Lant Pritchett: India’s Battle to Educate the Country

(Cross posted from “Shrikant’s Blog”)

I bumped into Lant Pritchett’s interaction with Indian Express this week. Lant is the Faculty co-chair of the Master’s in Public Administration / International Development Program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He discusses various issues with the Indian education system. His insight and observations are astute, profound and the heuristic for what needs to be fixed.  We can fix if there is a will to fix it. Some of his observations are ->

We churn out millions with zero skills

The same system also produces 100,000 students a year in the global top 10%

We have an over ambitious curriculum, more equipped to teach the elite rather than the masses

To educate all of India we need scale down the learning and focus on learning

RTE is one of the most ill-conceived programs, instead of focussing on learning we have just enshrined additional legislation

India does not have any semi-skilled labour, people with basic lieracy, basic numeracy but no advanced skills

Any systems that gives control of hiring and allocation of teachers to parents produces much better results

SSA is popular because it allows politicians to hire more teachers with government air-cover and promote political patronage.

This interaction basically highlights the various issues with India’s primary education system. We pay education cess, the whole country is contributing, but the model is wrong. The structure, the incentives, the process of teaching and learning need to change, if we have to educate India that will contribute to convert the demographic dividend into a long term assets. However most indicators are pointing the other way.

The Pune PhDs List

InnoVidya, in association with PuneTech, is creating a list of everyone in Pune with a PhD degree

There are various different reasons for creating this group.

  1. University of Pune has just announced an initiative for an integrated MTech/PhD program, and I believe we will see some focused effort on getting good PhD candidates for this program. One aspect of this program is that anyone with a PhD can be a guide, even if they are not directly associated with a research institution. We believe that by creating a list of PhDs in Pune we will be able to help UoP in this effort.

    For more information about UoP’s new M.Tech/Ph.D program, see this Sakaal Times article

  2. Having this list of PhDs will help people find local experts in various fields.

  3. My experience is that creating such communities has unexpected benefits, as people find interesting ways in which such a community can be useful.

If you have a PhD and you live in Pune, please join the group (this is a group on LinkedIn. If you know someone else who should join, please let them know, or let us know

Under Construction

We are a group of educators and industry professionals who want to reach out to students, teachers, trainers and working professionals and catalyze significant improvements in their learning ecosystems.

We are currently based in Pune, but we expect that this initiative will expand all over India.

This website is a placeholder. Please come back after some time and we’ll have more information here. In the meantime, please get in touch with us: info@innovidya.org