Education In India
The central and most state boards uniformly follow the "10+2+3" pattern of education. In this pattern, study of 10 years is done in schools and 2 years in Junior colleges, and then 3 years of graduation for a bachelor's degree. The first 10 years is further subdivided into 4 years of primary education, 6 years of High School followed by 2 years of Junior colleges.:5 This pattern originated from the recommendation of the Education Commission of 1964–66.
The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) is the apex body located at New Delhi, Capital City of India. It makes the curriculum related matters for school education across India.
Distance Education in India
Indian Education system offers distance education to those who cannot join regular schools or colleges. National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) offers school education through distance learning.
Under Gradugate and Post Gradugate Education courses like in arts (history, economics, literature, Islamic studies), commerce (finance, banking, accounting) are offered by Indian universities. Also some professional courses in management, mass media, para medical, engineering, law, travel and tourism are also part of distance education in India.
Today education system in India can be divided into many stages.
- Pre- Primary - It consists of children of 3-5 years of age studying in nursery, lower kindergarten and upper kindergarten. At this stage student is given knowledge about school life and is taught to read and write some basic words.
- Primary - It includes the age group of children of 6-11 years studying in classes from first to fifth.
- Middle - It consists of children studying in classes from sixth to eighth.
- Secondary - it includes students studying in classes ninth and tenth.
- Higher Secondary - Includes students studying in eleventh and twelfth classes.
- Undergraduate - Here, a student goes through higher education, which is completed in college. This course may vary according to the subject pursued by the student. For medical student this stage is of four and a half years plus one year of compulsory internship, while a simple graduate degree can be attained in three years.
- Postgraduate - After completing graduation a student may opt for post graduation to further add to his qualifications.
Education Governing Bodies in India
- The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE): This is the main governing body of education system in India. It has control over the central education system. It conducts exam and looks after the functioning of schools accredited to central education system.
- The Council of Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE): It is a board for Anglo Indian Studies in India. It conducts two examinations 'Indian Certificate of Secondary Education' and 'Indian School Certificate'. Indian Certificate of secondary education is a k-10 examination for those Indian students who have just completed class 10th and Indian school certificate is a k-12 public examination conducted for those studying in class 12th.
- The State Government Boards: Apart from CBSE and CISCE each state in India has its own State Board of education, which looks after the educational issues.
- The National Open School: It is also known as National Institute of Open Schooling. It was established by the Government Of India in 1989. It is a ray of hope for those students who cannot attend formal schools.
- The International School: It controls the schools, which are accredited to curriculum of international standard.
According to the Constitution of India, elementary education is a fundamental right of children in the age group of 6-14 years. India has about 688,000 primary schools and 110,000 secondary schools. According to statistics two third of school going age children of India are enrolled in schools but the figures are deceptive as many don't attend schools regularly. At least half of all students from rural area drop out before completing school. The government has rolled out many plans to increase the percentage of elementary education. The plans such as 'Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA), District Primary Education Program (DPEP), Operation Blackboard, Mid Day Meal have been successful to great extent.
Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA)
The main goal of this program is that all children of 6-11 years of age should complete primary education by the year 2007 and all children of 6-14 years of age should complete eight years of schooling by 2010. This plan covers the whole country with special emphasis on girl education and education of Schedule Caste (SC) and Schedule Tribe (ST) children and children with special needs. The SSA centers are mainly opened in those areas, which do not have any school or where schools are very far off. Special girl oriented programs include:
- Girl education at elementary level.
- National Program for Education of Girls at Elementary Level (NPEGEL)
- Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV)
- Mahila Samakhya Scheme
District Primary Education Program
This program was launched in 1994 with the objective of universalization of primary education. Its main features are Universal Access, Universal Retention and Universal Achievement. It aims that the primary education should be accessible to each and every child of school going age, once a child is enrolled in school he/ she should be retained there. The final step is achievement of the goal of education. The main components of this program are:
- Construction of classrooms and new schools
- Opening of non-formal schooling centers
- Setting up early childhood education centers.
- Appointment of teachers.
- Providing education to disabled children.
The program has been successful to the large extent as 1,60,000 schools and 84,000 alternative schools have been opened under this program. And work is going on for the construction of new buildings of 52,758 schools. 4,20,203 disabled students have been successfully enrolled into the schools.
National Bal Bhavan
The National Bal Bhavan was opened with the aim of developing overall personalities of children of all strata of society irrespective of their caste, creed, religion and gender. It supplements school education by helping children to learn in play way and natural environment.
Other important endeavors taken up by Indian government for the development of education in India includes:
- Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti
- Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan
- Integrated Education for disabled children
- National Council of Educational Research and Training