“S-U-N-D-I-E”. The Madam clad in an orange sari wrote these alphabets and there was a joyous echo of children uttering these alphabets unanimously. And the word was “S-U-N-D-A-Y”. I happened to visit the local government school in my locality for my Aadhar Card issue and it was then that a peek inside one of the classrooms gave me an all new spelling of the first day of the week. Welcome to the world of Government schools in India!
The teachers who earn way more than their private school counterparts hardly know what they teach. Sometimes matriculated housewives are appointed in villages as teachers who hardly come on a regular basis and if so then only for a few minutes. After all, such jobs are nonetheless called as “Raja-kaam” in our country. Almost 70% of teachers in government schools are untrained which means the future of our young generation lies in the hands of people who are not even worthy to be called “half educated”.
Coming to the infrastructure of our state-run schools, dilapidated walls, broken doors and rooms without windows would be just the right adjectives to describe the real condition. Remote villages have classes being conducted in the open out of fear of the roof getting collapsed anytime. There are no playgrounds and the most shameful statistics shows that a third of toilets in government run schools are in extremely poor condition. Some do not have toilets at all; reason enough for majority of girls to drop out of schools.
There are many state run schools in our country that exist only on paper. This is mainly due to the ruined infrastructure and the fact that many such institutions are confined only to one room where multiple classes are conducted together by the same teacher. This has been cited as a major reason for student failures and of course high drop-out rates. Children of class V hardly know how to read and write, be it English or Hindi. Mathematics is an unwanted task by such children as the subject has downgraded in these schools where class III can’t even recognize numbers. No doubt India is churning out a perfect recipe to give half-baked education to its children.
Education comes as a fundamental right according to the Right to Education (RTE) Act where our “Noble” government undertakes the responsibility to educate all its citizens. But a recent survey has dug up the fact that more than 10% students in villages are migrating to private schools that have highly mushroomed in recent years in these regions. And with the increasing demand for such schools comes the high tuition fees putting a toll on the common man who dreams of giving the best education to his child.
The recent verdict of the Allahabad High Court asking government servants to send their kids to government schools was received with consent by the common citizens across the country. While it might give them a taste of the inferior standards of the state run schools, the decision also calls for bringing out social equation where the children of the common man will get a chance to interact with the so-called elite section of children thus giving them a different sort of an atmosphere and opportunities as well. Moreover, if this initiative is followed suit in other states it will call for not only improving the administration of the state run schools but it will also result in slashing of the sky rocketing fees of the private schools or rather the private education markets.