The education system in government schools is a big concern for the entire country. The quality which is provided there only perpetuates social inequalities, making the claims of right to education so hollow.
Education in simple terms means to bring out or bring forth. In broader sense education means all round development of an individual. Education in India is now a fundamental right. It is the duty of government to give education to all children from 6 to 14 years. Education is considered remedy to all socio-political maladies. The prime minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh said that India can strengthen and secure its future with education. There is no doubt that this is a great move that right to education is a fundamental right for children between the age group of 6 -14.
One cannot ignore the contribution of Sarv-e-Shiksha Abhiyan in the enrollment of children in school. Neither can one close his/her eyes to the huge amount of money spent in education sector. But the question of quality education in government schools is a big issue. The misuse of educational dollars is also an important concern which besides other problems is responsible for poor quality of education in government schools.
In India we can see the differences in the quality of education. All the children do not get the privilege of getting quality education. The schools can be divided into two major categories – state managed schools, and privately managed schools. The former seems to be meant for the masses, while the latter for the privileged class who can pay for good education. The system of education ensures that the marginalized class operate in a different world than the privileged. Education seems to play an important key role in helping maintain the current inequalities in society. The apt ideology of ‘equality of opportunity’ is used in the Indian context for perpetuating the silent, subtle suppression.
Right to education is now a fundamental right. It is the duty of state to provide education to children from 6-14. It should mean to bring children out of home and to keep them in class rooms from 10 am to 4 pm. Literacy in India should not be limited to papers, we should have real literate individuals and not those who are not able to identify numerical from 1 to 10.
In India, a supervisor in social welfare department must be a graduate, but a teacher who is architect of the child needs to be just 10 +2. A well qualified teacher is not the only need, he or she should be good in the art of teaching and communicating with his students. Usually teachers are in their profession, not by choice but by certain compulsion. Many of them do not prove to be good teachers.
The mid-day meals may be very useful in the enrollment of children and improving the condition of drop-outs in primary education level. But these have rather proved disastrous. The teachers who were already over loaded due to lack of staff, got busy in making arrangements for mid day meals, all at the cost of compromising on quality of education. The government in many ways too is contributing to the deterioration of standard of education in government schools, by engaging teachers for any kind of data collection or election duties. It seems the elite class are not any more concerned with the quality education in government schools as their children are attending highly paid private schools.
The quality of education provided in government schools can be understood by the fact that those who teach in government schools send their children to private schools, because they know very well the education provided in government schools.
If India really wants to secure and strengthen her future, then it should focus on quality education besides quantity. As Mahatma Gandhi wrote in Young India in 1925: “For achieving independence India must educate the masses.” He was not referring to just enrolling more and more children in schools, he was talking about real education.
[Editor’s Note: In an effort to provide space for all Jamia students to express themselves on any topic of their liking without being edited, we have created a section called the Soapbox. Articles under this section are presented as is. Views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of JamiaJournal.com. The author bears full responsibility for its content and format.]