Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
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India aspires to become a knowledge hub with hopes to transform millions of young people across the world into educated global citizens. To attain this objective, the entire education system in the country has to become sound and robust by achieving excellence. An effective and innovative education system opens enormous opportunities for individuals, whereas a weak educational system can result in declining standards of living, social exclusion, and unemployment. To reap the benefits of education to the extent possible, policymakers need to address the dual challenge of increasing the quantity of education and assuring its high quality. It is generally seen that schools of high quality can lead to improved educational outcomes. Even from a public policy perspective, interventions in schools are generally viewed as more acceptable than say, direct interventions in the family. Although cognitive skills may be developed in formal schooling, they may also come from the family, peers, culture, and so forth. It is not wrong to say that successful learning involves enabling environments at schools, home, work, and everywhere. In this context, the concept of quality is not a unitary process but involves multiple perspectives. Considering the wide disparities at the regional and state levels in India, expectations from quality education may differ from one situation to another. Despite this, it is recognized that for growth to be inclusive, access to quality education must be broadened so that all sections of the population could benefit from new employment opportunities. For achieving the objective of rendering quality to education in India, initiatives are required at both micro and macro levels. For this, there is a need to understand and examine the factors affecting the education system and having a bearing on its quality standard. With this background, the study explains why there is a need to improve the quality standard of education in India, particularly secondary education, in terms of its strong linkages with socio-economic outcomes at the national and state levels. This study has analysed the present situation of secondary education at both national and state levels, identified the various gaps and disparities at various levels. Along with this, an effort has also been made to capture first-hand information from schools, students, and teachers in understanding the current scenario of education in schools, the existing problems faced by them, quality issues etc. This chapter summarizes the results of the study.