''Classrooms have turned into factories churning out zombies,'' laments Member of Legislative Council and educationist V. Balasubramanyam.

Member of Legislative Council and educationist V. Balasubramanyam on Sunday lamented what he called ‘zombification’ of the education sector in Andhra Pradesh.

Speaking at an awareness programme on ‘Mana Chaduvulu—Mana Pillalu’ (Our Education – Our Children) organised by Abhyaas School run by Deepa Memorial Charitable Trust in the city, Mr. Balasubramanyam said classrooms had turned into factories churning out zombies.

Lopsided policies

“Education has become very expensive. Despite spending huge money the end result is far from the expected level in terms of quality. We constantly boast of giving that extra thrust to education sector and yet India continues to be home for 50 per cent of the unlettered population in the world. There seems to be something drastically wrong with our primary education system. Our policies are lopsided, priorities skewed and there is no political will to right the wrong,” said Mr. Balasubramanyam.

Ensuring uninterrupted quality education for every child at least till Class 7 should not be too much of a problem for our State government. “Look at North Eastern States which are far backward, but are better positioned when it comes to literacy rate. We are at the 26th place in the country and this neglect is borne out by the low ratio of expenditure on education sector, a mere 16.5 per cent of budget allocation,” he maintained.

Not all kids reach even Class 5 in 700 mandals across the State, he said, adding that 2,264 schools had to be shut down in the State last year. Only political will, he emphasised, could address the crucial issue.

Parents, he stressed, must play a pivotal role in grooming their wards into responsible citizens. Laying down a few cardinal rules of good parenting, he said instead of shirking their own responsibility and thrusting their kids on corporate institutions, they must ensure that the kids are raised at home until they are15-year-old.

Calling for radical reforms in the education sector, he cited the example of reforms in education system of Bihar, based on the recommendations made by the Muchkund Dubey Committee.

The panel advised the Bihar government to set up a common school system and laid down norms and standards required for CSS and resource requirements for implementing the system. It also touched upon issues like teacher education, principles of pedagogy and school management.

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