India has one of the most extensive education systems in the world. However, there are still a lot of changes that are required to improve the education scenario in India. In 2020, India had an estimated population of 1.38 billion. It is commonly agreed that India’s education system has made noteworthy progress in recent years, specifically in terms of access. The spending on the education system has increased as well in recent years. However, if we express the spending as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), we can see that the expenditure has varied through the years.
History of education in India
The custom of conveying knowledge to others has been coming since ancient times. In ancient India, the Gurukul system was prevalent where the students used to live with their gurus (teachers). Several branches of knowledge originated from India. The Indian education system attracts students from all over the world at present.
The changing scenario of education and literacy
The Constitution of India states that the people should be provided with a quality education. Efforts should be made to satisfy the people’s educational needs.
Out of the total population in India, only 14% of the population was literate at the time of independence. It is said that only one out of three children had been enrolled in primary school. The education for children in the age group of 6-14 is very important for building the nation. The government considers education in five-year plans and, as a result, an increase in awareness and improved infrastructure could be experienced. However, the overall aim to provide basic education is still not completed. India had 2.15 lakh primary schools in 1950-51, and it rose to 6.1 lakhs in 1997-98.
Secondary education is crucial as it prepares students aged 14-18 to enter higher education.
The population of children at the secondary level in 1996-97 was estimated at around 9.66 crores. Out of this population, 2.70 crores were attending schools. This tells that two-thirds of the eligible population was still out of school.
All India Survey on Higher Education states that the gross enrolment ratio of higher education in India was 20.8% in 2011-12 and increased to 25.8% in 2017-18. The main cause of this low intake is the lack of access. After independence, higher education in India expanded swiftly, and today the rank of India is very high in the size of the network of institutions providing higher education. The number of student enrolments has increased from 2.63 lakhs to 67.55 lakhs by 1996-97.
The total number of students enrolled in the universities and colleges was 74.18 lakhs at the beginning of the year 1999-2000. Out of the total enrolment, around eighty per cent was in arts, science, and commerce and the rest were in the professional faculties.
The education scenario in India
Education is the most important factor that helps people change their personalities and future prospects. The person then helps the nation develop its socio-economic condition. However, Indians are unable to take advantage of this ban. The changing scenario of education and literacy is visible.
The Indian education system is categorised in a pyramidal structure. The children of age 5-6 years belong to the pre-primary level of education. The students of age 6-14 years are in the primary level. The secondary level of education has students aged 14-18. Higher education consists of three levels: undergraduate, post-graduate, and doctorate.
It is also seen that youth that has attained higher education are still not employable because they don’t have skills related to the industry. In India, there is limited access to quality basic education. And as we do not have a good foundation of basic education, it is difficult for any skill development program to succeed.
After independence, the changing scenario of education and literacy has caused a rapid rise in the number of students. The government of India is putting a lot of effort to improve the education scenario in India. The literacy rate in India was 18.3% in 1950-51, and it jumped to74.04% in 2010-11. It is a significant achievement of the government to see a massive jump in literacy. The government is trying to improve the education system so that the people’s standard of living could also be enhanced as well as other goals like eradication of poverty, unemployment, and social equality could be achieved.