On my way to office is a Government school. The time when I come back home from office coincides with school’s over time. The road at that time becomes full of school children (all boys in evening school). The concern is not traffic or any other related matter but the sort of language these school boys use while conversing with each other or calling each other loudly. What I heard is a very abusive language. Apart from this their not so tidy and improper uniform and their glued hair styles attract your attention.
Here you will agree with me that if basic manners like how to talk cannot be taught at schools then how can we expect quality education. How can these kids become responsible citizens? In most of the Government schools the condition is either same or even worse. It indeed is a matter of concern and must be handled strictly and immediately.
Govt schools vs. private schools
What is being taught and who taught also comes under scrutiny in these Government schools. When compared with private schools the quality of education in Government schools is not up to the mark. Most of the students, even of fifth grade do not know how to read. If they do then they just memorize lessons without understanding these.
The Government schools are over-packed. The teacher-student ratio is higher as compared to private schools. As per a survey conducted by The Times of India (TOI) maximum number of primary schools have the teacher-student ratio of 50:1. Teacher plays multiple roles. Many Government schools exist on paper only, actually either their infrastructure is fully or partially ruined. Most of the Government schools in the rural areas are not proper schools but confined to one room. Issues like these add to low attendance and high drop-out rates from the Government schools.
Lack of basic amenities
NDTV has in a survey disclosed that most of the Government schools in India lack basic amenities of toilets and drinking water. On the implementation of Right to Education (RTE), they surveyed 780 Government schools in 13 States of India. The results were shameful. Sixty-three percent of them had no playgrounds. More than a third of the schools had unserviceable toilets or in extremely poor condition. In case a student wants to go to washroom he goes back home. The channel cited it as one of the biggest reasons for high drop-out rate of girl students. Admission is not according to the age in more than 80 percent of the schools.
Right to Education Act (RTE) provides children a right to free and compulsory education till completion of elementary education. It also specifies pupil teacher ratios (PTRs), buildings and infrastructure, school working days, teacher working hours, appointment of trained teachers.
Majority of Government schools have not been renovated since long time. Sometimes students are made to sit on floor outside the classroom as the roof could fall anytime.
Can you expect quality education in such schools?
Quality of teachers at Government schools is another major concern. Most of the teachers do not themselves know what they are teaching. A few days back I saw a video of a school teacher teaching students in a rural Government school. Every single spelling of the days of the week, the twelve months that she was teaching was wrong. Sunday was being taught as ‘Sundie’. When asked about the number of days in a a year her answer was 300. It was so shocking.
If not educated in Government school then you must have gone to one while casting your vote. My voting centre was a small Government school. Though it had big classrooms but toilets were in bad condition.
India is the fastest growing economy in the world but our education system is still crawling. As per global education report 2004, India ranked 106 out 127 countries in the field of education.
Not only teachers but raising children as responsible citizens is the prime duty of parents. They must keep a vigil on their kids. What they speak, how they go to school, their uniform and all. Today’s strictness will help them in future.
Moreover it is imperative to infuse a sense of responsibility and understanding among kids. The Government schools should organize seminars or discussions on personality development, communication, importance of education on regular basis. We must ensure that students study not to give exam but to understand things. The Government must provide well-built schools with trained staff.
We cannot blame a single person or institution as quality education and well-behaved kids is the collective responsibility of teacher, student, Government and parents. Everyone must play his or her role effectively to bring about change.