Get Rid of ” License Raj ” from Indian Education.


First, our education system currently suffers from an apparent ‘Licence Raj’ that restricts entry and operation of private players.

Even policies such as RTE neglect that private schools are a large part of the education ecosystem (already 40% of school students and 60% of college students are enrolled in private institutions).

These norms have led to the shutdown of a large number of affordable private schools that serve low-income students. The government must deregulate school education and treat government and private schools as equal partners in solving India’s education crisis.

Second, it is important not only to invest more in education but to do so more strategically.

Central government should invest more resources in teacher education and development, principal training, ICT in education and assessments.

It is also critical for the ministry of human resource development to rework its results framework document (RFD) to include student learning outcomes.

Furthermore, a portion of the budget allocation to states should be contingent upon the adoption of progressive education policies and improvement of outcomes.

There is an opportunity to create version 2.0 of the central education budget that shifts focus from inputs and outlays to outcomes and impact, while holding states accountable.

Third, improve quality standards through nationwide assessments.

Assessments need to be at the core of any planning exercise for improving India’s education system.

The government should introduce statewide learning assessments that are undertaken at regular periods during a child’s school journey, which can also contribute to remediation and improvement in teaching.

Additionally, a school rating system should be instituted to set targets for school level improvements.

The National Achievement Survey (NAS) should be revamped such that it becomes a barometer for student learning and the de facto benchmark for state performance.

Modi’s government in Gujarat has already taken a lead in this regard with the Gunotsav programme, an accountability framework for quality of primary education that includes learning outcomes of children as well as co-scholastic activities, optimal use of financial resources and community participation. This model can be replicated in other states.

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