Dismal education scenario in Odisha
When in a small state like Uttarakhand, 2,385 schools and colleges are to be connected with Internet within two years, it is a matter of sorrow that in a state like Odisha, where 60,000 primary schools are running, the state government has decided to close down 49 primary schools. Here it is worth mentioning that education is the key to all developments and acts as a catalyst of change in the society. Lack of education leads to lack of access. Education is also responsible for success of democracy and guarantees transparency in governance. Against this backdrop, the education scenario is gloomy in Odisha. At least 48 per cent of Class V students of both State Government-run and private schools in Odisha cannot read simple Odia text of Class II. Only 25 per cent of students of Class V in these schools can read English words of Class II level.These shortcomings in school education system in the State came to the fore in the Annual Survey of Education Report (ASER) – 2016, which was released by New Delhi-based non-profit organisation, Pratham, recently.
In Mathematics, the figures are even more alarming. Only 26 per cent of students in Class V of Government and private schools can solve a division problem of Class II level while 43 per cent of Class V students complete a subtraction problem of Class II. Sources in the Odisha wing of ASER-2016 said the survey was carried out to know performance of students in Language, Arithmetic and English subjects. The figures are an average of performance of students in both Government and private schools across the State. However, when it comes to individual performances, the Government schools lag behind private schools in all aspects. While such is the dismal scenario of education in Odisha, particularly in Government-run schools, in other states governments are taking measures for the all-round development of education.
For instance, in a small state like Delhi, where earlier 100 students were reading in one room, 8000 new classrooms have been constructed, another 10,000 are in progress. More stress on cleanliness, security, toilets and drinking water has been given. Black boards have been replaced with SWAMKY white or green colour boards. Shabby buildings have been replaced with new, for congenial environment, when students felt like learning. It needed political will and money. Principals were sent Cambridge and Harward for training. First time in India, teachers were sent to IITs, IIMs for learning. As a result, 600 students were selected for JEE in last two years.
Now let’s give a glance at education ambience in Karnataka. Bangalore is city of colleges in India. MHRD revealed in 2017-18, there are 893 colleges in the state. This is the maximum in India. There are 15 university colleges for women, 500 general colleges, 126 technical colleges, 176 agriculture colleges , 56 medical colleges, 22 law colleges. There are 893 nursing schools, which is the second highest after U.P. The state is foreign students’ No. One preference, as in 2017-2018, 12,403 foreign students got enrolled.
In Uttarakhand, the government has plan for free education from KG to PG. They have decided to reduce exam schedule for U.P. Board and Degree Colleges. Declaration of exam date in September 2018 for university and schools. The government has made academic calendar to ensure the number days for study–A target to complete the courses in those days. M.J.P Rohi Khanda University has already implemented on priority basis this calendar. G.S.T course has been introduced for more employment . This year 1.5 lakh students were awarded degrees and girls at 59 per cent outscored boys at 41 per cent. The state is having 38 urban universities and 48 medical colleges with 4574 seats.
In Telengana, the biggest IT incubator center has been set up in IIT campus in Gachibowl. State-of- the-art forma City Park with international standards is coming up in 1933120 acres of land in Mucharial in Ranga Reddy district so as to bring global players to Hyderabad. The cluster aims at creating a small eco-system, setting a benchmark to sustainable industrial cities worldwide.There will be free reimbursement for students and overseas scholarship for students. There is English medium of instruction and Telugu as compulsory language. There are re-Metric and post-Metric scholarships for students. There are minority residential school and residential school exclusively for SC and ST students. There is provision of financial assistance to those who do not have any traditional profession. The government is setting up apparel park at Gudwal and textile park at Warngal with special facility for students. In Rajasthan, financial assistance of Rs.50,000 to girls from their birth to 12th class is provided. More than Rs.395 crore have been given to girls. Free bicycles, scooties and transport vouchers for girl students are given to reduce dropout rate. 14 lakh bicycles, 15750 + scooties and Rs.1000 thousand worth transport vouchers have been distributed so far. The state is having 32 rural and 35 urban universities.
Tamil Nadu produces three Phd-holders every day. Since 2011 the government has been supplying free laptops to 15 lakh students every year. Students in the state after passing 12th class get a free bicycle. The state is having 57 universities (rural 30 + urban 20). Special incentive of Rs 313.58 crores to 18.88 lakhs
students is given to prevent school dropout. There are high tech computer labs in government high schools/ higher secondary schools at a cost of Rs 442.6 crore. There are 412 training centers to prepare students to compete successfully in competitive exams.New syllabus has been introduced to upgrade the quality of education.
Given the above scenarios in other states, it is shocking that the government in Odisha is going to close down 49 primary schools, where the education ambience is deteriorating. It is hoped that the government will mull over its decision of closing down these schools and would introduce measures for betterment of education in the state.
By Dr. Krupasindhu Nanda