Regardless of the increase in number of institutions in the country, universalisation of elementary education still remains a distant dream because of lack of facilities and qualified teachers, says a recent report.
The report prepared by R Govinda of National Institute of Education Planning and Administration (NIEPA), a autonomous organisation funded by Government of India working on policy and planning in education sector, says that quality of education provided in schools and colleges still remains an area of concern.
Poor infrastructure continues to affect the quality of education. The report says that there are nearly nine lakh lower and upper primary schools in the country. While around 80 per cent schools have a building, nearly 20,000 schools have no buildings at all.
The number of institutions imparting formal education in the country has increased to about ten lakhs. However, 45 per cent of the children joininig schools do not complete their schooling. A whopping 25 lakh children in the age group of 6-14 years are still away from school.
The situtaion is alarming in Assam, Bihar, Chattishgarh,
Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Orissa and West Bengal. As per norms, a primary school should have at least two classrooms and two teachers.
The Central Government had launched Operation Black Board scheme to ensure that all schools get these facilities. However, a review conducted in 2000 showed that only 25 per cent of the schools in the country conformed to the requirements.