Today, India’s education sector remains a victim of poor policies, restrictive regulations and orthodoxy. Despite being enrolled in schools, children are not learning adequately. Increasingly, parents are seeking alternatives through private inputs in school and tuition. Students are dropping out from secondary school in spite of high financial returns of secondary education, and those who do complete it have inferior conceptual knowledge. Higher education is over-regulated and under-governed, keeping away serious private providers and reputed global institutes. Graduates from high schools, colleges and universities are not readily employable, and few are willing to pay for skill development. Ironically, the Right to Education Act, if strictly enforced, will result in closure of thousands of non-state schools, and millions of poor children will be left without access to education. Eleventh in the series, India Infrastructure Report 2012 discusses challenges in the education sector – elementary, secondary, higher and vocational – and explores strategies for constructive change and opportunities for the private sector. It suggests that immediate steps are required to reform the sector to reap the benefits from India’s 'demographic dividend' due to a rise in the working population.
Result of a collective effort led by the IDFC Foundation, this report brings together a range of perspectives from academics, researchers and practitioners committed to enhancing educational practices. It will be an invaluable resource for policy-makers, researchers and corporates.