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Strengthen the base...

The annual Status of Education Report 2014 prepared by Pratam continues to point to an extremely poor picture of school education. A redeeming feature of the report is the high level of enrolment, of 96 per cent and above. The report mentions that an average of only 48.1 per cent of class V children across India can read a class II level text. The survey also pointed to poor record in learning mathematics: only one-fourth in class V knew division.

With 90 per cent of primary education provided by government schools the fault lies in poor management of these. Since the foundation for learning is provided at the primary level it is extremely important to impart quality at this stage. This is vitiated by the extreme politicisation and unionisation with arbitrary powers for transfer and widespread corruption. The community can exert enough pressure if the system of administration is de-centralised; the local administrations given the power to manage the schools right from recruitment to supervision with proper systems and standards regulated by the state. IE has also been suggesting public-private participation: the involvement of private sector which is today possible with increased share of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

The state should expedite experimenting with the PPP model at least as pilot experiment in quick time.

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