India’s formal education system is failing: PM’s Economic advisor

Create: 10/17/2011 - 17:40

India’s economic advisor to PM, Raghuram Rajan has said that India's formal education system is failing as the government is falling short in delivering its responsibilities. He said that the country needs more organisational training in the field of education. He was speaking at Pratham gala fundraiser held at the Meadows Club in Chicago, US. 

"India's formal education system is failing and government school system is failing - government is not delivering the goods," Rajan said. 

Emphasizing on the need to give good incentives to the talented and efficient faculty, he said, "Here in the United States, superstar teachers are paid more. India needs to give incentives to its good teachers to raise the level of education across schools and universities.”

Speaking on the importance of elementary education, he said, "I think it's of critical importance. For a long time we have focused on higher education, but in the last decade we have shifted our focus to primary and secondary education. We need every child in school.In Indian primary schools, half of the students are not in class. Average schools are better in United States and dropout rate is more in India although students are more hungry for education," he added.

Rajan who is a professor of finance at the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business, opined "Education is a leveller, a game changer."

He said China always emphasised education much more than India and as a result its average literacy rate is better than India's. "Education is a problem not only for India but world over because of increase in free trade, communications, unemployment rates and low skilled jobs," said Rajan.

Raghuram Govind Rajan is currently the Eric J. Gleacher Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. He is also economic adviser to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the current President of the American Finance Association. He previously was the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and headed a committee appointed by the Planning Commission on financial reforms in India. Rajan is also a visiting professor at the Indian Finance Ministry, World Bank, Federal Reserve Board, and Swedish Parliamentary Commission.

Born and brought up in Bhopal, he graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi; he completed the Master of Business Administration at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmadabad in 1987. He received his PhD in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He has authored books and has numerous articles in top-tier finance and economics journals to his credit.

[Source: Economic Times]



Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Its not money that can attrack outstanding teachers. It is the total academic atmosphere of indepence in innovation and Govt non-interference. The major problem for India is its moral crisis. What we say do we practice in our way of life? Teaching profession is a noble one and selection of teachers must be only on the basis of merit and there should be continuos monitoring of their progress. Teacher-student ratio is another factor to considered. Curriculum should be up-dated regulary and Govt should spend more on Education as does by China. Unless total set of education is rennovated, high salary will not improve the condition.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

It is true that the teachers in India are not getting any incentive and good salary package....but it is worthwhile to note that for the first time in Indian history, in sixth pay revision, teachers are getting a comparative comfortable salary. I am not totally agree with the article....Govt. has done a lot...spending huge amount in school and higher education....but we are not getting the fruit of it because most of the teachers are not working well and taking responsibility and also not giving justice to their profession. Teachers should try to change their attitude and do hard achieve the main objective in elementary education.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Thnx Sir but let us submit that the takers for formal structured systems ...THROUGH OUT same FAILED. It is corruption either active or passive. parking, encroachment .. the list is long..

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

I agree with Dr Rajan to make primary and secondary education more sound. My question to Dr Rajan is - can Sibal's efforts to bring American Universities to India find a solution? Will that help in strengthening our own education system? American Univs can not reach to villages where it is required the most. Sibal concentrates only on the upgradation of IITs and IIMs.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

I see too many experts trivializing the issue.
Please understand today NPTEL courses developed by IITs are far outstripping Open source courseware of MIT as evidenced from no of downloads that happen. And NPTEL is till evolving with Phase - I completed and Phase - II on way. (
Students from IITs/IISc/IISER and some major universities are being lapped up by foreign universities even before the students have completed their qualifying degrees. In spite of no ranking placement in so called top 100 institutions of the world students from India are being lapped up by foreign universities with full financial support. Who sats that IITs/IISc/IISER and some major universities in India are in any way behind the top 100? If they are why cant IITs attract their own B Techs to do M Tech and/or Ph D in India as the students are even now preferring the lure of foreign universities and dollars or euros or yen that goes with it!
But what we see is that the school and college education has failed. at IITs/IISc/IISER the faculty are being made to face a situation where they have to undo all the 12/15 years of bad learning in schools and then train them for their B Tech or M Tech or Ph D. degree
If at all let the investment be in school level, Let every school be a mini St Stephens. Schools need very good teachers who are very well trained. To get such teachers schools need to offer good accommodation, very good salary and well educated teachers. Populism shall never help. I see state governments appoint teachers who have passed class X/XII/UG with less than 40% marks as teachers in schools – this is sheer vote bank politics and stupidity in extreme
Let the NRIs or government rebuild the school system and bring it back to a level which we had when we were kids – that is of utmost importance.
It will be long ride. Schools will have to be upgraded vastly. Colleges need good teachers and there are none for even money’s sake as IITs are finding. They can not get goods teachers even though the reward system is in place. Today’s faculty also need jobs for their spouse who are also qualified; they need good schools, good medical facilities to be enticed to return to India and even IITs/IISc which has reward system in place can not offer.
Most college teachers have to be re-trained exhaustively, some even sacked – who will bell the cat and foot the money?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

It is NOT at all common for 'superstar teachers' in U.S. colleges and universities to be paid more than their peers. They might get some formal recognition and a small bonus, or they might get preference in sabbatical or professional leave. More commonly, they might be 'invited' to direct seminars at their institutions on teaching/learning methods, which could amount to a part sabbatical or temporary relief from. their regular teaching duties. The U.S. educators--at least in higher education--who get paid significantly more than their peers are so paid because of their professional 'visibility', measured primarily in terms of research productivity or their potential for being 'hired away' by another university, institute, foundation or the like. Let's not harbor any illusions about what motives American university faculty to 'teach well': it ain't the money!

Submitted by L.R.Rana on

Before trying more trials on EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM please experment on Govt. working system. Education system is already a victam of borrowed trials.

If Teachers are classified like Film Stars as Superstars / Megastars/ Stars etc., it will create a serious demoralization among the rank.
The reality in India in its HEIs also needs to be appreciated by these NRIs before prescribing road maps.

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