Quality of Education in India – Systemic need to create differentiation among institutes


Background

»   Indian Demographic Dividend: age advantage & increasing house-hold income

»   Competitive Advantage:  Among East Asia & China

»   Quality of Education: India Vs other emerging economies

Analysis

»  Systemic need to create differentiation among the various educational institutes to ensure uniform standards




Highlight

 

Demographic dividend of India, as reflected in expected improvement in household incomes is driven by favorable age demographics over the next 15-25 years.  More and more people are expected to enter the working age bracket during the period.

The opportunity comes with a responsibility; On one hand, investment is required to generate employment opportunities and on the other skill deficit has to be met aggressively to enable the people of the country to suitably benefit from such opportunities. Availability of human resource has a direct bearing on the investment proposition in any sector thus investment in education becomes a pre-requisite to generating investment in any other sectors of the economy.

Entrepreneurs have realized this and hence Indian economy is witnessing significant proliferation of the educational institutes at each level. These  educational institutes are supposed to aim to not only bridge the potential deficit of skills but also the current gap in the quality of education being imparted by the existing institutes. However, needless to say, that the performance of the institutes towards meeting their objectives, has been varying.

ONICRA believes that there is systemic need to create differentiation amongst the various educational institutes on the basis of pragmatic benchmarks on various parameters, which would include but not be constrained to the parameters defined by the various accreditation bodies.



 

Background

Indian Demographic Dividend: age advantage & increasing house-hold income

 
The single most argument, used for justifying high growth prospects of Indian economy and the key sectors within, is the argument of demographic dividend. The demographic dividend, as reflected in expected improvement in household incomes is driven by favorable age demographics over the next 15-25 years.  More and more people are expected to enter the working age bracket during the period. If the working age population is employed productively this can fuel the growth story of India Inc.


The age structure of a population can have a large effect on economic growth, especially when it shifts as a result of baby booms and busts and their echo effects.

The baby boom is not caused by an increase in births, but rather by the sharply reduced rates of infant and child mortality that are characteristic of the beginning of a demographic transition, mainly due to increased access to vaccines, antibiotics, safe water, and sanitation. This type of baby boom starts with higher survival rates and abates when fertility subsequently declines as couples recognize that fewer births are needed to reach their targets for surviving children, and as those targets are moderated.

Competitive Advantage:  Among East Asia & China


Baby booms are very consequential economically, because the presence of more children requires that there be more resources for food, clothing, housing, medical care, and schooling.

graph

Those resources must be diverted from other uses such as building factories, establishing infrastructure, and investing in research and development. This diversion of resources to current consumption can temporarily slow the process of economic growth. Of course, babies born in such a boom will invariably reach working ages within a period of 15-25 years. When this happens, the productive capacity of the economy expands on a per capita basis and a demographic dividend may be within reach. India currently is experiencing such a transition on the same lines and thus the increase in per-capita income with increasing population is highly favourable. Among the East Asian nations and even in comparison with the neighbour country like China; India stands a better chance of sustained economic development capitalizing on the demographic dividend in a long run.


Population available in the working age bracket alone will not translate to income generation and hence higher economic growth. On the one hand, investment is required to generate employment opportunities and on the other skill deficit has to be met aggressively to enable the people of the country to suitably benefit from such opportunities. Availability of human resource has a direct bearing on the investment proposition in any sector thus investment in education becomes a pre-requisite to generating investment in any other sectors of the economy.


Quality of Education


Traditionally, the two most important principals that attempt to define quality of education system are the ability of the system to help learners’ cognitive development and the second emphasizes on the success of the system in promoting values and attitudes of responsible citizenship and in nurturing creative and emotional development. However with increasing competitiveness and industrialization in modern times another aspect has emerged and in a way dominated all others, is the ability of the education system to produce industry ready individuals. From an economic perspective the last aspect is the key to sustainable development specially in case of emerging economies.


Source: ASSOCHAM Eco Pulse (AEP) Study “Comparative Study of Emerging Economies on Quality of Education’


The data clearly shows while Russia is the forerunner in the overall quality of education, India have been lagging behind at the 6th spot among the seven largest emerging economies. The analysis revels that the quality of primary education in India is at the lowest level among emerging nations.

The problem is not just about availability of seats at the primary, secondary and higher education level the issue really is the quality of education imparted by these institutes. Quality in education (in schools or other forms of organized learning) facilitating the acquisition of knowledge, skills and attitudes that have intrinsic value and also help in addressing important human goals is missing. Additionally the gap between the education / skill level of a student coming out of an institute and the requirement of the industry is huge. Educational institutes will have to produce industry ready candidates. This will not only increase the attractiveness and opportunity for the institutes but also decrease the huge cost of training provided by the companies eventually enhancing the business viability in the country.



 

Analysis

Systemic need to create differentiation among the various educational institutes to ensure uniform standards


ONICRA believes that there is systemic need to create differentiation amongst the various educational institutes on the basis of pragmatic benchmarks on various parameters, which would include but not be constrained to the parameters defined by the various accreditation bodies. The differentiation will help students choose the institutes providing better learning experience. The institutions on the other hand will be able to identify and improve the weaker aspects by benchmarking and adoption of best practices. From the regulators point of view the exercise must act as a monitoring and control tool minimizing the information asymmetry and thus increasing transparency in the system.

The framework to be used for the purpose has to keep in mind that the core stakeholder is today’s student and tomorrow’s prospective skill base. All the parameters used in the grading framework should carry the orientation of evaluation keeping in mind the end- objective of imparting the right skills to the students. A broad framework for the purpose must access the following areas.

CriteriaMethodology.jpg


This is a broad framework and some areas are highly contextual and applicable only in higher education institutes. Thus the evaluators must be professionals who understand the thumb rules, best practices & the industry specific requirements and adopt the model accordingly as per the requirement.





Contact Details

For Further Queries, Kindly Contact:


ONICRA Credit Rating Agency of India Ltd.


Corporate Office: Onicra Credit Rating Agency of India Limited
7th Floor, Vatika City Point, M.G. Road,
Gurgaon (H.R.) 122002
Phone#: +91-0124-3076000
E-mail: corporate@onicra.com
URL : www.onicra.com


References


 

»   Population Dynamics in India and Implications for Economic Growth – Working paper series – Harvard School of Public Health http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/pgda/WorkingPapers/2011/PGDA_WP_65.pdf

 

»   ASSOCHAM Eco Pulse (AEP) Study “Comparative Study of Emerging Economies on Quality of Education’. http://www.assocham.org/arb/aep/quality-of-education_nov_2008.pdf

 

»    FA Global monitoring Report 2005
http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0013/001373/137333e.pdf