Vantage point

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I have often written about how I think that a failed state-controlled and kleptocratic primary education system is probably the biggest hindrance in the path of the country's poor.

Neha in her post about the Mandalisation issue writes about primary education -

Education. Primary Education. The government makes feeble attempts at universalizing primary education and FAILS. It's been failing consistently since 1947. It's the worst report card a country can produce - that most of the country still can't read it. The issue with primary education is that it is so centralized, that it's difficult to hold an absentee or inefficient teacher responsible.
the government either needs to clear up its act and decentralize schooling and education, or it needs to give more impetus to private schools.
If you tell me that private schools are expensive - think again. The market forces are not allowed to operate. If enough parents feel that the teacher discriminates against girls in a private school - chances are that another private player will recognize the gap - and start a school that is more gender sensitive. I understand that this school, in an ideal situation need not be gender-blind. The school will need to reach out to parents to convince them to continue in the school. (Which school wouldn't want fees the next year?) The school has further reasons to push parents to send their girls to college. Because earning women make a better case for the school to urge all parents to send their girls to school. If the fees do not appear to go down despite schools competing for children, well, in that case - let their be an open system where you apply to the government for scholarships.

Bang on!

I hope more thoughts of this kind are expressed on blogs and in the media, and there is a better understanding of arguably the biggest reason for the underprivileged remaining underprivileged.

I hope to see support for, and greater discussion upon the Education Choice Campaign.

What is happening instead is that the media, and the intelligentsia are sitting silent and clueless even as steps are taken in the exact opposite direction which will further compound the problems in primary education system, i.e the Free and Compulsory Primary Education Bill.