This refers to the article “The case against privatisation of education” (May 10). While the article was excellent, Prof. Balakrishnan has failed to highlight the over-politicisation of many government educational institutions, the lack of regulation of teachers and falling academic and teaching standards in government colleges and schools.
The writer Pulapre Balakrishnan has made out a very convincing case for robust regulatory oversight in the field of higher education. Brain drain has been dealt with, too. Rarely does one come across an in-depth study on this relevant subject. A comprehensive and unbiased inquiry into this phenomenon is called for. As Indian diaspora are much sought after globally, their views should be elicited. Falling academic standards have also resulted in a situation where those who emerge from professional institutions are forced to take up jobs that are unrelated to their fields of specialisation. As the country and the economy suffer, it is time for those concerned to delve into and deliberate upon urgent and workable strategies.
At a time when India is faced with the challenge of tapping the potential of its population, the case for cutting short the scale and the role of public education is weak. The need to have quality-driven education that imparts job-oriented skills to youth needs greater state intervention. However, the debate should involve other key issues. The quality of faculty in academic institutions has always been cause for concern because of poor pay, poor working conditions and extensive politicisation in day-to-day functioning. Second, envying the West in research and innovation will not help. Instead, planners in India must focus on providing greater financial support and infrastructure.