UPSC Mains Daily Answer Writing (15-09-2022)

UPSC Mains Daily Answer Writing

UPSC Mains Answer Writing - GS 4 (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude) | Case study


Questions

Case study: Despite being one of the fastest growing economies in the world, India still has one-third of the global illiterates. India is now facing the perils of its failure to educate its citizens, notably the poor. As India is a mixed economy, it needs government intervention in the education sector as education driven by profit motive may not benefit the masses. However, the state of government schools in India is gloomy. Barring 2-3 exceptions, most Indian states have poor educational records. The number of children in school is more than ever before, but the standards of government schools have sunk to spectacularly low levels. Children learning in these schools hail from the poorest of families - those who cannot afford private schools or tuition for their kids. India has had a history of weak schooling for its children, even as it has promoted top-notch government-financed universities. In the past, a poor and agrarian nation could afford to leave its citizens illiterate, but that is no longer the case. The high growth in India has led to a shortage of skilled labour. The nation's many new roads, television sets and phones have also fueled new ambitions for economic advancement among its citizens - and there is an expectation from schools to help them achieve it.
Considering the pessimistic picture of public schooling in India, consider this situation - You are a District Collector. A group of poor people from a nearby village meets you to discuss the gloomy conditions of public schools in their areas. They handed you a letter which contains a set of five problems regarding the dismal state of schools i.e.

  • Lack of hygienic toilet facility (especially for girls),
  • Lack of security,
  • Non-availability of clean drinking water,
  • Irregular attendance of teachers and
  • Rude behaviour of teachers and staff with the students.

Due to these problems, parents often are not sending their children to school. Dropout rates are high. The education minister of your state also expects something concrete from you, as he is answerable to the local public and media about this issue. Concerning these problems, how will you go about providing solutions so that your action may become an example for others to follow?

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Model Solutions

Case study
Despite being one of the fastest growing economies in the world, India still has one-third of the global illiterates. India is now facing the perils of its failure to educate its citizens, notably the poor. As India is a mixed economy, it needs government intervention in the education sector as education driven by profit motive may not benefit the masses. However, the state of government schools in India is gloomy. Barring 2-3 exceptions, most Indian states have poor educational records. The number of children in school is more than ever before, but the standards of government schools have sunk to spectacularly low levels. Children learning in these schools hail from the poorest of families - those who cannot afford private schools or tuition for their kids. India has had a history of weak schooling for its children, even as it has promoted top-notch government-financed universities. In the past, a poor and agrarian nation could afford to leave its citizens illiterate, but that is no longer the case. The high growth in India has led to a shortage of skilled labour. The nation's many new roads, television sets and phones have also fueled new ambitions for economic advancement among its citizens - and there is an expectation from schools to help them achieve it.
Considering the pessimistic picture of public schooling in India, consider this situation - You are a District Collector. A group of poor people from a nearby village meets you to discuss the gloomy conditions of public schools in their areas. They handed you a letter which contains a set of five problems regarding the dismal state of schools i.e.

  • Lack of hygienic toilet facility (especially for girls),
  • Lack of security,
  • Non-availability of clean drinking water,
  • Irregular attendance of teachers and
  • Rude behaviour of teachers and staff with the students.

Due to these problems, parents often are not sending their children to school. Dropout rates are high. The education minister of your state also expects something concrete from you, as he is answerable to the local public and media about this issue. Concerning these problems, how will you go about providing solutions so that your action may become an example for others to follow?

Model Structure

There are many reasons for the failure -

  • First of all, there is an acute shortage of teachers.
  • Children often don't get support from their parents.
  • Parents seem to be indifferent to their child's learning and only see them as additional hands for work.
  • There is also longstanding neglect, insufficient public financing and accountability, and a lack of motivation among some teachers to pay special attention to poor children from lower castes.
  • Even basic amenities like water and electricity are not being provided.

There is an urgent need for improvement in the level of education. The steps needed are:

  1. The officer concerned should first collect the detailed information, data so that he can reach some conclusion about further course of action.
  2. Call a meeting of teachers and direct them to be punctual and sincere in their duty, failing which strict disciplinary action would be initiated. Action should be taken against the failing teachers, as soon as possible, as it would act as deterrence for other erring teachers.
  3. Reward and recognition can be used to motivate the teachers to act in the interest of the children. Steps may be initiated by offering incentives and rewards to teachers who are punctual, sincere and successful in bringing good educational outcomes measured against an objective set of parameters.
  4. The innovative practices which concentrate more on practical knowledge rather than theoretical mugging up of information may initiate a new learning experience within students.
  5. Interactive sessions may be initiated with the students and parents to inspire and motivate them from time to time.
  6. Counseling, workshops etc. may be arranged to inform the teachers about their role in making the future of the country and their role in imparting values.
  7. Sanitation facilities should be provided within school premises and awareness drives should be initiated among students towards the importance of hygiene and sanitation.

Conclusion
Officers concerned should not go for any innovative ideas that demand big funds as this is generally not appreciated in day-to-day government functioning, rather it is expected to bring excellence with available resources.

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