Amartya Sen has some interesting things to say (pointed out to me by Neil Jain) about education system in India.Â It is common for us Indians to brag about our education system, without realizing that we are taking less than 5% of the top to represent the average.
When asked about the positives in India’s education system he responded:
Positives? First, our higher education system is widespread, and while the quality of it is very mixed, there are still a lot of people getting reasonable higher education.
Second, in some fields, especially in technical education, the quality of what is offered is indeed fairly high. Against these “positives” stand the huge neglect of primary education and also secondary education, and of course – as already mentioned – the highly variable
quality of university education (some of it not worthy of that name).
He further added, in response to other questions, on this topic:
The pitfalls of illiteracy include functional handicap, intellectual deprivation, and social disadvantage. When large groups are systematically neglected, like girls, especially from economic and social underdog families, the social penalties are gigantic.
The main causes of our uneven and highly unequal educational system are not technological underdevelopment but political and social neglect.
These remarks are quite accurate, maybe not as harsh and critical as they should be, in describing the situation.Â Quite sobering.Â But if you objectively analyze the situation, even for the positive aspect you see that it is the number of people and competition that brings out top people from the so called Great Institutions, rather than the quality of those institutions.