Education system in India
The minimum age for admission in most states is 5, though in some it is 6.
Primary and Upper Primary education is compulsory but this is not a reality with only just over half of children between 6 and 14 attending school. The National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT) is responsible for setting the curriculum for the period of compulsory education. Primary, upper primary, secondary and higher secondary schools are under the general jurisdiction of the states.
The medium of teaching is the mother tongue of the state or region. Where this language is not Hindi, most states make study of it compulsory. Study of English is also compulsory in all but one state though the grades at which it is compulsory vary.
|Age in years||Phase|
|0 to 2||Creche||There is no educational provision at these institutions.|
|3 to 5||Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, nursery or preparatory school||There are government and state-run centres available. Children learn games and group play activities. As they get older they begin to learn alphabets.|
|5 to 10||Primary
|Students study mathematics, mother tongues language, the art of healthy and productive living as well as environmental studies from grade III. Primary schools fall under the control of State Education Departments, having to abide by their standards in order to be recognised.|
|10 to 14||Upper Primary or Middle School
|Pupils study 3 languages, mathematics, science and technology, social studies as well as work, art and health and physical education. In some states there is a public examination at the end of this stage of schooling and a number of these schools are included with secondary schools.|
|14 to 16||Secondary
|Students study the same subjects as at upper primary but have a choice between their second and third languages. Secondary schools are affiliated to an examination board as all states have an exam at the end of secondary school but the age requirements vary – the restrictions can be 13+ to 16 + or none at all. The Indian Secondary School Certificate is roughly equivalent to GCSEs.
Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) Vocational courses lasting 1-2 years
|16 to 18||Higher Secondary / Junior College
|Available in all states but, in some, these grades are attached to universities/colleges rather than schools. All states have an exam at the end of secondary school but the age requirements vary – the restrictions can be 16+ to 18 + or none at all. The senior Secondary Certificate is roughly equivalent to UK ‘AS’ levels.|
|18+||There are three main levels of qualification in higher education:
Diplomas are also available at undergraduate (1-3 year courses) and postgraduate level (1 year courses). Vocational diplomas are offered at polytechnics.
There are several forms of private schools in India. The majority are self-funding, although some receive government grants. Christian and Muslim (madrasa) schools also make a significant contribution to this sector of education. Most private schools are affiliated to one of the three national examination boards.
These follow a structure that is much more similar to that found in the West.
Non-Formal Education (NFE)
This is provided for children who cannot attend regular schools (e.g. school drop-outs, working children and those without easy access) by voluntary organisations that are supported by the government.
Though the government has passed a bill to make education compulsory from 5-14, this is not enforced. Consequently, some parents, dissatisfied with the educational system in India, opt to educate their children at home.
Schools influenced by David Horsburgh
Emphasis is placed on handcrafts and other artisan skills, self-directed learning and free progress.
These centres focus on the development of sporting and creative skills of children 5-16 years. The many centres are guided by the national organisation, which is an autonomous institution under the DoE.
This system is based on the ideas of Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986), an Indian philosopher.
Department of Education website, http://www.education.nic.in/ (Visited 10-July-05).
British Council: India: Country Education Profile
This website provides an outline of school organisation, calendar and curriculum (there is more detail in the download.)
http://www.britishcouncil.org/globalschools-resources-countries-india.htm (Visited 19-July-05)
Education in India
A guide to primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities
http://www.indianchild.com/education_in_india.htm (Visited 19-July-05)
Education in India from Wikipedia
This website includes an outline of education through the age range, the history of education in India and expenditure on education in India. It also includes sections on elementary education, education for special sections of society and criticisms of the education system.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_India (Visited 19-July-05)
The National Council of Educational Research and Training
Website of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), which was set up to advise and assist the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India and Departments of Education in States.
http://www.ncert.nic.in/welcome.asp (Visited 19-July-05)