Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Education System be damned!!!

Today we had a guest lecture, and somehow we wandered to the issue of Compulsory Education. In fact, it is only today that I realised that Compulsory Education should mean that one need not have to apply. And really how true it is! But look at the situation prevalent especially in urban India. If you had to take admission in school, you would have gone mad!I mean it really scares me! My heart really goes to those children who are growing up in this scenario.
I remember, 2 years back, when I was in Bangalore, I happened to stay at one of my distant uncle's place for a couple of days, and I came to know that they were to planning for their daughter's admission but the city's supposedly best girls' school, needed a donation of 20-25,000 rupees. And they planned to settle for the next best because my uncle was expecting a transfer. Imagine paying such a bomb and then shifting to another city, and pay again a similar exhorbitant sum. The child had to get admitted in Class 1. In fact, all of us very well know the plight of urban families, who have to pay huge sum of money in the name of education. Capitalism in Education, as they say!!!
But I really liked the idea of Universal Education in US. There you have to pay extra taxes in order to study beyond your district limits. One child is supposed to get her education in her own community. Yeah, it definitely instils a feeling of community because everyone comes there--the brightest as well as the dumbest!
I definitely do not believe that institutes like Bansal tutorials in Kota or institutes and schools of the ilk are doing wonder. Their cut off is 80% and then they take a written test. After you qualify that you are assigned groups like A,B,C,...according to your excellence and brilliance. So when you already filter out the cream, what can you expect other than the best from them. For example, if IITs or IIMs do well, do you wonder why??!!
The idea of private schools should be banned because on one side it instills a sense of disparity among children at a very young age, and secondly they never get to see the complete community. Remember schools were supposed to be a mini-world, where you experienced the diversity of the world outside in a small scale. But in this case, you end up meeting people of your ilk only, and sometimes you don't even realise that there is life beyond fashion, latest music video, Kareena's latest hair colour, and the glamour world. In fact, there is tremendous amount of harsh realities waiting for you out there, but you are not prepared; with that kind of education system!


  1. ummm....well yep, to some extent

    as for your perception on why iits/iims/bansals do well? I'll just ask you to rewind back to the very first batch of each of these places.

    Its the quality of institute which gets reflected in the performance and recognition of the first few batches. After that however, a chain sets up so that only good candidates enter and so perform well later. But you certainly cannot discount the insitutes' contribution in setting up the chain.

  2. I am surprised Gump didn't correct you there...not of great consequence, but the name's Bansal Classes. Being a proud alumnus I wouldn't want it to be confused with a shadier and significantly less successful clone called Bansal Tutorials in Delhi.

    And of course, I agree with Gump that it'll be unfair to these institutions (though Bansal's shouldn't be talked of in the same breath as IITs and IIMs!) if you credit only their reputation and stringent entrance tests for their success. They do add value themselves too!

  3. Of course, I find the state of public education in India equally shocking. But before we talk against private schools we should ensure that government schools adhere to certain standards, like in the US. Then probably being a govt school product wouldn't be a thing to be embarassed about as it is India (except maybe some KVs).


  4. Helloooo there, chill yaar. I forgot that there possibility of a past Bansal student, a current IITian and a future IIM grad might be reading this!Hey, no offence meant. I think I went overboard and slightly off-track.
    My point was that imagine what is the education system in India right now, especially the primary schools. Even you would agree that the government schools are totally worthless,most of them! We would not send our children to such schools, I suppose! But if we just question the quality of government schools then there would be no answer available. We have to see at the roots. For example, look at any community with 2 schools--one of them government and the other a private one. Now think about the mix of children who attend these schools. All the students who can afford it would go to a private school because of obvious reasons.
    Why! Arnav, just think about our own DAV and Middle schools at Jhinkpani!
    Now take two, if we would have only one school, no other choice, first of all it would get attention that it requires and deserves. Even teachers are absent from government schools.
    What I am trying to say is that by just saying that the system is pathetic, I cannot withdraw myself. There has to be a root cause somewhere, not so obvious.
    Can everyone afford a DPS or a Loyola or the ilk.
    Another thing is when all students come together to study, there is definitely a dynamics which is starkly different from the ones which are exclusive schools, and by exclusive schools I mean, only rich guys' children or only those from poor class. What about balance?
    Talking about IITs and IIMs (and leaving Bansal), I PERSONALLY think they are really good and pride of India, but what am saying is if these institutes do remarkably well then is there any surprise? They are meant for that!!!The cream of the students study there. They are supposed to be the drivers of development in India.Whatsay?

  5. Even I was thinking of using DAV Jhinkpani as an example. I think it's a very socialist attitude in trying to shut down private schools to make government schools better. I agree that there's a root cause, but are we taking the right step towards eliminating it by forcing everyone to study in government schools rightaway. A more logical result of doing that would be the general standard of education coming down, rather than that in govt. schools going up.
    In stead, a lot like DAV or, as a better example, mission schools we can encouage schools which do not charge much but provide wholesome education. There were students from villages studying at our school too, and I agree that it teaches you a lot, rather than spending all your life in a upscale school like DPS with people exactly like you.

    I wasn't offended, really! I was just stating that why should there be a surprise at all? I mean IITs and IIMs were established to do what they are doing, or at least most of it. The fuss is made only because these institutes did facilitate to some degree the relative ease with which many brilliant people went ahead and did well in their life. These guys would have done well anyways probably, but definitely in a much lesser number, and in some cases to a lesser degree.

  6. Hey, of course, that is really a simplistic and naive way to solve any problem! We really can't get up one fine day and order to close down all private schools, it would be disasterous, but we can at least take off by being clear about the objectives. There must be another way to achieve Universal/Compulsory education in some way!
    Talking about IITs. Yes, the brand IIT has definitely given a much better platform to be taken seriously. For example, if an engineer from South or West India would present ideas for development, he might be shrugged off, because there are hundreds of engineering colleges mushroomed in these places. The calibre of an IITian is unquestionable! But after reading The IITians, I was fascinated by the work done by several IITians at the grassroots level. That is what India needs desperately.
    I will write about it in my next posting.
    Take care