The abysmal quality of our primary education system in rural areas, as highlighted in the recently released Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) report, is a portent of the dark days ahead. This has to be viewed in the context of our tall pronouncements that India will be a reservoir of young people, which in turn, will make us an economic superpower. If a nation produces an array of people, whose quality of education is tardy, it will only be a liability beyond words. Hence, this serious matter requires concerted efforts by the mandarins of the human resource development ministry, particularly since primary education is the foundation for career-building.
We need to impart and instil leadership qualities among the headmasters whose role should be perceived as a de facto CEO of an organisation with all attendant requirements of responsibilities and delegated powers. Instead of mere reporting of attendance, there should be a system of reporting on quality parameters, and to ensure that remedial actions are taken based on periodic reviews. The current perception of viewing mid-day meals as a panacea for all ills needs a fresh look.
If our authorities pretend that they have not read the writing on the wall and confine this report to dusty cupboards, it will only put our education system in a lurch, and all our plans will remain only on paper.
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