The latest Unesco report on education says that India will be late by half a century in achieving its global education commitments listed in the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
India’s hopes of reaping the demographic dividend in the next 20-30 years might be difficult to achieve if this prediction were to prove true.
The central and state governments will need to focus on at least three areas.
One, the demand-supply gap must be redressed—the teacher-pupil ratio still falls in the range shown by lower middle-income countries and infrastructure is lacking to deal with rising demand.
Second, the quality of education must improve—learning abilities and skill sets of students fall way below the norm, and teachers across streams are reported to be under-qualified.
Third, India needs to work out a way to improve its social equity in terms of access to education.