20 August 2010

India's Education System/Policy: Primary Vs Higher

In the previous post I talked about primary education, and not just "education". The emphasis is deliberate. India's education system/policy suffers from a serious distortion. There is too much focus on higher education, and too little focus on primary education. It should be exactly the other way around.

What is the purpose of education? To train people for employment. (Yes, there are other purposes of education: teaching children to become good citizens and good human beings; teaching them values and morals, creative thinking, etc. But these things can/should be taken care of at the primary level itself; they shouldn't wait till college)

Now the employment opportunities/requirements in a modern economy are like this:

So an education system must turn out workers in a similar pattern:

Our education system is like this:

See the mismatch between figures 1 and 3?

So the government must focus exclusively on primary education, and leave higher education to the private sector. Those who want to go to college but cannot afford the high fees must take bank loans. They should repay the loans with the salaries from their high-paying jobs.

I know this argument is the height of hypocrisy, coming from someone who is himself the beneficiary of a heavily subsidised higher education (at REC/NIT and IIT). What to do?

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