The education sector has been dealing with many obstructions, which have not only curbed its opportunities but also questions its methods of functioning. There are various issues like expenditure, enrolment pattern, capacity, facilities, the ratio of teacher to students and quality standards. However, the four main problems have been discussed below.
Considering higher education in particular, the government spends about 85 percent on education every year, especially during 2010-2011. The survey also reveals that spending on children’s education underlines a sharp increase of 63 percent for rural and 73 percent for urban families. However, if we measure the expenses on education as a percentage to GDP, India lags behind some developed/ developing nations on the list.
The Pattern of Gross Enrolment Ratio
The Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) for higher education in India was about 12 percent in 2010. However, the enrolment level varies across different states in the country. We also need to identify that the enrolment level is far below several other countries. According to a report, GER is 23 per cent for China, 34 per cent for Brazil, 57 per cent for U.K., 77 per cent for both Australia and Russia and 83 per cent for the U.S. In this context, the effort of governmental authorities to increase the number of students by 2020 so as to reach GER of 30 percent becomes a big challenge.
Another challenge, which weakens the education society, is the capacity utilization. On one hand, we need to improve our GER, and on the other, we need to ensure that institutions/ colleges/schools shaped for providing higher education fully utilize the capacity created. For example, a recent study on capacity utilization in India for higher education indicates that the capacity utilization in case of MBA is about 57 percent in Maharashtra and 72 percent in Haryana. In the case of certain states, there are a lot of unfilled seats in the institutions.
Facilities the Infrastructure Offers
The infrastructure facilities desirable to rank the institutions of better quality include real estate, state of the art classrooms, library, hostels, furniture, sports facilities, transportation, commercial buildings etc. We need to ensure a political private sector participation in the establishment of colleges for providing quality physical infrastructure. Especially in graduate school level, placements after the course is also another need.
The only way forward is by evolving with new innovations, making education affordable, increasing the quality of education and focusing on practical knowledge more than theoretical knowledge.