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Updated: April 23, 2012 03:16 IST

Let a hundred children blossom

Krishna Kumar
Comment (33)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
The Hindu

A classroom reflecting life's diversity will benefit children of all strata while enriching teaching experience.

Now that the Supreme Court has validated the Right to Education (RTE), its success will depend on teachers. When I said this to a friend who teaches in a primary school, she said, “you are being unfair.” I was startled to hear this response because what I had said was common sense. When I pointed this out to her, she said, “Common sense isn't enough to implement RTE — you need professional insight, so you need policies that allow teachers to develop insight and use it.” She is right. For well over a century, India has treated its teachers like messengers who need not know or understand the message themselves. They occupy the lowest rung in the ladder of authority and status in the system of education. The younger the age-group they teach, the lower their own status and salary. That is why the nursery teacher has no status at all, and no university-level training course, which might explain why certain practices are good and others are bad, exists for nursery professionals.

A drill

Primary level teaching is similarly regarded as a drill devoid of intellectual effort. Delhi University stood alone when it started offering a four-year course called Bachelor of Elementary Education (B.El.Ed.) in the 1990s. Though this course has produced outstanding teachers, the Delhi government still denies them the status of trained graduate teachers. In its recent verdict, the Supreme Court characterised education “as a process involving many actors,” starting the list with “the one who provides education,” namely, the teacher. The list then goes on to include the owners of institutions, parents, the child, society, and the state. This clarity of analysis runs through the entire verdict which should become a compulsory reading for administrators and teachers alike if RTE is to reach its ambitious goals.

Most ambitious among its objectives is the social engineering it proposes by guaranteeing at least 25 per cent share of enrolment in unaided fee-charging schools to children whose parents cannot afford the fee. This provision formed the focus of the petition the Supreme Court has now disposed of with its majority verdict. The petitioners had challenged the provision arguing that reserving 25 per cent seats, that too without the freedom to screen, implies an unwarranted curtailing of the autonomy of unaided private institutions. The analysis used by the Court to reject this argument is both complex and sharp. It shows why the right to run a private school is not absolute. The Court's logic is that Article 21A has come into being because certain Directive Principles, particularly Article 45, required the state to provide ‘for' free and compulsory education for all children up to the age of 14. The preposition ‘for' is important, says the verdict, because it is in response to the Directive Principles that the new law has established the manner in which the state has decided to follow the Principles. The chosen manner covers both state and private schools. The verdict also reminds us that RTE has been woven into the Right to Life, on the ground that a life worth living must have dignity and that is what education promises to impart. Thirdly, the right encoded in the new law concerns children, and not institutions. Finally, RTE also covers quality as an aspect of education, not something external to it. The state has now fully admitted being a custodian of all children, so it has a right to withdraw recognition from institutions that fail to provide education in the manner stipulated by law. The provision for mixing children of different socio-economic backgrounds now defines what education is.

Upset and startled

This is as clear as it can be. Yet, one can understand why private schools are upset and startled. One simple reason is habit. Unaided schools have been used to thinking that they can isolate their children from the poverty, roughness and the pain of daily life that surrounds prosperous Indians. The belief that learning needs withdrawal from the jungle of life belongs to an old, very old tradition. In the history of pedagogic theory, this view was challenged more than a century ago. In Europe and America, experience was recognised as the best teacher at the beginning of the 20th century, and experience meant direct exposure to the reality and diversity of the human condition. Mixed schooling was bitterly debated before it took root, and in the U.S., it had to await the pressure generated by the civil rights movement. Indian private schools, including the elite among them, are startled that they are coming under a law they did not help to formulate.

Mixed classroom

These schools have been used to seeing themselves as leaders. Their teachers are accustomed to working with a select group of children whose home environment already gives them the skills they need at school. Now, these teachers will have to cope with a mixed classroom. They will have to learn and practise new pedagogies capable of maintaining high standards in the face of India's socio-cultural diversity and economic disparity. The crucial lesson they have to learn now is that the inclusion of children belonging to the poorer sections and marginalised groups is not just good for them, but also for the remaining 75 per cent. This is so because classroom life will now be experientially and linguistically richer. It will be easier to illustrate complex issues with examples drawn from children's own lives. In the syllabi and textbooks developed in the wake of the National Curriculum Framework (2005), all subjects — and not just the social sciences — require understanding from multiple, often contradictory, perspectives. Peer group learning is as important as what the teacher teaches.

