MAJOR PROBLEMS IN INDIAN EDUCATION

HISTORICALLY, three systems have served the Educational needs of Indians: Bureau of Indian Affairs schools, parochial or mission and public schools. Recently, through the office of Economic Opportunity, the tribes themselves established a fourth school system, primarily in the Headstart Program.

These systems – still involved in attempting to better the lot of the Indian-have had much experience in providing programs to meet Indians’ needs and have been in the business of education on and offreservations for many years. In spite of what they have attempted and of what contributions they have made, acute problems exist in the Indian Education field.And Indian Education will not progress, develop or evolve into a dynamic field unless the problems inherent in it are identified and solved.In an analysis of the situation, categorized problems into eight broad areas, from “lack of money” to “too many Indian experts”.

LACK OF MONEY.

LACK OF QUALIFIED INDIANS IN INDIAN EDUCATION.

INCENTIVE SCHOOL PERSONNEL.

DIFFERING EXPECTATIONS OF EDUCATION PROGRAMS.

LACK OF INVOLVEMENT IN AND CONTROL OF EDUCATIONAL MATTERS.

DIFFICULTIES OF STUDENTS IN HIGHER EDUCATION.

TOO MANY INSTANT-INDIAN EDUCATION EXPERTS.

1. LACK OF MONEY

By far one of the most pressing problems is the unavailability of money or inadequate funding of Indian Education programs or systems. The demand far exceeds the supply, and available monies are only for the most basic Educational needs of the students.. “the traditional curriculum”. Very small amount, if any, are available for innovative programs and ideas.

Without adequate funding, the ideology and philosophy of Indian Education become so many words. The concept of Indian Education faces a bleak future characterized by stagnation, insensitivity, inadequate facilities and personnel.

2. LACK OF QUALIFIED INDIANS IN INDIAN EDUCATION

By far the most glaring problems is the acute shortage of qualified Indians in Indians Education. Materialistic gains, incentives and opportunities entice the qualified Indians educator away from this challenging field. There is much hard work and many challenges in Indian Education: isolation, poor or inadequate facilities, eager but academically deprived students, but one’s ingenuity, creativity, patience and forbearance are put to a real test in facing these and other challenges. If Indian Education is to meet the needs of the students, if it is to have the sensitivity required, if it is to be dynamic and viable, it must have more qualified Indian educators- it must reach the stage where in it will challenge the Indian educator to take up arms to join its rank and to improve its lot.

3. INCENTIVE SCHOOL PERSONNEL

It is tragic that this exists in the 20th Century. Too many administrators and teachers are not knowledgeable about the American Indian. Whether it is attributable to apathy, indifference or design does not lessen than problem. If school personnel are truly educators, it behoves them to learn about the people they are teaching. To fail in this task is to fail to educate. The burden of this responsibility rests squarely on the shoulders of the educator, and the exercise of that responsibility is long overdue.

4. DIFFERING EXPECTATIONS OF EDUCATION PROGRAMS

As noted in the section on irrelevant curricula, the American Educational system is foreign in concept, principle and objective to the Indian student. The thinking, attitudes and experiences of the non-Indian are the base of the value structure rather than the aspects of Indian culture. Thus the Educational perspectives of the Indian are not considered. The Indian views Education as providing him with immediate practical skills and tolls, not a delayed achievement of goals or as means for a future gain.

5. LACK OF INVOLVEMENT IN AND CONTROL OF EDUCATIONAL MATTERS

The Indian has not been able to express his ideas on school programming or Educational decision-making. When they have been expressed, his participation has been limited and restricted. If problems in Indian Education are to be resolved, the Indian citizen must become involved. He needs to have more controls on the program to which his children are exposed, to have a say in what type of courses are in the curriculum, to help hire teachers, to establishment employment policies and practices, and all of the other responsibilities vested in school administrations-that of being on a board of Education.

6. DIFFICULTIES OF STUDENTS IN HIGHER EDUCATION

Colleges and universities need to establish programs which can deal effectively with the problems and needs of the Indian students-if he is to remain in school. In general, the Indian students has an inadequate Educational background as he may have been looked upon as less than college material in high school. He has unusual adjustment problems and usually inadequate financial help. It is time that more colleges and universities attempt to solve these development factors and provide a more successful Educational experience for the Indian student.

7. TOO MANY INSTANT-INDIAN EDUCATION EXPERTS

To the determinant of Indian Education and its growth, each day sprouts more “instants Indian Education experts”, who do more damage than good. Usually, these experts have all the answers: they have completely identified the problems and have formulated solutions, but they leave it to the Indian to implement. Again, the Indian is given something to implement which he has had no part in formulating. These experts usually depend on superficial, shallow studies done in one visit to a reservation or school, or they depend on one or two conference with Indians who have little or no knowledge of the critical problems confronting the Indian generally. Indian Education can well do without these experts who cannot be reasoned with or who feel they know what is the best for the Indian.

THE CHALLENGES OF EDUCATION IN RURAL INDIA

When we talk about Education in India, we can’t just talk about how Education in Urban cities of India, without going deep into rural Education that constitutes almost 90% of the schools being located in rural areas. When we think about bring in a reformation in Education, we have to point out what all prevent the Education system in India to develop. The most common problems that hinders the growth of Education in rural India can be pointed out as:

Lack of proper transportation Most villages have poor connectivity from one place to another, despite efforts by local governing bodies to build schools, often go in vain. Children, most of time have to walk miles to reach these government funded schools and this often demotivate them to attend the school on regular basis.

People belonging to remote rural areas have meagre incomes, which at times is to less to sustain a family of may be four or five. Most likely, children from these families won’t not be sent to schools, instead would be asked to assist the earning member of the family to add up some extra income. On the other hand, Teachers in rural educational centres in villages are paid poorly, often leading to lack of attention by teachers, ultimately forcing the student to suffer.

Lack of proper infrastructure at these rural schools is also a big concern. Most of the school don’t have proper classrooms, teaching equipment, playgrounds and even basic facilities like sitting chairs, blackboard etc. Thus, the poor condition of schools are the big reasons to away the students.

Problems faced:

  • Problems of Rural School Teachers Compensation.
  • School Employees.
  • School Building.
  • Technology Funding.
  • Promoting Technology Private endowments from private and public business.
  • Creative fund raising by the school district.
  • Solving the Problems of Funding Centralize school finance so that the state, rather than local districts, has the primary responsibility for funding schools.
  • Base school funding on a explicit assessment of the actual costs of Educating a child.