Everything has ‘pros and cons’: Like most things in the world, India’s democratic and diverse nature brings both pros and cons and inequality is one of the major ‘cons’ amongst the many pros. Inequality is an umbrella term that pretty much encapsulates the entire gamut of issues our nation is experiencing today, especially the invisible fencing that has become a way and part of the life of every Indian’s existence.
This phenomenon is widespread and has deep roots in every aspect of our living and needless to mention, the education sector is no exception. Its prevalence is visible in abundance and various socio-economic levels of our society. Inequality concerning access to quality education is like a side effect of all the other discriminations like social, economic, gender, caste, class, demographic, etc.
Spotlighting the Hidden Problem
Access to quality education is not a necessity or a human right anymore; it is more like a shopping experience that ranges from bad, good, or best depending upon one’s pocket, address, gender, caste, or learning and linguistic ability. The talks about the country’s financial inequality and a few others have been around for a long, but there was very little mention of its actual origin - inequality of access to quality education. Thanks to the recently announced NEP 2020 has brought the significance into the spotlight and how it affects the entire landscape of inequality.
The Widening Gap
Despite all efforts of the government, the private sector, and the NGOs, only a limited percentage of our population get to go to good schools, afford expensive tutors and coaching centres, pursue novel hobbies, get into great national/ international universities under economic and geographic privileges. This gap only seems to be widening by the day.
Now, let’s look at the other side of the coin – a handful of schools are capable of assuring quality education through their sparkling collection of expensive resources, both human and material, combined with the state of art infrastructure and excellent pedagogical approaches. Sometimes it may not be about affordability but could very well be about availability or accessibility and geographical location play an important role.
An Effort to Bridge the Gap
Can something be done to bridge this gap? There are certain mandatory modalities of good early years education that is tried, tested, and proven to be effective across the globe. This happens to be a scarcity, in fact, a complete absence in certain parts of the country and for certain sections of the Indian population. To name a few - Synthetic Phonics-based multisensory English Language Teaching, CPA (concrete-pictorial-abstract) based experiential math teaching, inquiry-based EVS lessons, cross-curricular integration, and a focussed building social-emotional skill-building programs can significantly raise educational standards. The use of educational resources and methodologies focusing on the inculcation of the twenty-first-century skills of communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity is the need of the hour to make our children future-ready.
When I, along with my team, was traveling to all kinds of schools in various Tier 1/2/3/4 cities, we realised that the only way to do this is through empowering the community of teachers. Equipping them with an in-depth understanding of effective pedagogical approaches, providing effective and affordable teaching-learning resources, and using technology for planning and implementation” explains Rohan Ravi Bhatia, Director – Sales and Marketing, SAAR Education (I) Pvt. Ltd.
“Quality Education X Professional Teacher Training X Affordable Pricing = Equality in Education” This formula is adopted and successfully implemented in 600+ schools to bridge this gap and bring smiles to thousands of faces and the journey has just begun.
The author is Director- Sales and Marketing, SAAR Education (I) Pvt. Ltd.
DISCLAIMER: Views expressed are the author’s own, and Outlook Money does not necessarily subscribe to them. Outlook Money shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.