Why teachers matter?

INDIA FACES A LEARNING CRISIS

 

Of the 130 million school-going children,

 

  • 1 in 2 rural students in grade 4 cannot read fluently; 3 in 4 students do not possess basic math skills.
  • Of 9th and 10 graders in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan, only 35% can read at a grade 4 level; 75% are unable to understand decimal numbers or solve simple profit and loss problems.
  • In the global PISA study on secondary school students’ mathematical skills, India finished second to last, only above Kazakhstan, and was over 200 points behind the global topper. Estimates suggest that an eighth grade Indian student’s math skills are equal to that of a South Korean third grader.

(SOURCES: ASER 2014; EI Working Paper (2015); Times of India, Jan 15, 2012)

TEACHERS MATTER MOST TO STUDENT LEARNING, BUT TEACHER QUALITY IS POOR

 

Most of India’s 5 million teachers deliver textbook content through ‘stand and lecture’ and ‘chalk and talk’ methods. Never having been trained to do so, they lack the skills to enable students to think, question, reason, experiment or apply their learning in the real world. As a result, students learn by rote, memorize for tests, but do not learn meaningful knowledge and skills for life.

The impact such teaching is most severe on underprivileged students and first generation learners who either spend years memorizing textbooks meaninglessly, or drop out.

Equipping teachers with necessary skills to teach for learning, therefore, is fundamental to providing every child an excellent education.