Monday, January 24, 2011
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
There is hardly any debate over the competence and cost effectiveness of private schools in India. Many research papers have already established these facts. Absent-ism and unaccountability, leave alone performance, is the picture of government schools.
It sounds nice to have a minimum standard set. Does this matter to the big private schools? No, most of them already have it or will easily match up. But, what about the small players, the low-cost private schools? The ray of hope for even the slum dwellers, who choose to afford a fee of Rs 50 to Rs 350 per month; instead of sending their children to the free government school?
The first thing that comes to my mind is the dreadful inspector raj, which is going to cripple primary education in India. I would be amazed if you can find-out few low-cost private schools in Delhi which can afford to have a playground. Parth has a wonderful article on the 'input educationist' and how Right to Education has actually become Right to Employment for teachers. So, most of the low-cost private school would become illegal on April 1, 2013. Subsequent forced rush in the govt schools would probably show how successful the government had been in enrolling children.
Profit making in education is legally prohibited. There already is a supply crunch. this new legislation is going to add fuel to it. First, by closing down numerous existing private schools and then by challenging new entry of private schools.
Limited supply and consistently increasing demand will make private schools heavily expensive. Only the rich will be able to afford. By fixing the upper limit for fee, government will probably hit the last nail in the private school coffin.
Isn't it a systemic denial of the very quality education which is being promised?
Affordable quality education is perfectly possible in India given the big market. All we need to do is to remove the prohibition on profit making in education. You can legally sell wine but not education! Ratan Tata can dream of Rs 1 Lakh car for every one; but he can't legally dream of Rs 100 Quality Education for all, because our politicians are 'educated'.
After McDonalds and Pizza Hut came to Delhi, now Gupta-ji-ka-dhaba also provides free home delivery. Institutional investment will fuel the spread of good schools across India like mobile phones. Competition will wipe out, some of the current bad practices. Freedom will enable our youths to open up schools and make money too.
Posted by Satyajit at 4/07/2010 10:06:00 AM