Indeed, the teacher's job is to nurture a classroom culture which enables children to take positive interest in differences of opinion, perceptions and life-style, in order to infuse life and meaning into knowledge.

However, the owners of unaided institutions are going to perceive their critical challenge in finances. They want to know where the funds for the free seats are going to come from. RTE stipulates that the state will subsidise the cost of reserved seats by paying to private schools an amount representing the state's per child expenditure in its own schools. Owners of high fee-charging schools argue that this amount is just not sufficient to cover the expenses that the school incurs for maintaining its quality. This argument contradicts the popular theory, espoused by private schools themselves, that state-run schools are of poor quality because their teachers are unaccountable. By describing the state's compensation for free seats as inadequate, the unaided private schools are conceding the point that the quality of education in state schools is hampered by paucity of funds. In order to substantiate their claim to greater efficiency, private schools must now show better outcomes with the same amount of funds per child that the state spends in its own schools.

Indeed, this may provide to private schools an opportunity to set their own priorities in order. Over the last few decades, a culture of extravagance has engulfed many of India's elite private schools. Many private schools now uninhibitedly flaunt their five-star luxuries, ranging from expensive furniture and marble floors to air conditioning and CCTVs. When you visit one of these schools, you wonder whether you are in a hotel. Their plea for sympathy over the inadequacy of state subsidy for 25 per cent free seats is a bit cloying.

It will be nice if they shift their anxiety to the challenges that RTE throws at everyone concerned with children's education — teachers, trainers, parents, state and society. For teachers, the critical issue is to absorb the new curricular and pedagogic perspective which focuses on learning in place of marks. RTE asks for continuous and comprehensive evaluation, and a ban on corporal punishment and private tuition. These are tall demands and our systemic preparation to meet them has barely begun. Search for short cuts has ominously surfaced in matters like the selection of distance education for teacher training and dependence on NGOs for monitoring. The state and the university system cannot any more neglect the task of regulating teacher training institutes, most of which are now in the private sector.

The RTE Act has assigned the monitoring of implementation to the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). Currently, this fragile agency has hardly any institutional capacity to look after the millions of children whose right to education and dignity has been recognised for the first time in the nation's history. Help from NGOs can hardly substitute a workforce of academic and legal specialists that NCPCR and its State units across the country require. Let us note that the Supreme Court's verdict puts the onus for the execution of RTE on the entire society and the apparatus of the state.

(The writer is Professor of Education at Delhi University and a former Director of NCERT.)

More In: Lead | Opinion

Professor Krishna Kumar even in trying to extol the virtues of the RTE
Act, ends up proving the detractors of the law right who always call
attention to the deceitful phrasing and bad politics of the law. The
writer does not seem to understand or feel the import of his own
words. How can dignity, which he talks about, be upheld or advanced if
a class of children is schooled through the unwilling or happy help
from another class? The very idea of a grudging or virtuous but
affluent class supporting the educational needs of another class
stands the latter's dignity upon its head. One suspects that the
writer is more anxious to save the souls of private schools rather
than to serve the cause of equal rights and justice. He does not
realise that neither do these private institutions have a soul worth
saving nor does salvation in a republic lie this way of noblesse-
oblige or charity.

from:  Manoj K. Chahil
Posted on: Apr 23, 2012 at 18:58 IST

Right to Education sounds a noble idea. But in India where majority of the children are malnourished, Right to Food (RTF) is important Educating a child without proper body and brain development which is directly related to nutritional intake of food, is a waste of money and resources. First feed the kids and develop brain power to store what they are taught. Otherwise, when these children go to the higher grades in schools they will not be able to cope with the challenges of higher education. Some of them may even opt to commit suicides. The signs of education getting degraded in India is a already being reported in world press that says that India's education system is eroding and none of Indian Universities including the famous IITs qualify to be in the top 200 Universities of the world. Let us feed our kids by producing more food in the country and making it more affordable. Once we help to develop their brains we can do wonders with our children.

from:  Dr. Lux
Posted on: Apr 22, 2012 at 05:31 IST

A good article on the RTE act. I hope the concerned social fabric will thinkover it and a beginning is made in the right direction.

