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Every child should have the opportunity to receive a quality education

by Rinku Khumukcham
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By: Vinod Chandrashekhar Dixit
Swami Vivekananda once said, “If education is identical with information, libraries are the greatest sages of the world and encyclopedias are `Rishis’.” There is something very much more than mere information that has to be imparted to the young mind. Today, the quality of India’s primary education is a bigger concern than the number of small children who don’t attend school. The private sector has played a role in raising enrolment and literacy rates, by responding to the prodigious demand for education.India has one of the largest higher education systems anywhere in the world. 
The history of education in India is very rich and interesting. Education is a way to gather knowledge and enrich one’s thought. Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. When we talk of quality education, skill development is an inherent part of it. Given our population structure, its diversity and vastness, a degree catering to a ‘one size fits all’ prescription no longer works. Quality education by global standards is the crying need of time. Quality education produces leaders, who need to be globally competitive, if Indian economy aspires to be a developed country.
The Supreme Court has held that the right to education is a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution and that the state is obliged to provide education to children at the primary level. Good education is not only desirable in itself but is also essential for the empowerment of our people. Education should be viewed as a basic human right leading to empowerment and awareness. The politicization of education poses a serious threat to society. It is necessary for the authorities to investigate whether reservation has genuinely helped the backward sections of society. The government should address this problem on an urgent basis and take a holistic approach to it. Granting everyone the right to education is not enough in itself. It is the duty of the State to ensure proper implementation of this law in every section of the society. The 25 per cent reservation for poor kids is a terrible insult to the majority of India’s children. It is like the ‘two-tumbler’ system that prevails in many villages.
After more than two decades of the private sector boom in education, it is clear that private schools are no alternative to the government as far as imparting quality education is concerned. Instability and stress within a nuclear family can impact a child’s education.There is a lot of stress on achievement and performance from the teachers and parents. Children are pushed to do much more than customary to get the desired acceptance and acknowledgement from the family and society circle. Education is also visualized as an evolutionary force so that each individual is enabled to evolve from purely material consciousness towards superior planes of intellectual and spiritual consciousness.
Life skills education is a very important and integral part of educational system worldwide.A lot of thought requires to be given on how to bring in life skills education into the mainstream curriculum. Skill development is directly related to the employment prospects of our youth and, therefore, the focus has to be on providing quality education with skill development.
Efficient networking of educationists, psychologists, mental health professionals and policy makers would be required to develop a concrete workable life skills training programme.The need of the hour, therefore, is to focus not only on education per se, but more importantly on quality. The crowning defect of our existing educational system that requires the immediate and earnest consideration is its excessive passive and mechanical character. The government should take effective steps to provide sound education to students from the backward classes rather than just creating quotas. What is more important is to ensure that proper facilities are provided in schools and the best teachers recruited to teach children in their formative years. Right to education will remain a dream unless sincere efforts are made to create the necessary infrastructure.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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