Quality of education in India remains poor: World Bank

10 Nov

DOHA: Though India is enrolling more students in schools and colleges, the quality of education in the country remains poor, a top World Bank official said.

“It’s not enough that you are putting more children into schools and colleges each year, you will have to bring them at par with international standard,” World Bank Director Education Elizabeth M King said on the sidelines of World Innovation Summit for Education ( WISE) here.

King said the World Bank expects India to have ambitions to compete with the best in the world.

“Though India has some good institutions like IITs and IIMs, they are not as tall as institutions like MIT and Leeds in terms of quality of education provided,” she said.

King said although India has the resources to formulate an efficient education policy, inequality in distribution of resources remains a cause of concern.

“Most of the people who come to even IITs and IIIMs have to be from well-off families, where are the opportunities for the poor? Government is not using the funds appropriately,” King said.

She, however, praised HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, saying he has a good vision for future of India and is open to technological innovations.

“I met him (Sibal) in March. He has a good vision to implement the Constitution. I think it will be interesting to see how Aakash (world’s most affordable tablet PC launched by the Government) is going to change the education scenario in India. I see it doing so in many ways,” she said.

King hoped that several pilot studies being carried in India would bear fruits. “India is a country which experiments a lot and I like it, but these experiments have to yield fruits, there are still schools and colleges functioning without any infrastructure.”

Asked about the role played by World Bank to help the education scenario in India, King said the Bank has been supporting basic education in the country to augment the Right to Education ( RTE).

“Our contribution is to bring knowledge and experience to help design education policy. In terms of monetary help, we only contribute a drop in the bucket,” she said.

King also praised the education policy for girl child in Haryana, saying she saw something similar being implemented in Brazil recently.

“Such schemes not only help to increase the literacy rates among girls, they also abate the fears of early marriage among girls,” she said.

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