The Times of India has published an open letter from Ashish Dhawan, Anu Aga, and Amit Chandra to HRD Minister, Smriti Irani, giving her advice on Five steps to take India’s education system from mediocre to world class.
Here are the main points made by the letter:
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.
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.
improve quality standards through nationwide assessments. Assessments need to be at the core of any planning exercise for improving India’s education system.
equip school principals to become efficient school leaders. Great leaders make great institutions, in every sphere. In schools principals are the highest point of leverage, yet their role is often restricted to administrative functions. There is a need to reimagine the role of the principal — as an instructional leader, rather than an administrator.
improve teacher quality for better learning outcomes. It is unfortunate that teaching today does not attract the best talent. We need public awareness campaigns in India that are able to effectively project teaching as a rewarding and meaningful profession.
The full article has much more detail.