Jan 2001 35 million children out of school.

April 2007 8 million children out of school.

although the goal was to achieve complete retention by the end of 2010, i think we have done a reasonable job in primary education. Thanks to Kamaraj and MGR, the pioneers of mid-day meal scheme for the attendance rate achieved today.

having mentioned that, let us take a hard look at things. have we really accomplished anything worthwhile here? has education reached the standards it should have reached a long time ago? Is there enough emphasis on the quality of education in the schools today? are teachers well-trained and tested for their jobs? is the future generation of India getting the attention it deserves?

“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.”

– Franklin D Roosevelt

what i see are in the villages of India are schools with reasonable infrastructure but with half of its teachers absent. what i see are students still in torn clothes and heavy bags. what i see are ill-trained sub-standard teachers creating the future of our country.

Did anything go wrong? why is teaching still substandard?

Because what we are investing is in schools and not in schooling. what we are emphasizing is on the infrastructure rather than the quality of education. we need a vessel to hold the substance alright, but what purpose would the vessel have served if we neglected substance to build the vessel?

What we have tried to achieve til now, is literacy. what we should achieve is education. when a person can read the name of the contestant, he is literate. if he can chose the right one, he is educated.

There is a ray of hope for the country’s future generation right now. it is important not to get carried away or complacent. it is time to take a leap in the direction of quality education.

A ray of hope.