Our weak educational outcomes have a wide set of societal causes

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Context: There are various societal reasons due to which children are not achieving appropriate learning outcomes in schools. This article describes the societal reasons.

Overall governance and administrative culture

Low prioritization of education – as manifested in budget allocation and human resources.

Failure to recognize that education is a matter of deep expertise: Key decisions are taken by people who have almost no background in the field.

Lack of continuity of direction and action: Education interventions require 10-15 years to show changes. However, in India priorities and directions change rapidly.

Socio-political trends

Considering the private sector as a panacea: India has lost two decades due to this. Wherein over 30% of children go to private school but learning outcomes have still dropped.

Notion that technology will solve problems: This has been debunked during the pandemic which has seen tragic learning losses. But still, too much of our little resources got diverted.

Effect of sharp and deep inequalities: The children of the well-to-do have more access to more resources at school and home. But the vast majority of other children do not receive such facilities.

Effect of poverty

Poverty means poor nutrition: It hinders physical and social development along with causing day-to-day implications. Such as → Lack of concentration and frequent illness causing absenteeism.

Poverty means lack of adult care: Children do not get the same adult support and care as in middle class families, which are critical for learning.

Lack of resources to support the learning environment: As there is shortage of books, learning resources, adults are also insufficiently educated.

As a society we regard education as a panacea. Despite this we treat education and our educators poorly. We need to re-calibrate our expectations from education.

Source: This post is created based on the article “Our weak educational outcomes have a wide set of societal causes” published in Live Mint on 17th March 2022.

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