A POLICY TO IMPROVE THE STANDARDS IN GOVERNMENT OWNED EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS ?
As the new academic year is now commencing , the parents and students belonging to poor families are running around with frustration and sense of hopelessness , due to lack of quality educational opportunities. Those who interact with the poor families would know this.
Certainly, the poor students are entitled to aspire for quality education that would provide them opportunities for growth, just as the students belonging to the affluent families.
Unfortunately, with private educational institutions now largely going into the hands of business men and politicians, the tuition and other fees charged in the private schools and colleges have become exhorbitant and beyond the reach of the students from lower income group. It is sad that quality education now are available only for those who can afford to pay high fees.
Inevitably, the deprived students look upto the government for support to provide them opportunities for education that would be of competitive standards. Unfortunately, the quality standards of education imparted in several government schools and colleges are poor and inadequate.
In such circumstances, the students belonging to lower income group and their parents desire to admit their children in private institutions, but they do not have the resources to pay the demanded fees . They run from pillar to post to mobilise funds by borrowing or “begging”. They go from one NGO to another and these NGOs themselves do not command the resources required considering the need of the poor students.
In such circumstances, the politicians and the bureaucrats running the government have to be blamed for not maintaining the requisite standards in the government owned educational institutions. Further, the government is not opening more schools and colleges in tune with the demand and perhaps, expect the money sucking private sector to fill the gap.
The poor quality of education in government schools and colleges have no justification. The salaries and perks paid to the teachers in government schools and colleges are largely on par with that of private institutions and in some cases they are even better. Most of the government institutions also have adequate facilities like laboratories etc. as the government provide the funds.
The problem arises due to the poor quality of administration and indiscipline in these government institutions . One often see local politicians entering the premises and interfering in administration. IAS officers who work in the Education department rarely visit the schools and colleges for inspection and when they do occasionally , they expect to be received with red carpet welcome.
A suggestion was made in a recent meeting that the best way to improve the standards of the government owned educational institutions is to make it compulsory that the sons and daughters of IAS officers and that of the ministers should study only in government owned or government aided institutions. They use government bunglows / apartments and government vehicles. Why not they use government schools and colleges also ? This policy of government to ask the ministers and bureaucrats to admit their children in government institutions would certainly motivate them to pay greater attention to improve the performance and standards of government run educational institutions.