Increasing the number of higher education universities that offer a wide range of relevant courses to students, can be the first step. This will allow them to opt for a quality course of their choice in their hometown. Second, focusing on faculty training in existing universities will help teachers keep abreast with international teaching standards and trends. These steps could prove to be a milestone in improving quality education in small towns, thereby increasing student retention.
When it comes to Manipur, the case is different. In a State where the fear to walk 500 metres becomes a concern, there can be no quality in any endeavour. There are some serious considerations that must be addressed before changing the education infrastructure. Violence and encroachment in and around education institutions should be prevented. Besides, there should be a limit on bandhs , blockades and civil turbulences which only create chaos. With pressure and fear in mind, there can be no quality education.
Youngsters have to migrate to other states, for quality education and a degree from prestigious universities, which they cannot get in their own state. This situation persists in many Indian states, but the crux of the matter is that not every child is privileged enough to pursue education outside. Due to this, many are stripped of quality education, or even worse, no education at all. This will not just affect a child’s life and career, also the nation’s prospects, as some bright minds won’t be given a chance to benefit or excel in the country.
The fundamental issue with non-availability of colleges and universities in India is that the country spends only 4.6% of its total GDP on education, which needs to be increased to at least 6%. The continued culture of rent-seeking and corruption in accrediting and licensing also needs to be removed, by following a transparent process in providing licenses to new universities. Corporate social responsibility should be better promoted in education, and the government should act as a facilitator. Opening of new universities, especially in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities, with a major focus on north-eastern states, should be promoted, in order to provide better quality education to students in their hometown.