In this essay, the author asks “Can an increase in allocation in the education budget, guarantee better quality of education?”
Her view on unemployability is something I’m also concerned with when it comes to education in India and around the world. Addressing this problem doesn’t necessarily mean that schools need have career development and training for children, but they certainly need to teach soft skills that make individuals more employable.
From the piece:
“However, there is a limit to the impact that fiscal favours from the government can have on quality education.
While for many, education is about learning, knowledge sharing, and a guide to building dreams, the majority of the Indian population cannot afford this luxury. For some, education, however little it may be, means employment. For the rest, education and employment are two distinct entities, where employment trumps education. This is not a problem that a bigger education budget can solve. Unemployment is an issue that needs to be tackled independently.
Ironically, the issue here is not unemployment, but unemployability. In 2011, a daily national reported, “India has the largest, youngest population in the world. But it is also the most unemployable population as it lacks the work skills that can make it employable.”6 This is an issue that is not explained by polarised school fees. Rather, it questions the very quality of the education system. Many students desire to, and need to learn skills that would provide them with the aptitude for a profession. The Indian education system in its endeavour to imprint facts and jargon upon young learners, under the impression that the gift of memory is akin to the gift of breathing, and out of rote learning rises the educated mind, has forgotten the significance of skills in the real world. There are thousands who consider vocational practices more worthwhile than history, chemistry and geography. Once again, this issue cannot be fixed by higher funds. Development of skills includes imparting technical and vocational education, which includes structured apprenticeships, and other enterprise-based trainings.7 The government-funded National Skill Corporation has not yet implemented its mission in schools, where the educative system must be reformed to include and give equal, if not more importance, to skills development.
Quality education is more than just a building with desks, tables and teachers. A quality education means ensuring that children are capable and learned, not just literate. A quality education means having quality teachers who not only utilise available tools creatively and are interested in teaching, but who also encourage the children to remain interested in being taught. For the poorest of the poor, a quality education would mean learning a skill that would teach them enough to start something on their own or use that skill to find a job. A quality education for special children would mean learning enough to help them manage as much as possible without constant dependence. A quality education for children with learning disabilities would be something that would guide them patiently till they feel confident enough to be productive by themselves. A quality education for many others would be an unbreakable moulding to build their dreams on. And what underlies a quality education for all these children from different socio-economic and emotional backgrounds is the ability to sustain the interest in being taught, the curiosity to know more, the belief that education is helpful, and the determination to come to school to learn every day.”