.7% to 63.3% during 1991 to 2013. “If India has to reap the benefits of this ‘demographic dividend’ in the years ahead, it is imperative that investments in social infrastructure are made in an appropriate measure to achieve the desired education and health outcomes,” the survey pointed out.
It also advocated adoption of technology platforms and innovative models by leveraging Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM)scheme to improve the efficiency in delivery of services.
“On the education front, the declining educational outcomes reflected in lower reading levels in both public and private sector schools are areas of concern.
“According to Annual Status of Education Report 2014, there is sharp decline between 2007 to 2014 in the number of children in Standard V who can read a textbook of Standard II, in both government and private schools,” the Survey said.
However, the Gender Parity Index (2013-14 provisional) shows an improvement in girls’ education, with parity having been achieved between girls and boys at almost all levels of education.