northern lights

northern lights

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Need to Strengthen School Education

According to John Dewey a famous educational reformer, 
"Education is not  preparation for life; Education is life itself.”

The writers’ emphasis  on education  being  life itself  is  very apt and thought provoking. In any  assembly  a  well educated  person  can be identified without   any  effort. Those who are  educated in the real sense display a cultured demeanour.  They  are courteous, well mannered  and sophisticated. People wonder where did  they  have their schooling. I  pondered upon the situation prevailing  in Delhi. There are  some very  good schools  and there  are some not so good. This is applicable  to both  Govt.  and  Private schools. 

There are many  Govt.  and Public Schools in Delhi  which are doing  an excellent job for the cause of Education.This article is not  directed towards these schools.

In Delhi the Private schools are known as Public schools, which is  a misnomer.People have a craze   to admit their children to  these so called Public schools.  After all  what is so special  about these schools? The only attraction  is that English is taught  from  KG and Nursery classes.  Taking advantage of  the  public  obsession   several such  schools have  mushroomed  all over the city.Whether it is in the interiors  of the city or  rural areas  or  even in some  posh areas, there is no dearth of such schools   which can be nomenclated as  teaching shops. There are Schools which are located in two or three room   tenements,which give the impression  of a cow-shed, but they proclaim that  they are  public  schools, providing quality education. We feel amused when we come to know the names of of these schools.Just add the word 'Convent,'  to the name and lo and behold  a public  school is born!!  These schools charge exorbitant  fees and fleece the gullible public. They do not provide trained and well educated teachers.  What kind of teaching can we expect from such teachers?  Who are the owners of such schools? There is no society or trust  running these schools. The proprietor may be a local Halwai, who has never entered the portals of a school.There are  Peons, Drivers, Shopkeepers, Primary school teachers  and many more  who have taken up the responsibility of  providing quality(?) education to the students.  

The reason for the multiplicity of  so called  public schools  is due to the ever increasing  demand for English. The rickshaw puller, the dhobi, the sweeper, the mason,  domestic servant  and  several others  want their children to study English  and prefer to send their wards to these schools.  I recall that I  happened to meet  one of the teachers serving in one such school. I enquired how much salary  she was drawing.  I was stunned to know that she was drawing a salary  of 1500 Rs. per month. She told me that  there were three teachers in the 'school' and  all the three were getting the same salary!!These schools are run for monetary  gains and not for any social  or national purpose.

The question is what is the solution ? How can  such schools be dissuaded  from functioning? The govt should  provide quality education so that people are weaned away from   such  schools.  Efforts are  being  made by the govt. to provide free quality education to the masses.  For example, In the year 2009  the  govt. passed  the Right to Education Act.It was implemented in 2010. 

According to the Act all  the children between the age of 6 to 14 will  have a  right  to  be educated. Even the reputed  Public Schools were covered within the rules of this Act. It envisaged that  it would be mandatory for all public schools  to reserve 25% seats for economically  backward  students. The Act laid down that Govt would reimburse the expenses  in the case of such students.  This is a social welfare  scheme and if  allowed to run, it can do wonders   in eradicating the  demon of  ‘money making’ to a great extent.

The Scheme of opening Pratibha Vidyalayas in Govt schools is also  directed towards raising the standard of education.It is essential that more such schools should  be opened for the benefit of the students.I close with a quotation  by Nelson Mandela,"Education is the most powerful weapon,which you can use to change the world."


  1. Very thought provoking post Ma'am.
    Today, one can find a school in almost every lane of the city, with the focus on money and not education. Have seen so many people prosper in a short span of time with these schools but the infrastructure or the teachers or the education that is provided here is a big question mark.
    Quality teachers to provide quality education is certainly the need of the hour.

  2. You have correctly assessed the situation.Unless Educatoinists have a missionary zeal and dedication.we will never be able to achieve much!