The article, “Public-private partnership in education” (May 25), is thought provoking. As rightly stated, PPP is a coinage of the neo-liberal era and is marked by the zeal for profit, regardless of the means. We have already shown undue haste in adopting PPP in the infrastructure sector, deploying huge national fiscal resources. The fruits are not as satisfactory as expected. The idea of throwing open the education sector is worrying. How can India afford corporatisation of education, particularly at the elementary level in backward and remote areas?
As it is, many bodies, claiming to be non-profit organisations, breach the public trust and make fortunes. The PPP model envisaged in the Eleventh Plan, in practice, will siphon off enormous funds from the exchequer and help build a prosperous future for the corporate entities.
The PPP model, if implemented, will help corporate groups overcome fear and encourage them to step into the education sector. The transfer of resources from the exchequer to private schools will regulate recurring cost and eliminate losses. It will motivate the private sector to start schools in the backward regions.
It is time we abolished the government-aided private school system. There might have been an element of philanthropy earlier but now the system has become a money spinning enterprise. While many well qualified teachers are unable to get a job in these schools, those who don't have good teaching ability but have money become teachers donating lakhs to the management. It is the aided school system that ushered in commercialisation of education. The PPP will complete the process.