GROWING CRISIS IN SCHOOL EDUCATION MAY LEAD TO REVOLT
Ashok Agarwal Lawyer & Social Activist
Middle Class is forced to send their children to English Medium Fee-Charging Private Schools as they are convinced that there is no future of their children in Poor-Quality Government-run schools. Most glaring fact is that even those manning (Teachers and other Officers) Government-run schools are also sending their children to these private schools as they are equally convinced that there is no future of their children in their own Government-run schools.
In the back drop of the constitutional right of every child to free education, the middle class is forced to part with nearly 35% of its hard earned income in providing education to its children through private schools. It is not out of free will. Allow admissions in Kendriya Vidyalayas to all their children and then find within next 48 hours that more than 50 percent of the parents withdrawing their children from the private schools and sending them to KVs. However, it is not happening due to deliberately designed anti-people, unconstitutional, arbitrary and discriminatory laws and policies of the Governments. The unjust, arbitrary and exorbitant fee-hike every year by the private schools has put the middle class in great financial difficulties as it is becoming un-affordable for them. The middle class is agitating all over the country on this issue but without any solution in sight and therefore, the crisis is bound to grow further manifold in coming days.
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (RTE Act, 2009) has provided limited opportunity to the children belonging to disadvantaged group and economically weaker sections to receive free elementary education in recognized private schools to the extent of 25% of seats at the entry level class. It has certainly raised high aspirations among the poor and disadvantaged people to get their children educated in English Medium Private Schools. However, such aspirations for most of them would be elusive as all the children are not going to get admission in these schools. It is already resulting in growing unrest among them.
On one hand, for various reasons, the demand for quality government schools is increasing among the masses and on the other hand, Governments have miserably failed to meet the same. It is all resulting in growing anger among the masses. It is manifest from the agitations being resorted to by the parents and the students demanding their right to quality school education in different parts of the country.
All the parents sending their children to private or government schools are the victims of the present education system cleverly designed to exploit them in one way or the other. Growing unrest among the common people is seen as a hope for change.
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