The new session has already started. The government has started implementing the new education policy in schools and colleges. The new education policy envisages a new structure of curriculum and increased opportunities for the student, but prima facie it seems that this policy will encourage the commercialization of education and hence we are revisiting a fundamental question today. To understand our education system we need to understand its ownership and governance. Also, this arrangement needs to be understood in the context of the changed economic policy in the country. At present there are three types of educational institutions in India by ownership.
One Government Educational Institutions Two Private Educational Institutions and Three Aided Educational Institutions. In such government educational institutions both management and organization are under the control of the government. Here the fees and teachers are all under the control of the government, while in private educational institutions everything from the fees to the teachers are under the control of private ownership. Private institutions only follow the government’s curriculum. What India has in large numbers are aided educational institutions. Where the institutions are privately owned but the government provides financial grants to run these institutions and these grants also cover the salary of the teachers. Originally, the institution and the teachers were controlled by private bodies or trusts.
The government gives a maintenance grant to the institution and after 1980 the teachers of almost all public trust educational institutions are paid by the government, which is actually a salary grant. Thus in the language of law teachers are under the control of the trust and not under the control of the government. However, since the government pays the salary, the control does the same. After 1991, we allowed privatization in secondary and higher education and before private colleges and schools started in secondary and higher education, there were private schools in the primary, but there were no capitalist factors in the society. There was competition with government and aided institutions and parents wanted to place their children in government schools and it was not dignified to attend private schools and tuition classes.
Alas, it used to be a shame to use a student guide, but times have changed. After privatization came private schools with attractive buildings. Competitive exams came everywhere and parents rushed. Private schools started getting them M admission in private colleges and yes, sociology did work, poor lower caste students also came in government schools. Should our children be allowed to study with them? Due to this idea, the society got divided. The poor working class began to send their children to government schools and the middle class to private schools and the tendency to close government schools continued. Private primary schools flourish in villages and government schools close due to lack of students. The mindset of the society is more responsible and more serious than the government for this serious problem.
A new generation in the management of grant-in-aid institutions receiving financial assistance from the government We have discussed the changed functioning of public trusts once before in this series of articles. There was a time in India when after the appeal of social thinkers like Mahatma Gandhi and Vinoba Bhave, many people created public trusts of their wealth and hospitals, schools, hostels, temples were run through public trusts. In the field of education, many people formed trusts and opened schools with their wealth to increase the level of knowledge and education in the society. These schools were a blessing to the society.
Writers, teachers, leaders, orators, businessmen, administrators, scientists who are in the society today have all studied in institutions run by this trust and charging very nominal fees. Today those who say that we are educating our children in private schools in the city have all studied in these so-called government grant-in-aid schools, but times have changed. From this public trust came a new generation of trustees of schools, which grew up in the new understanding of privatization and liberalization. Far from giving away his wealth for the society, he is also opposed to providing public services cheaply and affordably to the poor.
Those people do not feel any shame in using these public institutions for their own interests and in those institutions where private schools and colleges have been started in government aided institutions, the poor people do not even understand that what is the difference? For example, if a self-finance class or course has been started in a granted school or college, people believe that everything taught in this college or school is the same, it is government only. Now who can explain to him that all illegal classes and courses can be run in a granted school, private teachers are teaching in the selffinas courses run in a granted school and they are not even qualified.
We have there in the matter of schools colleges that we need the approval of the government to start them. At that time, the number of classrooms, facilities of the library, number of teachers, quality, ground, basic facilities are all checked and approved. But once this approval is given, the government does not come to see what is going on at the ground level. Parents are still a little aware of the schools, but the colleges and especially the colleges running vocational courses are very weak from infrastructure to the faculty.
Corruption has also tainted the approval process and school colleges are a kind of shop licenses, where both teachers and students can be exploited and many do so with ease. Since then, the government has undertaken a comprehensive campaign to decongest the roads in major cities, pilgrimage centers and public roads have been decongested. We want the government to control the officials in this administration and these businessmen sitting in the institutions for the good of education. The problem now is that education and teaching require qualifications.
But people who have no connection or sensibility with education have become trustees of schools and colleges and are not interested in anything other than breakfast and selling books. Learning, teaching and assessment are important in education, but today’s school administrators are not interested in this important matter. So they manage things other than this. If the government wants to enrich and strengthen the education of this country, it is necessary to form an independent body at the earliest, which will guide the education and this body will be of educators, not distantly related to the government and its officials. Only the government provides financial instruments. Else, he will not interfere and it is high time that the government should have only two types of institutions in education. Government and Private. The business of government paying salaries and administration to private people needs to stop.
– The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.