Early Eucation in india
Levels of schooling
The pre-primary stage is the foundation of children's knowledge, skills and behaviour. On completion of pre-primary education, the children are sent to the primary stage but pre-primary education in India is not a fundamental right. In rural India, pre-primary schools are rarely available in small villages. But in cities and big towns, there are many established players in the pre-primary education sector. The demand for the preschools is growing considerably in the smaller towns and cities but still only 1% of the population under age 6 is enrolled in preschool education.
Play group (pre-nursery): At play schools, children are exposed to a lot of basic learning activities that help them to get independent faster and develop their self-help qualities like eating food themselves, dressing up, and maintaining cleanliness. The age limit for admission into pre-nursery is 2 to 3 years. Anganwadi is government funded free rural childcare & mothercare nutrition and learning program also incorporating the free Midday Meal Scheme.
Nursery: Nursery level activities help children unfold their talents, thus enabling them to sharpen their mental and physical abilities. The age limit for admission in nursery is 3 to 4 years.
LKG: It is also called the Junior Kindergarten (Jr. kg) stage. The age limit for admission in LKG is 4 to 5 years.
UKG: It is also called the Senior Kindergarten (Sr. kg) stage. The age limit for admission in UKG is 5 to 6 years.
LKG and UKG stages prepare and help children emotionally, mentally, socially and physically to grasp knowledge easily in the later stages of school and college life. A systematic process of preschool education is followed in India to impart knowledge in the best possible way for better understanding of the young children. By following an easy and interesting curriculum, teachers strive hard to make the entire learning process enjoyable for the children.
The primary education in India is divided into two parts, namely Lower Primary (Class I-IV) and Upper Primary (Middle school, Class V-VIII). The Indian government lays emphasis on primary education ( Class I-VIII ) also referred to as elementary education, to children aged 6 to 14 years old. Because education laws are given by the states, duration of primary school visit alters between the Indian states. The Indian government has also banned child labour in order to ensure that the children do not enter unsafe working conditions. However, both free education and the ban on child labour are difficult to enforce due to economic disparity and social conditions. 80% of all recognised schools at the elementary stage are government run or supported, making it the largest provider of education in the country.
However, due to a shortage of resources and lack of political will, this system suffers from massive gaps including high pupil to teacher ratios, shortage of infrastructure and poor levels of teacher training. Figures released by the Indian government in 2011 show that there were 5,816,673 elementary school teachers in India. As of March 2012 there were 2,127,000 secondary school teachers in India. Education has also been made free for children for 6 to 14 years of age or up to class VIII under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009.
There have been several efforts to enhance quality made by the government. The District Education Revitalisation Programme (DERP) was launched in 1994 with an aim to universalise primary education in India by reforming and vitalising the existing primary education system. 85% of the DERP was funded by the central government and the remaining 15% was funded by the states. The DERP, which had opened 1.6 lakh new schools including 84,000 alternative education schools delivering alternative education to approximately 35 lakh children, was also supported by UNICEF and other international programmes. In January 2016, Kerala became the 1st Indian state to achieve 100% primary education through its literacy programme Athulyam. This primary education scheme has also not shown a high Gross Enrollment Ratio of 93–95% for the last three years in some states. Significant improvement in staffing and enrolment of girls has also been made as a part of this scheme.The current scheme for universalisation of Education for All is the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan which is one of the largest education initiatives in the world. Enrollment has been enhanced, but the levels of quality remain low.
See also: Gender inequality in India
Secondary education covers children aged 14 to 18, a group comprising 8.85 crore children according to the 2001 Census of India. The final two years of secondary is often called Higher Secondary (HS), Senior Secondary, or simply the "+2" stage. The two halves of secondary education are each an important stage for which a pass certificate is needed, and thus are affiliated by central boards of education under HRD ministry, before one can pursue higher education, including college or professional courses.
UGC, NCERT, CBSE and ICSE directives state qualifying ages for candidates who wish to take board exams. Those at least 15 years old by 30 May for a given academic year are eligible to appear for Secondary board exams, and those 17 by the same date are eligible to appear for Higher Secondary certificate board exams. It further states that upon successful completion of Higher Secondary, one can apply to higher education under UGC control such as Engineering, Medical, and Business Administration.
Secondary education in India is examination-oriented and not course-based: students register for and take classes primarily to prepare for one of the centrally-administered examinations. Senior school or high school is split into 2 parts (grades 9-10 and grades 11-12) with a standardised nationwide examination at the end of grade 10 and grade 12 (usually informally referred to as "board exams"). Grade 10 examination results can be used for admission into grades 11-12 at a secondary school, pre-university program, or a vocational or technical school. Passing a grade 12 board examination leads to the granting of a secondary school completion diploma, which may be used for admission into vocational schools or universities in the country or the world. Most reputable universities in India require students to pass college-administered admissions tests in addition to passing a final secondary school examination for entry into a college or university. School grades are usually not sufficient for college admissions in India.
Most schools in India do not offer subject and scheduling flexibility due to budgeting constraints (for e.g.: most students in India are not allowed to take Chemistry and History in grades 11-12 because they are part of different "streams"). Private candidates (i.e. not studying in a school) are generally not allowed to register for and take board examinations but there are some exceptions such as NIOS.
