Let me point to a couple of things before I get to the pyramid: Urmi Goswami has a couple of reports in the Economic Times about the recent recommendations of the Central Advisory Board of Education. CABE has recommended universalization of not just primary education, but also secondary education (probably all the way to Plus Two). It has estimated how much is needed to achieve these goals: at 54,000 to 73,000 crores (this is the additional expenditure over the current expenditure of Rs. 47,000 crore), it is quite a bit!
The Hindu has reported on another set of CABE recommendations about higher and technical education. These recommendations also include some about how to raise the money: soak the rich! Read this paragraph, and try not to laugh out loud:
While the committee preferred a "sound differential fee system" in higher education based on the principle of `ability to pay,' the practical difficulties in implementing such a regime have made it suggest a progressive taxation system with the proviso of looking at more than just the income tax.
It is not clear what these 'practical difficulties' are. Evidently, the CABE types haven't heard of the number of people who are willing to pay 100 k (one lakh) rupees a year for engineering education. It is more than 20,000 people in Karnataka alone! And, this 100 k is just the 'official' component; the unofficial component runs into several times more at the time of admission.
Now, the pyramid: Urmi Goswami's report covers some guidelines about the student/teacher ratios at various stages of education; I was surprised to see a 'recommended' ratio of 30 students per teacher at the primary stage! AICTE, on the other hand, mandates 10 to 15 students per faculty in engineering colleges!
In other words, kids don't get the kind of personal attention they need, while college-going teens, who certainly don't need it -- and they resent it, too! -- get subjected to 'hand holding'. Don't you think we have a bad kind of pyramid here?