Staff Reporter

Public-private partnership in education opposed

BANGALORE: “Unless we place it on the country’s political agenda and make it a vibrant people’s movement, right to education in India will not see the light of the day.” Such thoughts marked the mood at a State-level consultation on “Education, Culture and Government — An Introspection”.

Organised by Paraspara Trust, in association with other pro-development unions, at the Gandhi Bhavan here on Saturday, the consultation addressed key issues related to education with an objective of mobilising people to ensure that all children in government schools receive quality education. It sought effective implementation of legislation and policies that aim at equity in education.

“What India has been following is a social-welfare approach to a basic fundamental right such as education. Right to education is an entitlement,” remarked V.P. Niranjanaradhya, from the Centre for Child and Law at the National Law School of India University (NLSIU).

“The Right to Education Bill too has loopholes. For instance, it does not include the recommendations of the Kothari Commission (1964-66), calling for a common school system. However, it is a landmark move in the direction of ensuring education [to all],” said Aravind Chokkadi, education activist.

Opposing public-private partnerships in the educational sector, the former Convenor of State Alliance for Education, Karnataka, K.C. Venkatesh, said that such partnerships in India do not point to any degree of efficiency in the system.

“The State Government should not succumb to the neo-liberal agenda of implementing English as ‘the’ language,” the president, Karnataka Women Writers Association, K.R. Sandhya Reddy, said.