10th (Matriculation or Secondary) Exam Students taking the grade 10 examination usually take six subjects: English, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, one language, and one optional subject depending on the availability of teachers at different schools. "Elective" or optional subjects often include Computer Applications, Economics, Physical Education, Commerce, and Environmental Science.
12th (Senior Secondary or Higher Secondary) Exam
Students taking the grade 12 examination usually take four or five subjects with English or the local language being compulsory. Students re-enrolling in most secondary schools after grade 10 have to make the choice of choosing a "core stream" in addition to English or the local language: Science (Mathematics/Biology, Chemistry, and Physics), Commerce (Accounts, Business Studies, and Economics), or Humanities (any three of History, Political Science, Sociology, Psychology, Geography depending on school). Students study Mathematics up to single-variable Calculus in grade 12.
Types of schools
The majority of students study in government schools where poor and vulnerable students study for free until the age of 14. An Education Ministry data, 65.2% (113 million,) of all school students in 20 states go to government schools (c. 2017).These include schools runs by the state and local government as well as the centre government. Example of large centre government run school systems are Kendriya Vidyalaya in urban areas, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, for the gifted students, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya for girls belonging to vulnerable SC/ST/OBC classes, Indian Army Public Schools run by the Indian Army for the children of soldiers.
Kendriya Vidyalaya project, was started for the employees of the central government of India, who are deployed throughout the country. The government started the Kendriya Vidyalaya project in 1965 to provide uniform education in institutions following the same syllabus at the same pace regardless of the location to which the employee's family has been transferred.
Government aided private schools
These are usually charitable trust run schools that receive partial funding from the government. Largest system of aided schools is run by D.A.V. College Managing Committee.
Private schools (unaided)
Delhi Public School, Azaad Nagar
The Doon School
According to current estimate, 29% of Indian children are privately educated. With more than 50% children enrolling in private schools in urban areas, the balance has already tilted towards private schooling in cities; and, even in rural areas, nearly 20% of the children in 2004-5 were enrolled in private schools.
La Martiniere Calcutta, regarded as one of the best schools in the country
Global Public School, one of the top international schools in South India
Most middle-class families send their children to private schools, which might be in their own city or at distant boarding schools. Private schools have been established since the British Rule in India and St George's School, Chennai is the oldest private school in India. At such schools, the medium of education is often English, but Hindi and/or the state's official language is also taught as a compulsory subject. Pre-school education is mostly limited to organised neighbourhood nursery schools with some organised chains. Montessori education is also popular, due to Maria Montessori's stay in India during World War II. In 2014, four of the top ten pre-schools in Chennai were Montessori.
Many privately owned and managed schools carry the appellation "Public", such as the Delhi Public Schools, or Frank Anthony Public Schools. These are modelled after British public schools, which are a group of older, expensive and exclusive fee-paying private independent schools in England.
According to some research, private schools often provide superior results at a multiple of the unit cost of government schools. The reason being high aims and better vision.However, others have suggested that private schools fail to provide education to the poorest families, a selective being only a fifth of the schools and have in the past ignored Court orders for their regulation.
In their favour, it has been pointed out that private schools cover the entire curriculum and offer extra-curricular activities such as science fairs, general knowledge, sports, music and drama.The pupil teacher ratios are much better in private schools (1:31 to 1:37 for government schools) and more teachers in private schools are female. There is some disagreement over which system has better educated teachers. According to the latest DISE survey, the percentage of untrained teachers (para-teachers) is 54.91% in private, compared to 44.88% in government schools and only 2.32% teachers in unaided schools receive in-service training compared to 43.44% for government schools. The competition in the school market is intense, yet most schools make profit.However, the number of private schools in India is still low - the share of private institutions is 7% (with upper primary being 21% secondary 32% - source: fortress team research). Even the poorest often go to private schools despite the fact that government schools are free. A study found that 65% school-children in Hyderabad's slums attend private schools.
Baranagore Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama High School
Atomic Energy Central School (established in 1969), Bal Bharati Public School (established in 1944), Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (established in 1938), Chinmaya Vidyalaya (established in 1965), DAV Public School (established in 1886), Delhi Public School (established in 1949), Indian Army Public Schools (established in 1983), Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (established in 1986), Kendriya Vidyalaya (established in 1963), Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan (established in 1958), Railway Schools in India (established in 1873), Ramakrishna Mission Schools (established in 1922), Ryan International Schools (established in 1976), Sainik School (established in 1960), Saraswati Shishu Mandir (established in 1952), Seth M.R. Jaipuria Schools (established in 1992), Vivekananda Vidyalaya (established in 1972), Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalaya (established in 1977), Waldorf Schools (India) (established in 2002), these schools are considered as National schools in India.
As of January 2015, the International Schools Consultancy (ISC) listed India as having 410 international schools.ISC defines an 'international school' in the following terms "ISC includes an international school if the school delivers a curriculum to any combination of pre-school, primary or secondary students, wholly or partly in English outside an English-speaking country, or if a school in a country where English is one of the official languages, offers an English-medium curriculum other than the country’s national curriculum and is international in its orientation. This definition is used by publications including The Economist.
Home-schooling in India is legal, though it is the less explored option, and often debated by educators. The Indian Government's stance on the issue is that parents are free to teach their children at home, if they wish to and have the means. The then HRD Minister Kapil Sibal has stated that despite the RTE Act of 2009, if someone decides not to send his/her children to school, the government would not interfere.