from:  C.ELUMALAI
Posted on: Apr 21, 2012 at 14:29 IST

The SC verdict is quite reasonable in a country like India where nearly half of the national population is poor.And more particularly reasonable in a state like Manipur where the state-run schools are just nominal. The coupling effect of people's poverty and government's virtually-ruined schools justifies the verdict in question of the SC. However the success of the program lies in how efficiently the government will be able to provide the said subsidy, the amount of which must be well calculated as per the present scenario of cost of goods and services. The question of subsidy amount which the private schools object should be settled after negotiation with the private schools. Any financial unsustainability caused to the private schools due to the implementation of the program may lead to a ruin of already flourished private schools of India.

from:  Reagan Moirangthem
Posted on: Apr 21, 2012 at 11:13 IST

First, the government fails to do its duty, runs awful schools, too few of them, and pockets
the unspent money.

then, the other arm of the government decides to achieve by fiat what should have been
achieved with billions of dollars of tax payer money.

to nail the coffin, bleeding heart liberals talk of equity.

The robinhood model of promoting equity leads to equal doses of misery. With millions of
cases of heinous crimes being unheard in courts, judges have taken to promote their
ideology through judgements.

wither, india ?

from:  c ravishankar
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 23:01 IST

So after 65 years of independence, still the government has not taken any positive steps to improve the quality of education provided by them, but instead asked the private schools to do it. But, still, I agree that there are many positive attributes in it. Remember, too, that we all know many private schools provide the best education you crave for. Once this rule gets in practice, many private schools will try to maintain their standards by admitting only the best candidates. This in turn could create a path for any talented financially challenged kid who possesses immense knowledge to get through and come out with flying colours. Now, we can expect hundreds of Abdul kalams in near future. But, not all are born with talents. So, what will happen to the remaining 75% poor kids? Still they need to suffer in the dark side?

from:  Jeevs
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 20:01 IST

I do not wish to be Prophet of Gloom BUT the Glorifying and Highly
Sentimental or Principles envisaged by the Cabinet Minister and those clapping for him DO NOT reflect REALITY of India.
The poor children will be sujected to tremendous humiliation and
MOST will be forced to Quit because of the pressure on them.It is ONLY in Communist Manifesto where an Utopia of Equality Can be seen.
Are the Government Agencies and Social Workers equipped to face this HARSH REALITY.Instead of becoming a " GREAT " Boon this policy will Create a New Breed of DISPOSSESSED young ones.
WHY NOT THE GOVT CONCENTRATE ON BETTERING CONDITIONS IN THE GOVT.
SCHOOLS.ARE THEY SUBMIT THAT THEY HAVE FAILED CHILDREN OF INDIA.

from:  arackal narayanan
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 19:52 IST

Education has become a fundamental right today. It is an eventful
history that we have lifted this up from under the carpet of
'Directive principles of State Policy'. Now that it has been
recognized as a fundamental right the onus lies on the shoulders of
all the stake holders to see that this right is implemented in a
manner befitting the purpose. Lots of hurdles we may have to face in
the process, but the encouraging fact is that we as a nation has the
ability and capacity to deal with all the obstacles in the times to
come. This will be recorded in our history as one of the turning
points in our country's continuous march towards excellence.

from:  S.A.Thameemul Ansari
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 19:42 IST

An article with RTE reality.

If RTE implementation is followed wholeheartedly with 100% dedication then no doubt India will rise the quality of education in Asia and join the top Asian performers Shanghai,Hong Kong,Singapore,Japan and Korea who have scored world for its effective education system following deliberate policies and long term investments.

Education for all would make good sense if legacy education system that is preferences in admission process for children of alumini is abolished legally since according to RTE screening of kids and parents are not allowed.

@Mr.Periasamy
RTI is now applicable to unaided private schools too.

from:  Lathaa Manavalan
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 18:23 IST

It has been rightly said above that RTE has been woven into RIGHT TO LIFE as every child has right to live with dignity and achieve their dreams through the means of education.A big gratitude to the verdict of Supreme Court which will help many future leaders of nation to fulfill their ambitions in life. Also some serious steps should be taken which can help teachers to further develop the intellectual insight so that they can communicate the students that there are things beyond the prosperous life they lead and make them sensitive to issues like poverty.All this can be well illustrated through the upcoming changes these students are going to face.

from:  Priyanka Agarwal
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 17:41 IST

