Please through some light on India’s rural education scenario.
In the current the Indian education scenario, the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) for primary education is lower than any developing country in the world. Furthermore, the number of enrolment for higher education in the country is also very low in comparisons to the western countries. So this is the alarming situation for us. As we say, India is growing very fast, but the GER is very low. This, we need to look at. Our primary focus should be at improvement of the GER.
It is understood that educated rural students become disconnected. How do you perceive the problem?
It depends on what kinds of programmes institutions develop and what kinds of programmes students are pursuing. For example, if a programme is focussed on management or human resources, then the job opportunity will be only in the cities. What we need to do is to develop the kind of courses which can bring employment opportunities in the rural areas or in the small towns. The courses should be relevant to the smaller places like setting up of retail chain, setting up of cold chain in the rural background.
Do you think graduates are willing to work in the rural terrains after studies?
The Institute of Rural Management, Anand, has a lot of demand for admission. The numbers of applications, have grown up more than 60 to 70 percent as compared to a couple of years ago. There are a lot of opportunities available in the rural marketing. Today, if any product wants to become a success it can only be done through rural marketing.
It is found that our teachers are not well-trained. Kindly elaborate the implication?
We need to train the teachers and then they will be able to transform the students. This is the first criterion we have to develop. The UGC and Ministry of Human Resources, Government of India have lot of schemes to develop the faculty. So we need to utilise these funds, schemes and available resources to develop these people. The teachers, teaching professional courses, must have a minimum professional experience so that they can understand the industry.
Apart from the Hindi belt, all the states have their own separate language, it becomes very challenging for a Kannada student to work in Odisha. Please say something on this.
We have a Bangalore University graduate programme in which students have option to choose any language programme. Apart from English, they can opt any regional language also. We try to focus students to train on that particular language.
How do you sync education with industrial need?
We are very keen on Rural Marketing discipline. We have 50 percent of the students from rural areas. We train them properly and motivate them to do something for their place after their graduation or post graduation. Our USP is that we are centrally located. We focus on hands-on experience. Unlike other colleges, our students have to pick up some job simultaneously as part of their curriculum. Our classes end at 3 PM, after that 80 percent of students do part-time jobs. It gives them hands-on experience with their study.