The NCERT was last taken up for scrutiny as long ago as in 1985. A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then, but the heart of the matter, the core of education, has not changed.
We seem to have forgotten what Vivekananda said about education. “Education is the manifestation of the perfection in man,” was his firm belief, and rightly so.
But in our education system, inherited from the colonial rulers, information is stuffed in young, fresh minds day in and day out, not letting the best brains among them to think for that most of the affluent schools boast of.
There are schools which have no roofs. The insanitary surroundings are only to be seen to be believed. To cap it all there are alcohol outlets in the neighbourhood.
I feel that the primary school teachers should be highly qualified, and must also be paid a high salary commensurate with the special training for the job. They should be post-graduates and must have a special B.Ed. course for two years before they are let loose on the innocent children.
If their pay is kept at a high level, the best candidates would be attracted to the job. On the contrary, today we find people who could not make it to any other profession opting for teaching, and most of them do not have any aptitude for it.
Village school teachers need special incentives to attract them to their place of work. They should be provided with minimum amenities for a decent life for themselves and their families in the far-flung villages.
Teachers must have time-bound promotions as in the Central services. It is better to create a Central cadre in the lines of the IAS. Society should recognize them at par with other Central services. These may look farfetched, but if not implemented, the education system will soon become a farce.
All these steps need money. The enormous amounts spent on higher education could be diverted to improve primary education, the latter being the major responsibility of the state. The children thus taught could blossom and bring out the best in them.