Are Indian Schools Holding Back Bright Young Minds?

Why Indian Schools Fail to Provide Quality Education to Underserved Children

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India has one of the largest school systems in the world, with approximately 1.5 million schools. However, over 60% of these schools in each Indian state aren’t RTE-compliant as of 2021-22. This means that they struggle to provide the necessary quality education to their students.

In a country where more than half the schools are government-aided, this poses a threat to the potential of the underserved children of the country who can’t afford private education. Despite efforts to bridge this gap, various systemic issues persist, hindering the progress of many schools.

Why are schools failing to provide quality education to underserved children?

Despite education being a fundamental right, many children are deprived of the mere chance of a formal education, and the issue branches out much further than a lack of accessibility.

1) Government funding falls short

The problem is that, despite underserved areas having access to schools, these schools aren’t adequately funded. Schools, especially in rural and economically disadvantaged areas, operate on minimal budgets, leading to a scarcity of essential resources. But does that mean that the government is to blame entirely? No, because the gap is simply too big to be filled by a single catalyst. Ensuring that schools are funded well needs to be a collective responsibility of the local authorities, CSR initiatives, NGOs, and individual citizens.

2) Lack of skilled teaching staff

India saw a major drop, with 86,968 fewer teachers in government schools since 2016. Teachers are vital to the quality of education, yet many schools in underserved areas struggle with a shortage of skilled teaching staff. This shortage is compounded by insufficient training and professional development opportunities for existing teachers. Outdated teaching methodologies and overwhelming teacher-to-student ratios greatly impact personalized attention and effective learning.

3) Lack of resources

Quality education requires a variety of resources, including textbooks, stationery materials, and digital tools. Many schools serving underserved communities lack some or all of these critical resources. Inadequate access to learning materials hampers students' ability to grasp new concepts, while the absence of digital tools further isolates these students from technological advancements that enhance learning experiences. However, the solution could be as simple as an individual choosing to donate essential school supplies to underserved children.

4) Poor infrastructure

Abandoned buildings, insufficient classrooms, and a lack of basic amenities such as clean drinking water and functional restrooms are unfortunate but common issues. Many schools in India, particularly in rural areas, suffer from poor infrastructure. Another aspect of ignored infrastructure is a proper playground and sports equipment, which are just as important for their development. These shortcomings diminish students’ motivation to attend school regularly.

5) Socio-cultural barriers

Sometimes, despite all measures, the problem lies in the mindset of people. Issues such as gender discrimination, early marriage, and traditional beliefs often discourage or prevent children, especially girls, from attending school. Addressing these deep-rooted cultural norms through community engagement and awareness programs is crucial for promoting a more inclusive approach to education. Hence, the RTE Act of 2009 emphasizes the importance of parental involvement in a child’s education.

Addressing the challenges that prevent schools from providing quality education to underserved children requires a multifaceted approach. One way or another, these issues affect us all because the children who suffer are the country’s future. This calls for a collective effort by the government, corporate companies, NGOs, and the common people. By addressing these issues, we can create a more equitable education system that empowers every child to reach their full potential. Want to do your part right now? Join us as we solve one of these issues by providing essential school supplies to underserved children. With 500+ children already impacted; you can help ensure no child is left behind!

Exclusively written for Giving for Good Foundation by Bhairavi Hiremath


Bhairavi Hiremath

Bhairavi Hiremath

With words as her medium and a diary full of scribbled ideas, she is usually found looking for ways to use her writing to impact for Good. If she’s out of sight, she’s probably either reading, petting cats, jamming to retro Bollywood, or of course, writing!

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