What is the purpose of government run schools, if private schools and middle and upper middle class(tax payers) has to share the burden. Parents work hard to provide good education to their children to be eaten up by individuals at various levels. It(and other policies of government for unemployed) gives feeling, better be poor and enjoy the benefits. The onus is on govenment to maintain public school at par with private. Its disheartening to see "The Hindu" seeing one side of coin.

from:  Raj
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 17:23 IST

This is just a beginning. On one side government is sucking the hard earned money in all kinds of taxes and on the other side, it is bringing these kind of regulations. Is it not government's job to provide right kind of education to those who cannot afford it? Now middle class people have to pay the increased school fees as well as taxes.
So, on similar lines, government would bring RTE II which is Right to Eat and then RTH, which is Right To Health. Under RTE II, government says every family which is above the poverty line should provide a food to one child from a poor family. Every hospital which has 50 beds, should reserve 25% of beds to poor people.. so it would go on like this where in government just wants to wash off its hands...

from:  Mangesh
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 15:58 IST

A much awaited verdict from the Supreme court. But the path ahead is , as indicated in the article, tougher. Government , school administrations , teachers and above all the society will have to work together to remove the obstacles and taking it to reality.

from:  vinay kumar
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 15:32 IST

The job of primary school teacher is more responsible than a job of a District Collector. Irony is that people are getting diplomas, degrees in the subject of education i.e. D.Ed., B.Ed.,even without attending a single class. Boards and Universities are collecting money by awarding them degrees and governments are securing theirs votes by appointing them school teachers.Governments school are producing qualified illiterates . Students enrolled themselves in govt. school
only for mid-day mill and scholarships. Right to education does not
means right to degree, diploma or certificate. Right to education
means right to quality education.Education must be subject of union
list of seventh Schedule. National level Teachers eligibility test
should be there. Commission should be constituted for teachers'
selection. only then a poor child can avail his right to education in
real.

from:  Dr. Virender sindhu
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 15:24 IST

This article exceptionally focuses on the correct step taken by the government to include the private commercialized educational institutions,that in the name of education, are actually selling knowledge even at the primary level, which according to the constitution is the basic right of every child already , to actively participate and take the responsibility of providing education to children in a class ridden-basic level.With the students of all divisions of the society intermixed from the initial stage, the level of understanding increases and more aware youngsters are produced.They will have a better knowledge of the problems of the society and hence far better outlook to eradicate and fight with the problems. Also if this program succeeds, there may come a time when reservation for higher education won't be required, since every child will be provided with all the opportunities right from the beginning.
The idea of government subsidies to the schools is perfectly devised.

from:  Payal
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 15:22 IST

Education and educational institutions cannot and should not practice apartheid. Though RTE has prohibited any kind of discrimination in the schools, it is well-known that children are discriminated against in all kinds of schools and more so, in private schools.The author tries to argue that it is not the sole responsibility of the State to provide education by itself since its duty is just to provide 'for' either in its schools or in private schools. Repeatedly the Union Minister for HRD says that funds are no problem and so then what stands in the way to make every public school one of excellence. The Act tends to make people believe that every private school is good which is contrary to facts.

from:  s.s.rajagopalan
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 15:14 IST

Reserving merely 25% seats in private schools is not enough. Providing education is state's responsibility, thus it should be state controlled. Of course the citizen's and the local community members can act as watchdogs and not leave it to function according to the whims and fancies of the state.

from:  Abdullah
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 15:10 IST

Professor Krishna Kumar's remarks on “culture of extravagance” hit the nail on the head. Private schools, aided or unaided, would be well advised to restrict elitism to education and abandon their 5-star culture. It would not only improve their scholastic performance, but enable pupils from poorer sections of society feel less like outcasts. I wonder whether the administrations of 5-star schools realize that even now, i.e., without keeping aside 25% seats for poorer students and providing them free education, there is a tangible, perceptible, inequality in such schools between those from "filthy rich" families and those from less fortunate circumstances.
My compliments to Professor Kumar for an article that should remind administrators of private schools about their social responsibilities.

from:  T S Raman PhD
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 15:08 IST

The vertical migration of disadvantaged masses was possible by reservations/ now to aid further elevation of status this 25 percent school strength for poorer children is a step in right direction the present vociferous upper middle class evolved from lower middle class which again came from poorer backgrounds. this was possible because of opportunities provided by govts of the day

from:  G SWAMINATHAN
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 14:21 IST

