The End Justifies The Means??

Schedule Rules Over Parents Vacations

Are Schools Violating Age Norms

Schools & Government Headed for Face Off?

So, you’ve collected Rs35,000CR in Educational Cess, you’ve passed groundbreaking legislation that claims to give the power of a quality education to every one of the 125 Crore children in your country. Then, suddenly you realise that your atrophied, ossified government infrastructure, mired in political game playing, is incapable of showing gains or material benefits.

What to do?

Well, judging by the little selection of news articles above there’s a potentially very neat solution for master politicians – shift attention to the private schools and portray them as the enemies of the people. Engage in unsubstantiated, vague suggestions that there’s a big difference between their costs and their revenues (it’s OK, you don’t have to prove anything, or show hard data).

Hey presto! Job done! When commentators suggest that you haven’t achieved your declared intent of social suffrage through education, it’s OK – you’re not to blame. It’s those devils in the private school sector. You know, those devils who invested crores of their own money to build schools, create education infrastructure. Those devils whose children just happen to top in everything, who have listened to the market and provided the education that upwardly mobile India craved for.

It’s all their fault!
(And don’t let that man Tooley and his ‘Beautiful Tree’ tell you any different!)

How Not to Win Friends & Influence People

The private unaided schools of India are under assault from many directions.

The government, both Central and states are showing every sign that they intend to place the lions share of the implementation burden for The Right to Education Act on the private schools, with little real careful research on all the implications of such experimental social engineering. Particularly since the saga of the Sixth Pay Commission (the pain and the court cases are still going on), the media and press have shown themselves very ready to parade simplistic criticisms to paint the unaided schools as the enemies of the people, as a greedy scourge upon the public.

The schools have really done little to help themselves. The profession is deeply mistrustful (partly due to supply/ demand disparities for quality teachers), meaning that individual schools are all too ready to act in ways that may serve their own short term interests, but which weaken the overall position of the schools collectively.

In the meantime, the government and media take full advantage of the fact that there really is no common voice. For the honest schools that try to operate within the law, strive to deliver quality in education and put children’s interests first it can be difficult to align with all the other schools, knowing that some of them habitually engage in immoral, illegal and wrong practices. Nevertheless, the overall net result is increased vulnerability.

This story from NDTV really highlights just how vulnerable the schools are and how individual schools are contributing to the situation:

NDTV story re Pre Schools

My biggest fear is that this can ultimately lead to scenarios in which the biggest losers will be children and teachers – innocent victims in tragedies that really don’t need to happen. Then, the ultimate loser will be the country as a whole. Failures in the private schools education system can only increase the existing failure to produce sufficient talent to fuel the country’s economic growth

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