Sunday, May 9, 2021

Poor system

As education spread in the country, our state also had its own share of activism at both the levels: public as well as private. With a handful of schools where student were few, and the admissions were made in a compulsive manner, it changed a lot as years went by. At the moment ours is a place where there are hardly any kids who don’t go to schools. It is a heartening feature of our society that we give prime importance to the education of our children. No matter what the financial condition of the parents is, they leave nothing undone to educate their children. This is the reason we have an ever growing sector of private schools here in the state. At the same time we have a huge number of government schools that are spread in the length and breadth of our state. It wasn’t that long ago when government schools formed the backbone of the primary, middle and secondary level education. But now the scenario is changed. Though our government schools are everywhere, the number of admissions in these schools is dwindling. Though the teachers in these schools are competent and qualified but there services are not getting utilized as the numbers of admissions are very less. The kids who are enrolled in the government schools come from a strata of our society that is poor, marginalized, and least interested in education. In this scenario the outcome of these government schools is minimal. The tragic part is that the resources, human as well as physical, invested in education are huge by any proportions. At a much lower investment our private schools are doing far better. No wonder, the debate over the performance of government schools is an ongoing thing. The condition of the buildings that host these schools, the status of the infrastructure, the appointment of teachers to these schools, and the enrolment of students to these schools; every single ingredient that goes into making a school is discussed in the public domain, over and over again. Unfortunately the government run schools, particularly the primary wings, are considered as non-performing. Each time they are in news it is for bad reasons. Somewhere in our mental landscape we have concluded that nothing can change the state of affairs in these schools and the things can only go from bad to worse. And that is really unfortunate. The space has been completely ceded to the private players. There is no doubt that we need private players who invest in education, but in the absence of good government schools it leaves many people in a permanent disadvantage. Those who cannot afford to pay the fee that is demanded by a private school, even in the mid cap segment of these schools, are left with no option than to go to a government school where they know that the standards of education are abysmally low. But having no option than to go to a government school these children have practically no future, and stand nowhere compared to the children that go to some decent private school. The one odd example of excellence is only an exception, and no argument can be build over that in favour of government schools. This way we have given rise to two permanent classes of people. Looking from the classical class perspective it is sheer injustice with the children of the poor families who cannot afford education in a private school. It is the duty of the government to think of a comprehensive plan to make a turn around possible in these schools. Here the question arises; why can’t the directorate of school education come up with a comprehensive plan that ensures optimal utilization of resources. Why is it that the top brass of the directorate is busy only with transfers and some cosmetic actions that ensure some optics in the public sphere? It needs deep thinking, and an out of box solution to make government schools in the state function in a productive way.