‘Quality’ continues to be an issue that gravely confronts education in our part of the world. One of the areas prioritised by the World Bank report on quality education is that learning outcomes should become the central goal of the education policy. Student learning in South Asia is far behind local and international standards. Students do not get even the basic numeracy and literacy skills after putting in a reasonable time in school.
The report audaciously emphasises that “schooling is successful when it enables students to lead fuller lives – as individuals and as labour market participants. For this to happen, merely spending time in school is not enough; there has to be a significant gain in cognitive and noncognitive skills”. Yet another area prioritised by the report for quality education is ‘teacher effectiveness and accountability’. Teachers in our country are found lacking on both these counts. The gravity of the situation makes it incumbent on those engaged in policymaking in the education sector in the country to put their heads together and find out as to what should be done to deal with this gargantuan challenge – a challenge that continues to unabatedly confront us even after seven decades of our independence.