Thursday, April 19, 2012
RTE: Government vs Private Schools Part 2
Sometime back I read an article reviewing the educational system in the
US. There were quotes from administrators,parents, educational consultants and college professors. One quote really annoyed me. I don’t recall the
exact words but it was something to the tune of, “If our education system
focuses on teaching to the test and our students are not allowed to explore as
they learn then they will be fit for jobs which don’t require thinking and creating.
Those kinds of jobs are already being exported to countries like India
where they follow that system of education. Is that what we want for our
As I said, I was very annoyed at first. But on reflection, I realized I was annoyed because there was a grain of truth to her comment. Our education is so focused on teaching to a test, our language instruction is a hit and miss process, we focus on handwriting but not on original writing.
It is true that we are very hard working because we know that education is a means to an end. That is why parents from all strata work so hard to give their children what they consider to be the best education.
I met a family from one of the consular missions in our country sometime back. They had been posted to
after a stint in another developing country. They had a fascinating observation
to make. “In the country where we lived (before our move to India), our children’s classmates paid their
servants to do their homework. They didn’t have to work at anything because
their background guaranteed that they would be handed positions of importance
when they were older. We had to make time to sit with our children to make sure that
they developed the habit of completing their homework and to prepare for assignments. Then we moved to India.
After the second week of school, my son came home and said, “I have to study! The kids in my class are smart…they know everything. I don’t want to be the only one who doesn’t participate because I didn’t study.” We are very happy with the way both our children take ownership of their education now.”
being smart is not something to be ashamed of…at least not for the most part.
Hard work is appreciated by teachers, parents and peers. We adults need to work
harder to find what is best for all our children. Our children deserve to be
innovators and creators. It is our responsibility to provide those
opportunities for them.
Random NGOs groups doing work in bits and pieces will not bring about the necessary change. All these organizations can't set aside money to get trained in evidence based practices. Besides, if they started their own research practice, it would be such a waste of time. Why reinvent the wheel? Instead, the educational department needs to co-ordinate these services. The government schools should be responsible for the education of the majority. Towards this end, the same body needs to evaluate and restructure teacher education. Lastly, the government needs to monitor how and what kind of education is provided in private schools—run for profit or as charities.
Posted by Ms. S at 5:47 PM