1 Issues to be addressed to improve the Quality of Education in Government Schools Context: “Education is an important medium of acquiring skills and knowledge. Development of human capital is necessary for sustainable development of economy and society as well.” National Achievement Survey of NCERT, ASER claimed to be the only one that mapped learning level. The report said nationally, the proportion of class 5th government school children who could read class II text is 50.3% and the same proportion is 27.2% for the standard III students in 2018. In arithmetic, 20.9% of class III students in government schools could do basic subtraction or more. Among class V children in government schools, 27.8% could do this level of division. The alarming situation is in UP where in class III students more than 60% cannot read words as yet. Today, the most under served and most unfortunate students are studying in government schools and even daily wagers who are barely able to make some living, also try to send their kids to low income private schools, so they have a very challenged and oppressed life which deeply affects their psychology right from the childhood. These students don’t have any real source of entertainment, which is the fundamental and the only most important part of a student’s desire. Therefore, the first and most important change is to make the government schools an enjoyable place for them to go. If we are able to just do that, we can see a tremendous paradigm shift in the overall learning scenario in just a few years time. So an urgent and immediate intervention is needed to improve the quality of elementary education in government schools, we will have to do intervention and address primarily five issues which have described as follows: Research & Collaboration Appreciation & Rewards School Infrastructure & Environment Quality Education Monitoring & Evaluation Capacity Building School Enrichment Program 2 Strengthening Research & Collaboration for the learning: Strengthening research on learning is the first step and only long-term solution to this crisis. I recommend establishing a ‘science of learning’ centre, as a separate institute at State level, with a mission of promoting research on how children learn. This institute can undertake research on reading, writing, elementary mathematics, intelligent teaching systems and assessments. However, research needs an ecosystem and we now need to kick-start such an ecosystem. So, the creation of a research fund which will provide grant support for innovation to take root and grow in research institutions by the collaboration with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Pioneer Institutes based on their track record and quality of research. Gather fund from corporate would be an advantage and such Research institute can be run as PPP model. All study materials should be bilingual i.e. in their vernacular language as well in English too from the beginning of the school education so that child could learn the English language easily and also not get feared from the English language. By doing this children would be well equipped with the English vocabulary, terminology used in various subjects, sentence structure etc which will open the gate for his higher or professional education & career advancement. Amicable School Infrastructure & Environment: Today, the most underserved and most unfortunate students are studying in government schools and even daily wagers who are barely able to make some living, also try to send their kids to low income private schools, so they have a very challenged and oppressed life which deeply affects their psychology right from childhood. These students don’t have any real source of entertainment, which is the fundamental and the only most important part of a student’s desire. Today we are looking at schools to be more than just buildings and classrooms. For a school to have basic learning conditions it must have electricity, functional library and reading corners; science labs/recreation rooms; computer, toilet for both boys & girls. Therefore, the first and most important change is to make the government schools an enjoyable place for them to go. If we are able to just do that, we can see a tremendous paradigm shift in the overall learning scenario in just a few years time. Monitoring & Evaluation: Two broad ideas to ensure the quality teaching in the classrooms. Ensure the presence of teaching Staffs in the school hour: IT based (Mobile App) real time reporting system should be in place to minimize any absenteeism between school hours. The principal of school will be directly accountable for ensuring proper functioning of such system. The online database will be accessible to the ministry of HRD and the District magistrate. The DM/CDO will conduct monthly reviews of the attendance status of all the schools in its district. This will certainly create a sense of alarm among the teachers for their attendance as they will know that there is continuous and transparent watch on their attendance. Gather fund or services from corporate would be an advantage and such IT based monitoring system be in place and run as successful PPP model. Come up with a system of improving the examination systems and its valuations, right from Class-I: The question arises, how students passed their earlier classes did and if they were really not up to the mark then who is accountable for such misappropriations and importantly which type of generations INDIA will get if such data 3 persists. In fact we need to improve the evaluation systems existing in such government schools. Question papers should come from state boards right from Class-I. The state government along with HRD ministry will have to play coordinating roles. Come up with a system of improving the examination systems and its valuations, right from ClassI. The answer papers of one school should go to some other school for checking either in the same district or even out of district as the situation allows. This should be done right from Class-I. The marks and answer sheet should be recorded in an online database system. The District Information System for Education (DISE)1 system should be upgraded to a ‘Student Progress Tracking System’ which will track learning levels of individual children and provide diagnostic data to serve as a basis for improvement to schools and teachers. The idea behind this is that the comfort of teaching staffs along with principals of not being questioned for underperformance of students should be eliminated. Their monitoring and questioning should be done regularly by making the related data available online and increasing transparency. This will again create alarm between them that their performance is being reviewed online. Evaluation of the students should not only base on written examination but also on his/her overall participations & performances in the classroom activities as well enrichment activities. School Enrichment Program: It is not just like extracurricular activities but a learning opportunities and activities that engage students in developing essential knowledge, skills, values and relationships as a vehicle for inspiring learning and encouraging academic and life success. The main objectives of the school enrichment program are as follows: To hold student attention, awaken their imagination, creativity and inspire them to want to learn more. To reinforce and complement regular academic programs. To increase the attendance of children in school. To reduce the drop-out rate by encouraging the students to participate in creative, entertaining activities (arts and craft, music, sports and games, role-play, reading and storytelling) that develop learning skills. To develop the capacity of teachers so that teachers could engage, lead and facilitate the recreation and enrichment activities. To recognize, develop & encourage the talents of the children who have special gifts in sports, music, art or drama. To enhance the communication and language skills (specifically in English) Capacity Building of various stakeholders: To insure the quality of education and interest of children in government school we have to work on capacity building of teachers so that effective & creative ways of teaching which will insure not only the enhancement knowledge but also improve learning behavior of the children. Capacity building of other stakeholders likes school headmaster and the community (SMC) to manage the school very efficiently. Appreciation & Rewards: Measurable indicators for the performance evaluation of teachers and students (subject-wise) should be design and available online. Students and teachers who have remarkable improvement in their performance will get appreciated and both monitory & non-monitory rewards would be given from the government. It will create an environment of competition among teachers of same school and also among all teachers of the district.