Friday, September 18, 2009

Reforming Primary Education

Reforming Primary Education

This topic is widely discussed in intellectual circle where the importance of primary education has been emphasized again and again and we have seen that the policy makers are not leaving any stone unturned to increase the head count. Government is spending millions to make sure that Govt School have a decent turn up of the students. Whether the efforts have yielded desired results is a debatable issue.

As per some data available to me we are spending 6% of the GDP on primary health care and yet 35 million children drop out from schools every year. Our mid day meal schemes are attracting lot of students who earlier never had an opportunity to access the education. But the standard of the education in Govt. school is deteriorating day by day and this is alarming. Govt schools are very resource full from the physical infrastructure side but very inefficient when it come to execution and innovation. Resources which are used to run the schools are going in drain with out producing the desired results; our policy makers are responsible for such dire strait.

If we remove the incentives schemes (Mid day meals, free education and scholarship and free books) from the Govt. Schools, I am afraid that these schools will have any students left over. It’s more of a compulsion now for policy makers to continue with such freebies, absence of which will collapse the entire Govt. Primary education system in India. Schools have become am epitome of mismanagement.

Any sensible person whatever little he earns if he has an access to Pvt Education he will never his children in Govt schools. Some of you might say that we too have studied in Govt schools and they are not that bad, but we need to look in to things with today’s perspective, today we can’t even think of putting our children in govt schools. Even the bottom part of the pyramid who will be earning as less than as Rs 5000 a month will try to send his children to Pvt schools and will be paying Rs 1000 a month towards the fee.

This all is happening despite putting up the best faculty and paying them the best salaries and perks. We have got the excellent infrastructure with the Govt schools in India and yet the Govt schools produce the worst results. We can leave the JNV and KVs up to some extent out of discussions.

Govt Schools are producing the illiterate citizens who can barely read and write, and with the fraction of the resources, if utilized properly we can do wonders.

There are lots of things which our policy makers can do

1. Public Private Partnership: This has been discussed thoroughly already at various forums and as economics says, let the best survive, so PPP model should be encouraged.
2. Coupon System: Close the govt schools and use the spare resources to subsidize the education in pvt sector.
3. Top down Approach: Here comes my favorite approach, this is surely going to do wonders and if we can implement this even the best of the schools like Doon , Mayo will find it difficult to get the students.

We just need to make it compulsory for majority stake holders (in the govt and education system) that they send their kids to Govt schools only. This means that ministers, top bureaucrats and people working in education sector (Principals, teachers or other officers) will now have to send their kids to govt schools only. Our leaders show austerity by traveling in the cattle class and troubling the Aam Admi, now it is time to send Gandi family kids to Govt School not to the Doon school. People in govt who decides the policy they should test it too, how painful is their execution, the same thing should apply to primary and secondary health care too.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

power of RTI

I have been using RTI for obtaining the information from NCERT regarding the NTSE , and i am very happy that NCERT has taken a learning from it, by declaring the marks of the selected and non selected students in the public domain.
However there are still lot of things which NCERT needs to do
1. NCERT should give the papers to students
2. NCERT should ask the states conducting stage 1 examination to do the same