UN: Indian Education Behind Times

UNESCO released a report on Monday stating that India will be late by 50 years in attaining its universal education goals. This means that the universal primary education will be realised only by 2050. The universal lower secondary education and universal upper secondary education will be achieved by 2060 and 2085 respectively.

The report by UNESCO’s new Global Education Monitoring (GEM) said that to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by the targeted 2030, India would have to update the education sector by introducing some fundamental changes.

More on the Report

The report goes on to mention a few more statistics. The education that over 60 million Indian children get is nil or very little. Over 11.1 million children in India drop out in the lower secondary level, the highest rate compared to other countries, while over 46.8 million children are out of school at the upper secondary level. The report stated that 2.9 million kids do not even get into primary school. These figures add up to show that there will be a deficiency of 40 million workers with basic, third-level education by 2020.

More report statistics showed that, after passing formal schooling, only 5% adults in the country have attended literacy programs.

The report has urged the government and the education system to take inequalities in education seriously and to track them by obtaining information from families directly. The new agenda for global development suggests education ministers and education supporters work collaboratively with other sectors.

The Need for a Better System

It is imperative that a greater headway is made in education; the system requires a serious transformation to achieve the needed potential and realise the challenges facing the planet and humanity. The GEM report director said that sustainable development makes better sense when the planet is healthy. The new agenda for 2030 brings together global development and environmental goals.

GEM also talks about another report which focuses on using education to make students environmentally conscious. The Education for People and Planet report says that there is a need for education systems to give more consideration to environmental concerns. Although education is the best media to address climate change awareness, the curricula of many countries fail to explicitly include the dire situation. Here, India has been an exception for a few years now, as environmental education is included in the syllabus of over 300 million students.

When the education ministers work collaboratively with other sectors, a health intervention could be introduced in schools, a contribution to increase crop yields can be achieved, and population growth can be reduced through education.


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