The promise that a democratic govt makes to its people is this -
it'll give every citizen a fair and equitable start in the race
to life. From then on, it is every person to herself, and
differences in innate abilities, hard work and luck means that
people end up in different places in the long run. Life deals us
all a different set of cards and this difference must be
accepted. Societies that try to make things equitable for every
citizen throughout life are "communists" and they've failed for
many reasons. But what Govt must do is to at least ensure that
the start is equitable, which is why education is the only area
of private life they must interfere. Once child might come by
bus, another by auto. One might eat in five-star hotel, another
might go hungry. But when it comes to education, children are
children, and the class identity, caste identity and religious
identity of their parents should not come into the calculation of
the "egalitarian and secular" education then receive.

from:  Raamganesh
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 13:06 IST

25 % of seats reserved can never be seen as comprehensive plan to
ensure right to education, which cannot be seen as the other side of
the coin, but the same side of the coin; nor can state wash its hands
off from its responsibility.Providing quality education should be a
comprehensive effort of the state and all other agencies directly or
indirectly involved in this effort. Yet, when it comes to the question
of microlevel pragmatics, its the school and the teacher who makes
changes in the life of an individual( leave alone the irresponsible
aspects of parenting). In my 12 years of teaching career,I have seen numerous incidents of teacher's appalling ways of intimidating the
emotional state of the little ones in kindergartens. Its time we also
emphasise not only the control corporal punishment, but also emotional punishment the child has to undergo during the educational process, if
we need to attain the said qualitative education.

from:  Viju Kallara Jose
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 13:01 IST

The RTE Act raises a few questions in my mind. How is affordability defined and who belongs to the weaker section? For eg. an international school charging Rs 5 lakhs per year as fees is unaffordable to most people except the super rich. In their context to whom will the 25 p.c. seats go? Is it left to the states to implement the Act or will it be mandatory for all schools in the country? It would be great if The Hindu can distill such important points from this Act into an article for its readers.

from:  Rajnish
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 12:48 IST

@Mahadheesh - You've been making this dissenting point on many
threads. Perhaps there aren't many op-eds representing your
viewpoint because most people seem to agree that this RTE act is
a good and much-needed measure. And The Hindu does display your
comments every time so there isn't any agenda to suppress
dissent. Perhaps you could write an op-ed and submit it to The
Hindu and explain your point clearly? Because the points you make
are unconvincing. Your suggestion that this act impinges on
fundamental freedoms etc aren't right because this is exactly
what was argued in the Supreme Court and was struck down because
the Supreme Court ruled that the RTE act is indeed fully
constitutional.

from:  Raamganesh
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 12:47 IST

I completely agree with the writer's views on RTE. He has highlighted a key points of grave concerns like private schools are upset and startled but didn't provide any concrete solutions for the same.

from:  yogesh ramgude
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 11:58 IST

Giving the gift of education to all is a noble thought on the part of frequently indifferent government towards the finacially weaker section of the society but they are undermining the cultural shock the kids can face.The children are more corruptable of all,untill unless the society welcomes the move there is a potential danger of sowing the seeds of unsaid rivalry that can turn into the plethora of thorns in the Future.Schools are the places where the children spend most of their time,and it would be fooloish to neglect the pshychological effects of this change.The schools are not just a place to get education from the syllabus but also a place where kids aquire many more things,tolerance could be one but hatered & loathing can result too.The previleged kids already equipped with the better tools at their disposal to Outshine can put a lot of pressure on the kids not so equipped that may result in frustated and dipressed bunch of kids.We need to ask if we are ready to accept this?

from:  SHASHANK
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 10:54 IST

RTE is a great step forward in integrating the society. The economically weak shall get the benefit of the the Best Indian education, which has year after year, proved its mettle internationally. The affording, which get isolated on islands of 5 star facilities shall get the adavantage of a more wholesome inclusive education. The opportunity to share educational facilities also integrates socially and culturally. The onus was never on the state alone. How do we teach children that national development is the responsibility of its citizens and not the state, if we hesitate with one small step? Financially, it should not be BIG burden. Private Institutes are financed by enterprising businessmen, who would work it out. Even if the private institutes hike up the fees of the paying class a little, most families would happily accept if that involves being responsible for the education of a weaker student.
Looking keenly for implementation

from:  Vibhor Pardasani
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 10:46 IST

