We Need More Focus on Rural Education

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    Kindly elaborate the status of education in the country?
    The UPA report card has highlighted achievements like creation of five lakh classrooms, providing 10.52 crore people with mid-day meal and firming up plans to extend IT infrastructure to 4752 schools. The ‘Report to the People’ also mentioned the launch of low cost computing device ‘Aakash’ last year and setting up of central universities and technical institutes. The fact that Indian students have ranked a lowly 72nd in the Global Education Survey conducted by PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) doesn’t show much of promise in our students. It is indeed a matter of shame that we ranked 2nd last out of the 73 countries that participated. So it is beyond doubt that our present system of education is not up to the world standards. It is mainly based on theoretical knowledge they don’t believe in practical knowledge.

    How do you see the scenario in Rural India?
    In the present scenario, condition of rural education is still very poor. In some villages, there are very few Government schools children have to travel faraway distances to avail these facilities and most schools in these locations do not provide computer education.

    Most private universities are set up in the urban areas. Do you think rural areas are left out?
    Rural areas have not been left out, but rather have to be left out due to lack of infrastructure and amenities required for the establishing the universities. The last two decades had witnessed unprecedented growth in institutes of higher education primarily due to private sector participation. The private sector has contributed significantly in increasing the gross enrollment ratio (GER) from10% in 2000 to 13.8% in 2010. The private sector is expected to provide useful contribution in achieving the target of 30% GER by 2020. Proper regulatory framework supported by mutual trust and accountability is important for the establishment of vibrant global private higher education institutions.

    What is the current situation of drop outs in rural areas?
    In present situation it has been noticed that interest of rural India is increasing and rate of drop outs significantly reduced as the people are sensitized about importance of education in life. Education is a rope that can carry us to destination. It is one of the most important things in life because without education and lack of knowledge we can’t contribute to the world.

    How universities can play a role in nation-building?
    University education is more than the next level in the learning process; it is a critical component of human development worldwide. It provides not only the high-level skills necessary for every labor market but also the training essential for teachers, doctors, nurses, civil servants, engineers, and a myriad of other personnel. It is these trained individuals who develop the capacity and analytical skills that drive local economies, support civil society, teach children, lead effective governments, and make important decisions which affect entire societies.

    What is your ultimate dream of your university?
    The core mission of the University is to promote learning in Indian tradition with international outlook. The University will distinguish itself as a diverse, socially responsible learning community of high quality scholarship and academic rigor, sustained by Indian ethics and values. The University will draw from the cultural, intellectual and economic resources of the nation to enrich and strengthen its educational programmes. 

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