Education in India – why the disparity?


11 May Education in India – why the disparity?

Quality is a major concern for rural schools in India. These schools have to face several challenges to offer education. Development at rural schools can only take place when aspects such as education quality, dedicated teachers, salary increment and provision of basic facilities are considered.

Common challenges faced in Rural Education

There are several common problems that obstruct the growth of education in rural India. They are as follows:

  • Rural schools fail to provide basic amenities like toilet facilities, learning material, teaching equipment, proper classrooms, playgrounds, drinking water, adequate infrastructure and quality staff.
  • Failure to involve students in other activities such as sports, co-curricular activities and competitions.
  • Only a basic level of education is taught as compared to the advanced level taught in urban schools.
  • Classes are over-packed with students, leading to a indistinct teacher- student ratio.
  • Due to lack of proper transportation, children often have to walk miles to reach the government schools, which discourages them from attending school on a regular basis.
  • Teachers are poorly paid, which results in lack of attention and dedication by the teachers.
  • Poor conditions in rural schools drives away the students.


We need to find a solution to these setbacks, which will resolve all the issues of rural education in India. There are numerous inspiring efforts taking place across the country in the rural areas to provide quality education. For example, there are a few innovative and successful schools operating in rural India – the Barefoot College, 8 Day Academy and Gurukul School in Bihar.


Urban schools are known to impart quality education and provide excellent facilities to the students.  In urban schools, importance is given to computer training and education. School education is more advanced and greater importance is given to computer aided teaching. There are several schools in the vicinity. Transport facilities such as bus pick up and drop off are available. The level of education is more advanced. Technology such as video conferencing and audio conferring is used to train the students. Students are encouraged to participate in extra-curricular activities and competitions. In the urban schools, dedicated and experienced teachers train the students and there is no shortage of teachers.

There is a vast difference in the qualities and facilities offered by rural and urban schools. It is high time for the education standards in rural schools to be revised. Government agencies and Department of Education need to pay more attention to the rural areas and provide these schools with similar facilities and amenities to the urban schools. Providing education in urban areas can help us fight poverty and we can attempt to escape the vicious cycle of lack of education leading to continuous poverty.


The system  – how does it compare?

Education in India is offered by the private sector and the public sector. Control and the funding for education in India are obtained from three levels – central, state and local. Similar to the public sector schools, private sector schools are also highly regulated in regards to their operations and teachings. Private schools offer quality education and adequate facilities to the students hence; Indian parents desire to send their kids to private sector schools. Public sector schools fail to offer quality facilities due to lack of funding. They face a shortage of staff and lack of sufficient infrastructure.

The stages of Indian education system are as follows:

  • Pre-school: This level is optional.
  • Private Playschool: Such types of playschools cater to children in the age groups of 18 months to three years.
  • Kindergarten: This education is divided into lower kindergarten and upper kindergarten.
  • Primary school: Includes education from class one to class four.
  • Middle school: Includes education from class five to class eight.
  • Secondary school: Includes education in class nine and class ten.
  • Higher secondary: Includes education from class eleven and class twelve.
  • Undergraduate: Includes education from class thirteen to class fifteen. Specialized courses in the field of medicine, engineering, etc can be longer.
  • Postgraduate: Education for two years.


Types of Schools

  • Public/Government schools: These schools are funded by the government.
  • Private schools: These schools are run by private management sectors.
  • International schools: These schools are attended by expat and Indian children.
  • National open schools: Offers education up to the higher secondary grade for students who have not been able to complete their formal education.
  • Special-needs schools: These schools offer non-formal education and vocational training to students with disabilities.

School education in India is provided in three boards. They are as follows:

  • Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – Initially this was meant for kids of central government employees who are transferred periodically. These schools follow a common schedule in order to help a student going from one school to another, where the child does not observe any difference in the teachings. CBSE syllabus is followed by both, public and private schools.
  • Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) – This commenced as a replacement for the Cambridge School Certificate. ICSE syllabus is generally followed by private schools.
  • State Board – Every State has its own Department of Education which governs the curriculum and examination pattern in that particular state.
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