Have you ever been to a government school? The general scenario at most schools will be a building in extremely poor condition as if it is going to fall at any time, unkempt surroundings, very high student-teacher ratio and sometimes even one teacher handling all subjects! Lack of support by government have resulted into extremely poor condition of these schools.
Even though government schools are the main source of education for the vast majority of children of the working people in cities and rural areas, the government has followed a conscious policy of neglecting and destroying the state-run school education system, in order to promote privatisation of school education. Between 2010-2011 and 2015-2016, student enrolment in government schools across 20 Indian states fell by 1.3 crore, while private schools acquired 1.75 crore new students, according to a new study that offers insights into India’s public education system.
The scenario is the same even in the country’s capital. There are 10,591 teachers’ vacancies as per the requirement stated by the Directorate of Education of Delhi government. It asked the Delhi High Court to allow guest teachers to continue working on a daily wage basis (on a salary of less than one-third the salary of regular teachers) till the 10,591 teachers’ posts lying vacant in Delhi government schools are filled. According to government figures there are nearly 17,000 guest teachers at present, teaching in government schools in different parts of Delhi.
Teachers of the more than 760 schools run by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation issued a press note on October 13, threatening to launch a protest because they have not been paid their salaries for the last two months — August and September. They have demanded the immediate payment of their wages.
Today school education is a huge, highly profitable market. Parents end up paying lakhs of rupees of fees to these private schools in the name of “Quality Education”. Politicians of the major political parties such as the Congress and the BJP are known owners of many of these private institutions.
Whereas good education is right of all citizens of India and our government is bound to provide it, it has completely failed to fulfil its duty. According to RTE (Right to Education) Act, many policies are formulated to improve the conditions, but little financial support is given to implement them. A meagre 4.6% of the GDP is spent on education in India, whereas the international standard is at least 6%. The government expenditure amounts to only Rs 92 per capita every year. This is ridiculous and not acceptable!!
Is good quality education possible if there are not enough well-trained teachers in schools? Is it possible if teachers are not well paid and if good infrastructure and other resources not provided?
In today’s competitive world, a set of good skills is so important for survival. Every year lakhs of graduate and post-graduates from various fields fail to get decently paying jobs. Many factors are responsible for it. The quality of education is not up to the mark in majority of the institutes. The focus even at the post-graduate level is on scoring marks rather than developing skills in that particular field. Jobs are not given based on the marks but based on skill set required to perform the job. The government on one hand fails to give even the basic good quality primary education let alone the higher education, but it also fails to provide skill training for jobs.
The destruction of the government schools is a shameful policy of our government. We youth have reasons to be most concerned about what is happening to our education system. It is a matter of life and death for us.