'The Hindu' is a very left leaning paper. The professors in many of the universities are that way as well. So it is no surprise that we see articles like this in 'The Hindu'.
But I am amazed by reading the comments at how much faith people still have in rules and regulations. Even if we ignore the fact that this act infringes on the right of private parties( who take no aid from government )to run private institutions as they see fit we still have to think about how the ruling will be enforced. We add another layer of bureaucracy to the system. Another avenue for corruption. One more unaccountable government employee who will decide whether a private school is accepting 25% poor students or not. If a school is not accepting 25% poor students what is the punishment ? How will the punishment be enforced ? After 60+ years of dealing with government departments and employees people still have faith in them.

from:  Arun Mathews
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 10:38 IST

Eradication of poverty, providing primary and secondary education to all children are both government functions. Now, they want private schools to share the burden at a fraction of the fee they charge in 25% of their seats. These are schools for which the government has provided *zero* setup costs. In addition, these private schools will have to deal with the hassle of dealing with a corrupt or indifferent bureaucracy to obtain the subsidy money.
The government should be happy that many private schools are being setup in the private sector. They should work on non-discriminatory practices in admissions based on religion, caste, gender, or financial status. Government should provide subsidies to students and not to schools - the bureaucratic burden should be on the beneficiary, not the provider.

from:  Thomas George
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 09:14 IST

This reader does not get this loopy argument...if it is the State's job to provide free education, what gives them the right to dump their responsibilities on someone else? If the State has taken over the custody of our children (does that mean parents abandon their responsibility), then doesn't it behoove the State to provide food, clothing & shelter too? The aspect of Article 21A, which gives the State unlimited powers to force a privately run enterprise to execute the job of the State, is a dangerous precedent. It has a very draconian & Big Brother ring to it. It impinges on an individual's freedoms. And The Hindu is cheering this Act without offering Op-Eds that may have a different viewpoint?! The bigger issue is of power grab, folks. Beware!

from:  Mahadheesh
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 09:13 IST

Had RTE been introduced 30 years back, India's poverty population
would have been diminished by greater numbers and there would have
been a sharp increase in the skilled work-force. Nevertheless, if
implemented correctly, I deftly vouch for bringing in such a right
and I m sure RTE will turn the poverty tables around in the long run.

from:  Swetha Sridharan
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 08:34 IST

If the onus of implementation and execution of RTE is put on the 'entire society' and 'State apparatus' then the members of society, ordinary citizens, should have access to the information maintained in these schools. Therefore, all these RTE-schools should come under RTI. As of now, RTI is not applicable to 'unaided' private schools. Once the State apparatus starts giving 'aid', as compensation for the 25% children admitted as per law, RTI shall become automatically applicable to these private schools which accept State aid. Some schools may still prefer to stay out of the ambit of RTI by admitting 25% children and not accepting State aid!

from:  Periasamy
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 08:25 IST

The article very clearly delineates the practical challenges that schools will have to face due to the recent RTE act. The private, unaided schools may be compensated by the government to some extent (like the author says, they will perceive the challenges only in finances) only. So, will these schools now burden the remaining 75% of the kids with higher fees? Should, there not be some restriction on the kind of fees these private schools seek? Is a five star hotel environment really needed? Is it not the responsibility of schools to empower kids to face difficult situations in life?

from:  Narasimhan Swaminathan
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 07:07 IST

I am impressed by the Supreme Court Verdict. I hope the Indian Society, especially the midlle class and the upper class realize that India cannot grow unless we bring about a social transformation. We have to uplift more and more people from the lower ebbs of the society. Education is the topmost tool for this social reform. If we do no think of the downtrodden, then they will start thinking of ways to beat the system which is unfair and unjust. With the rising disparity in incomes this is extremely dangerous. The ultra left wing movements then would gain legitimacy and then it will be too late to reverse the tide of the revolution.
Prevention is better than cure. The Indian State needs to shed the neo-liberal view and become more socially inclusive and then stop thinking for the landlords/corporates/businessmen and stick to for the people of the people and by the people! Supreme COurt has set the plan and this needs to be executed. I hope this materializes.

from:  Aravind Ravindranath
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 04:50 IST
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