'Drop-outs' major concerns in field of education:PM

Prime minister

Lamenting that standard of teachers in not up to the mark and learning outcomes are below expectations, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said "major concerns" in the field of education need to be addressed.

Singh also noted that "drop-out rates in schools remain high after the elementary level. Some major concerns relating to equity also remain to be addressed."

The Prime Minister's 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".

Addressing the inaugural function of the Golden Jubilee celebration of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, he said his government has always recognised that India can emerge as a modern, prosperous and progressive country only when the citizens have access to good quality education.

"We know that our country is a young country and we can reap the demographic dividend only if we have an educated and skilled workforce that would help our economy to expand and become more productive," the Prime Minister said.

Singh felt that Kendriya Vidyalayas can help in a major way in setting standards and benchmarks for schools that are situated in the area around them, adding that "this is one of the roles envisaged for them in the 12th plan.

"They should act as role models for neighbourhood schools, mentoring them and sharing best practices with them," the Prime Minister said, urging KVS system to find ways and means of effectively fulfilling these expectations.

He also said that ever since UPA government came to power, it has laid special emphasis on education increasing investment in the sector on an unprecedented scale. Claiming that his government has rapidly expanded access to education, the Prime Minister said UPA government has worked to improve the quality of teaching to enable better learning outcomes.

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