Not for the Children

Our educational system seems tailored for its administrators. Students, teachers take second place. The main problem, as in other fields, is the abysmal quality of governance, with politics permeating every aspect of educational administration.

In December last year, the PEW Research Centre in New York, a think-tank focusing on public issues released a research study, with findings of a comparison of schooling standards in over 90 countries. The study, ‘Region and Education Around the World’ , focuses on “educational attainment” among the major religions of the world. Its startling conclusion is that Hindus have the “lowest” level of “educational attainment” in the world, and the Indian school educational system is at the bottom of the international league, along with that in Sub-Saharan Africa. The study uses parameters prescribed by the UNESCO for assessing schooling standards, and number of years of schooling as the proxy for education accomplishment, not taking into account the quality of education on offer. The “Christian” average is 9.3 years of schooling, 7.9 years for “Buddhists”, while Muslims and Hindus of the world undergo 5.6 years of schooling against the global average of 7.7 years.

The findings of a 2011 study by R.J. Barro of Harvard University and J.W. Lee of Korea University are in conformity with the PEW assessment of Indian school standards. Some years ago, PISA, the measurement standard adopted in Europe and utilised in a large number of countries, studied Indian school quality in two states. The depressing conclusion of the 110-country study was that India ranked second last — beating only Kyrgyzstan in the honours list. Apparently, it is easy to shoot the messenger than accept bad news — India pulled out of the PISA study, thereafter. Alas, the Indian authorities have no reach to ban PEW or Harvard. Continioue Reading : Indian Express


1) Attainment (प्राप्ति) - Att-ain-ment
Meaning - the action or fact of achieving a goal towards which one has worked - Noun
Synonyms - achievement, accomplishment
Antonyms - failure, loss
Example - The attainment of the success is not easy.

2) Startling (चौंकाने) - Start-ling
Meaning - very surprising, astonishing, or remarkable - Adjective
Synonyms - surprising, amazing
Antonyms - expected
Example - As the lottery numbers were revealed, it was startling to hear the first five numbers on my ticket.

3) Conformity (अनुपालन) - Cun-for-mit-ee
Meaning - compliance with standards, rules, or laws - Noun
Synonyms - acquiescence, obedience
Antonyms - disagreement, discord
Example - In school, the teachers require us to walk in a straight line of conformity from class to class.

4) Apathy (उदासीनता) - Aap-ath-ee
Meaning - lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern - Noun
Synonyms - indifference, lethargy
Antonyms - interest, concern
Example - Because of voter apathy, the government was concerned about the election turnout.

5) Abysmal (मात्र) - Abb-is-mal
Meaning - extremely bad, appalling - Adjective
Synonyms - dreadful, awful
Antonyms - infinite, low
Example - There are millions of unemployed people in this abysmal job market.

6) Permeating (रिसना) - Per-me-ate-ing
Meaning - spread throughout (something), pervade - Verb
Synonyms - imbue, infiltrate
Antonyms - dehydrate, dry
Example - The light will permeate through the curtain when the sun rises.

7) Imperative (अनिवार्य) - Im-pera-tive
Meaning - of vital importance, crucial - Adjective
an essential or urgent thing - Noun
Synonyms - compulsory, critical
Antonyms - inessential, insignificant
Example - It’s imperative that every member of the team is able to get along with all his teammates.

8) Intervention (हस्तक्षेप) - In-ter-when-shun
Meaning - the action or process of intervening - Noun
Synonyms - interference, arbitration
Example - China has registered a protest over foreign intervention.

9) Incessantly (निरंतर) - In-ses-ant-leeMeaning - without interruption, constantly - Adverb
Synonyms - constantly, regularly
Antonyms - occasionally, sometimes
Example (English) - Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif are incessantly promoting their upcoming film Jagga Jasoos.
Example (Hindi) - रणबीर कपूर और कैटरीना कैफ अपनी आगामी फिल्म 'जग्गा जासूस' का लगातार प्रचार कर रहे हैं।

Now considering the article above as a Reading Comprehension question, try to answer the following -
  • What is the essential learning that schools impart to students?
  • How do we ensure those without privilege have equal access to quality education and opportunity?
Given below are some words to check your vocabulary you can make sentences with those words in the comment section which will be reviewed by us.
  • Parameters
  • Accomplishment
  • Assessment
  • Conclusion
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