In Arunachal Pradesh in Tshering Lamuh Tawang District, Lamuh has plans about his six years old son — ‘We did not get the opportunity to study any further but we want him to go to the college. His life will be much better than ours, we are sure of that’.
The child has to walk four kilometers one way to reach the school but the parents make him go. A couple selling ‘do as’ at a wayside stall in Arunachal Pradesh say, ‘We couldn’t go to school, we want our children to get what we missed. That’s our main mission in life’.
A teacher at a primary school — Sangam Jadhav — in Aurangabad District of Maharashtra tells with a surprised feeling,’Had a tough time during admission last June.
Unlike some years ago, when he’d have to beg parental consent before literally dragging students into the classroom, last year he had to fight to keep underage children out.
Master Sangam Jadhav says it as if shocked at the sea-change in the parents’ attitude—’Something has happened! Parents’ enthusiasm to somehow get their wards admitted into a class is overwhelming.
People seem to have realised the importance of education’. It is just an attitudinal change among parents. Education means a better lifestyle that seems to be the urge and the aspiration.
So the above are some of the stray examples quoted out from a survey from all parts of the country — north and South, East and West.
Offering an insight into this rush for letters, Professor Mohammad Talib, sociologist at the Jamia Millia University says it is the spectacle of development ‘that’s moved the country’s poorest to aspire for education.
Still the UN survey says that’ India is the most illiterate country in the world’. The PROBE (Public Report on Basic Education in India) surveyed nearly 200 villages in Northern India and released in 1999 had 80% of the respondents saying that primary education should be made compulsory.
An astounding 98% said that it was ‘important for boys and girls to be educated’. That more daughters are now being sent to school is what has been recorded in a more recent survey conducted by the Delhi based Centre for Advocacy and Research.
But with this urge and aspiration of parents for their children to get education, we have now to survey and assess the efforts on the part of the government to fulfill these aspirations of the people. On that front, we find a total blank which is such a despondent scene. Parents have expectations which the schools hardly seem to fulfill or even meet.
There are two major factors responsible for this dismal scenario. One, the indifference of the government in providing the basic infrastructure at the primary schools run under them — buildings, classroom equipments, basic facilities of toilets and drinking water and at the top of it all — a willing and really devoted teacher.
On both these fronts things are found badly lacking. When the rising demand for more and more schools of the formal type could not be met, the government launched upon starting non-formal schools.
A little over 2.5 lakh non-Formal Education Centers were established. Meant for the poorest in the country, these centers are intended to set up at locations and timings convenient to the children, employ local teacher’s familiar with the children’s mother tongue and have flexible and relevant curricula. This only led to the creation of a caste- system even in schooling.
During another survey conducted on the working of the government managed primary schools, in one part of the country it was found that children were just romping around, the teacher missing for the last five days and on one such survey days, one teacher is found in the nearby pan-shop begging not to report the matter to the higher ups.
In another such school,’ the teacher was found complaining that he had not received his salary for the past five months and was thinking of going back to his original job — taxi-driving. He was just VIII class pass.
Buildings in shambles serve as cattle sheds, classrooms remained locked, teachers absent, class rooms dingy and dark with cobwebs all around and the government claims to be spending 6% of the GDP on education while Japan by spending only 4% and so also South Korea could achieve high literacy ratio. China spends only 2.6%, still the results are much better.
All this gross miss-management, of course due to lack of the real will, on the part of the powers that be, is encouraging opening of privately run schools, named gloriously with the best of names — The Little Angels’ School, Buds and Blossoms and what not. With hardly
any accommodation — with just a room made as during the day in a three room apartment — the s are run, the parents are fleeced with high rate c the teachers are exploited with payment of petty which are no where recorded and the govern having no control to specify any conditions for such schools.
They seek no recognition authority and the gullible parents yearning to their children, dole out money to find their descend down in the dark abyss when they so-called education up to the standard that so-called schools impart. For admission to classes, everything is found in disarray as the has no recognition at any level.
This is the sad and suffering states of Pr Education in our country where parents have aspire; to educate their children to make them better but end up in disillusionment and distress.
Should the popular government need not to up and see to this entire malady? Is there any remedy? In sight thus far. The quantity in expenditure on the of the government is more important than the quality government’s spending is like putting water in a b which has a hole in the bottom. Nothing would retain, nothing could be put to useful use. The ‘I education’ concept inspired by Mahatma Gandhi officially abandoned; primary education has visionless. When vision is lost the horizon would bleak and blurred. That is what our primary education. nation-wide is suffering from. Let it be salvaged in < time, otherwise future would be dimmed even dart would then be too late to mend.