Majority of Indians are the products of Government schools. These schools are a linchpin of the Indian educational system, accounting for 70% of Pre-Primary and Primary Schools and Secondary Schools. They have a great penetration into the very interiors of our country. We find them in hilly areas, unreachable islands, tribal areas and everywhere. In Karnataka alone we have 43,447 Government Primary Schools and 3,029 Government High Schools.
But, at a country level, still nearly 300 million people in the age group 7 years and above are illiterate in the country. 42 million children in the age-group 6-14 years, do not attend school. Only 47 out of 100 children enrolled in class I reach class VIII, putting the dropout rate at 52.79 per cent. Today, as many as two-thirds of those eligible for secondary and senior secondary education remain outside the school system. The gross enrolment rate for elementary education in 2003-04 was 85 percent, but for secondary education, the enrolment figure stood at 39 percent. In the state of Andhra Pradesh, Only two out of 10 children in Class I go on to Class X. In Karnataka alone, there are an estimated 2.5 million children who are not enrolled or dropped out from schools.
Such statistics are highly unacceptable for a country like India where majority of the children live. Children are its assets and it cannot achieve development unless its children are provided with good educational opportunities.
Systemic factors like lack of teachers (especially female), non-availability of teachers in remote rural, hilly and tribal areas, high teacher absenteeism, large scale teacher vacancies, inadequate school infrastructure, and inadequate allocation of resources on education to meet the expenditure, irregular classes, overcrowded classrooms, and traditional methods of rote learning – have diminished the quality of teaching and reduced interest among the students for education and thus resulted in all such statistics mentioned above.
So, there is a great need to bridge these gaps in order to achieve 100 % literacy and 0% drop outs till class X. Its not the responsibility of Government alone to do so. It’s the joint responsibility of Government and the citizens to improve the situation. The situation demands for a huge public private partnership. Philanthropists, NGOs, Universities and Corporate should adopt the schools to bridge the gaps that are mentioned and convert them to model school to achieve the mission “100 % literacy and 0% drop outs till class X”