Basic Education vs. Skill Enhancement

Editorials News | Feb-17-2019

Basic Education vs. Skill Enhancement

Education is very important for the all-round development of an individual. Education enhances one’s personality and adds charm to it. Right to education is imbibed in our constitution as our fundamental right also. It is very important to at least provide basic, primary education to all the Indian population.

According to the recently released Annual Status of Education Report, the largest NGO in India has conducted a yearly survey which states that the ground reality is very poor. It stated that nearly 25% of students who have completed class 8 are those who do not possess reading competency and more than 50% are such who are not even able to divide numbers. It is often presumed that those children who are unable to learn the basic foundational skills in the initial classes, often fail at learning these skills even later in life. They usually struggle with reading the basic prescriptions, calculating discounts and other day to day operational challenges. The government and the concerned authorities do introduce measures from time to time but not much has changed at the ground level. Almost around 10 years have passed ever since the last major change in the policy took place, i.e. the enactment of the Right to Education Act 2009. Although certain improvements have taken place into the infrastructure and inputs and the ASER reports have clearly indicated the improvement. Alongside, there are rumours that the RTE may be extended to Class 12th, but the question behind is that will it actually bring about any change or is it that the government is expecting different results upon bringing into force same or similar measures again and again. Time and again governments have come forward and recognised this problem but none of the governments have done much about it. Instead of making the situation better on the side of education, the government is laying more emphasis upon the large scale skilling of youth.  The government has introduced the “Skill India mission”. Also, the government has created a perception in the minds of the youth that “Skill India” shall help them earn their livelihood, but at the same time they shall remain uneducated for life. Practically, if seen, the skill development works properly in the real world. It enables young people to obtain an entry level job at least, on the contrary, it has also been seen that the lack of foundational education imposes a restrictive ceiling upon the career prospects of even “skilled youth”.

By: Anuja Arora