Education is bridging country’s socio-economic divide: experts

‘Incentivise learning through pumping in more resources’

August 01, 2019 01:56 am | Updated 01:56 am IST - Mumbai

Building the future:  Award winners at Teaching Professionals Olympiad in the city.

Building the future: Award winners at Teaching Professionals Olympiad in the city.

Can the education sector perform better through privatisation, or through the government stepping up its efforts? A roundtable on ‘Making Teacher Aspirational’ held in the city recently, looked to address the issue.

The seminar was organised as part of the second edition of Reliance Foundation Teacher Awards and CENTA Teaching Professionals Olympiad (TPO) 2019 recently.

Rustom Kerawalla, founder and chairperson of VIBGYOR group of schools, said he believed private schools ought to be commercialised. “My understanding is more to do with the education industry. We should treat schools as a simple business and commercialise them so all requirements of the organisation can be fulfilled such as better pay and career growth options. I think India needs far more in their educational institutions rather than students going to coaching classes,” he said.

Anu Agha, former chairperson of Thermax, the host for the event, disagreed with him. “I wish we had never privatised our teaching. It is okay for the wealthy to do so but what about the poor? It is the government’s responsibility to provide quality eduction to every child. And we have turned to the private sector in education while neglecting the poor completely in a country that has large chunks of underprivileged children,” she said.

CBSE senior director, Manoj Srivastava, said education was bridging the biggest socio-economic divide in the country. “Soon, we’ll get to see a better India,” he said.

Lina Ashar, founder and chairperson of Kangaroo Kids Education Limited and founder of Billabong High International School, said there are ways to incentivise learning through better resources. “Private schools’ profits can also help the children of government schools through funds. Along with that, teachers can be offered a plan according to the career path they want to follow,” she said.

M. Haripriya, research associate of Children’s Academy, the only teacher in the panel, appreciated the industry. “I am touching lives and that is a major motivation for me as a teacher. In my earlier days in this line of work, I realised that my role is not confined to classroom teaching but goes way beyond that.”

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