Maintaining that dropout rates in schools remain high after the elementary level, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said some major concerns in the field of education are yet to be addressed.
His comments come a day after he regretted that none of the Indian universities figures among the top 200 in the world and that the focus henceforth would be on giving “over-riding emphasis on quality”.
“The Mid-Day Meal Scheme has contributed to improved retention outcomes in our schools. But, the standard of teaching is not up to the mark and learning outcomes are far below what we want them to be,” he said.
Addressing the inaugural function of the golden jubilee celebration of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS), the Prime Minister said Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) can help in a major way in setting benchmarks for other schools.
“This is one of the roles envisaged for Kendriya Vidyalayas in the 12th Five-Year Plan. They should act as role models for neighbourhood schools, mentoring them and sharing the best practices with them. I would urge the KVS to find ways to effectively fulfil these expectations,” he said.
Pointing out that the KVS has many initiatives to keep pace with the rapidly-changing realities, he said much more needs to be done as KVS strives towards excellence. He expressed the hope that the KVS will embrace change boldly wherever it is needed.
Claiming that the UPA Govt has increased investment in education on an unprecedented scale, Singh said: “We have endeavoured to ensure that students from the weaker sections of our society and the less developed regions of our country also get adequate access to educational opportunities.”
HRD Minister M M Pallam Raju said the KVS has adopted technology in a big way to bring substantial changes in the classrooms.