Comparison Of Education Policies In India And Bhutan

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By Moderator July 2, 2019 13:37

Louis Jude Selvadoray, a Communications Consultant with the World Bank Group, expressed his views on Bhutan’s Education Policies to upgrade the status of Teacher and Doctors

News

  • Bhutan’s teachers, doctors, and other medical staff will earn more than civil servants of corresponding grades, according to Bhutan’s new policy.
    • The new salary scales will benefit about 13,000 teachers and doctors.
  • No other country has accorded teachers and doctors such pride of place in its government service, both in terms of remuneration and symbolism.
  • Remarkably, the proposal was announced by Bhutan’s Prime Minister Lotay Tshering, himself a qualified doctor — which suggests that professional experience informs the policy.

Background

  • The policy’s reference is found in Bhutan’s 12th Five Year Plan (2018-23), published by its Gross National Happiness Commission, the country’s highest policy-making body.
    • The commission’s strategy to achieve desired national outcomes through education opens with the notation, “making teaching a profession of choice”.

Reasons for this policy

  • The proposal is to achieve the country’s human developmental objectives.
  • The decision also comes in the wake of high levels of teacher attrition, especially the best.

Correlation between student outcome and status of teacher

  • An independent study led by the economist, Peter Dolton, has demonstrated a distinct correlation between student outcomes in a country, as measured by PISA scores, and the status that its teachers enjoy.
    • The initiative’s latest report, Global Teacher Status Index 2018, based on its own surveys across 35 countries, goes on to make a strong case for high wages to improve teacher status.

The fiscal implications

  • The fiscal implications of the new salary structure are unclear now.
    • Bhutan already spends about 7.5% of its GDP on education.

Issues with the education system in India

  1. Low GDP Investment: India currently spends about 3% of its GDP on education, accounting for about 10% of the Centre’s and States’ budgetary expenses.
  • Salaries constitute a large portion of this expenditure.
  • The NITI Aayog in its report last year recommended that India raise this to 6% of GDP by 2022.
  1. Teacher Absence: A World Bank study found that teacher absenteeism in India was nearly 24%, which costs the country about $1.5 billion annually.
  • Absenteeism could be the result of many factors, including
    • Teachers taking up a second job or farming to boost incomes,
    • Providing parental or nursing care in the absence of support systems, or
    • Lacking motivation.

The incentive of an enviable income which is girded with unsparing accountability could mitigate many ills that plague the system, free fiscal space and help meet important national developmental objectives.

Case of Delhi

  • It would be easier to implement in smaller states, like Delhi. Reasons
    • Education is a key focus area for the Delhi government; the State invests 26% of its annual budget in the sector (much more than the national average).
    • The state is highly urban and well-connected, it would be easier to enforce accountability measures, which must underpin so heavy an expenditure.
    • The administration has also worked on improving teacher motivation as a strategy for better educational outcomes.

Improving teacher status by offering top-notch salaries to attract the best to the profession could be that revolutionary policy-step forward, which Bhutan has shown a willingness to take.

“The quality of education can be a strong predictor of a country’s economic prosperity. Shortfalls in academic achievement are extremely costly, as governments must then find ways to compensate for them, and ensure the social and economic welfare of all.”

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Source: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/lessons-from-bhutan/article28253599.ece

Moderator
By Moderator July 2, 2019 13:37