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Education / Human Resource
Education Turning Into a Business Bookmark and Share  
  Author Name : Harleena Singh Posted on : August-8-2009 Total Hits: 2521
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Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.
- Albert Einstein


Whenever we think of education, we tend to view the schools in a formal, traditional sense. Most people think that education can only be undertaken in a formal classroom setting while others feel it occurs in environments and forms. We need to analyze first the purpose of education, is it to educate the youth to become responsible citizens, is it to focus on developing the individual intelligence and talents or is it to develop society and individuals ensuring an economic success of the society? Maybe it’s a balance of all the three that would define education as a whole.


Education is a basic human right and when that right is granted development and growth, the society on a whole is likely to improve in areas like nutrition, health, living standards, income and population fertility rates. EFA was launched in 1990 by UNESCO, to provide quality education for all youth, children and adults by the year 2015, which seventeen years later, is still a dream. The National Policy for children was adopted in 1974 by India, that declared children to be the nations precious assets, yet as per UNESCO, India has the lowest public expenditure per student in the world, on education.


Schools in the backward tribal and rural areas are the most neglected with glaring problems of government run schools being that of infrastructure. Buildings that are poorly maintained, ill equipped laboratories and libraries, dilapidated classrooms, lack of proper drinking and sanitation facilities are some problems that students deal with on a daily basis. Poor availability of qualified teachers and teacher student ratio and obsolete, outdated curriculums and teaching methodologies, lack of vocational training, schools distanced far away and inaccessible to the students, along with other social issues have lead to high drop out rates in the country.


Private school on the other hand have mushroomed in every corner of the colonies catering to the rise in demand and range from the ‘five star schools’ which are fully air conditioned, best of food provided from hotels and mineral water to the ‘learning shops’ which are in a devastating state, both in amenities and teaching. In the absence of any kind of rule or regulation, anyone can start a school, anywhere; the disparity is shocking and glaring. Talking about Gautam Budh Nagar, Education Officer Dharam Veer Singh says, “According to government norms, there should be one primary school for every 3,000 people in the district.” In Gautam Budh Nagar itself, the ratio is 1:2,000. Twenty schools alone came up in 2007, with the education department saying they have no record of the number of playschools and nursery schools that have cropped up. The fees that are charged in any of these private schools are something no one can imagine, and parents are in queue right before one session is complete, seeking admissions for their children. Schools simply charge the parents on the pretext of development charges, annual charges, yearly fees and the like, where the poor parent has no option other than pay the amount, in order to secure a seat in the esteemed school.


Even the entries of the corporate sectors in the technical education is effecting the middle classes, where they claim to start preparing the students for IIT’s right from class sixth onwards, though the fees are unaffordable for the common man. It simply remains a dream for those who pass out from class twelfth to pursue an engineering or medical career in any of the elite engineering institutes. With the corporate culture entering into school and turning education into a complete business, students with average marks are being charged nearly Rs.18000 by corporate colleges and intermediate.


Complete privatization of education is definitely not the answer to this glaring problem, which would just increase the cost of education and not enhance the accessibility of schools substantially. To provide free education to the children belonging to the lower category is something that the private schools are in disagreement with. The only workable solution would be a system where schools are owned by the government but are operated and managed by the private sectors. This would ensure and increase in the education quality accessible to the masses, though it may increase the expenditure of the government on education, though it would still be worth as a private-public partnership in education would be most suitable to ensure efficiency, check corruption and ensure that the allocated funds are properly utilized.


Education is a companion which no future can depress, no crime can destroy, no enemy can alienate it and no nepotism can enslave. - Ropo Oguntimehin


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