“And yet, for these
Children, these windows, not this world, are world,
Where all their future’s painted with a fog,
A narrow street sealed in with a lead sky,
Far far from rivers, capes, and stars of words”
“All of their time and space are foggy slum.
So blot their maps with slums as big as doom.”
Unless, governor, teacher, inspector, visitor,
This map becomes their window and these windows
That shut upon their lives like catacombs”
These are few noteworthy lines from the poem “An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum” written by Stephan Spender.
I had read these lines few years back and as I read it what surprised me was that if this is the plight of children studying in a slum school then what is the condition of children who haven’t been to school at toll?
It is probably worse in their case ! .
There have been various schemes, bills and strategies adopted in our country with the aim of providing education to all .But not all of them have been able to serve the purpose. The statistics brought out in the year 2009 show that there are about 8.15 million children out of schools due to various reasons.
But after a time frame of 4 years the manner in which the government has been able to practically implement some of their schemes and thereby be able to increase the number of children being enrolled into schools across our country are worth appraisal.
“In a significant leg up to the government’s literacy initiative, a national survey has revealed that almost 23 crore children are studying in 13 lakh schools across the country.Here were 228,994,454 students enrolled in different recognized schools of the country with a 13.67% growth in student’s enrollment from Class I to XII. This is an increase from 20.30 crore students enrolled in 2002. Encouragingly, there is a 19.12 % increase in girl’s enrollment.”
(It is taken from The Times of India report published on 2nd January’2013)
Though these numbers show a decent growth, there are still many who are deprived of their guaranteed right to study in our country.
It was few days back, while I was going though the latest edition of The Week magazine that I came to know about the ‘No detention policy’ which has been recommended for students till class 8 by the Central Board of Education.
According to me such a recommendation would not help students in anyway. Instead it would possibly lead to a situation where ‘what students learn?’ and ‘how much they know?’ wouldn’t be important any longer. I feel, Cbse should stress upon enrolling more students into schools than recommend such policies. One suggestion I would like to make on this account is that the Cbse should take in more number of teachers each year, so that it would be easier for them to give more attention towards weaker students and thereby enable them to pass and be promoted to their very next class.
We have often heard the state governments complain regarding the number of students who move from government to private schools as soon as students complete their basic education.
Haven’t we heard of them?
Does not the Government know the reason why this is happening?
They very much do!
But what they do is nothing more than just complain. Instead of complaining about it repeatedly they should try and improve the standard of infrastructure and education provided in the government run schools to ensure greater enrollment.
One major suggestion that I would like to make is that the government should try and collaborate with private bodies and together run the schools in our country. I feel it could in some way improve the present condition of the government schools and the impression the general public has when it comes to studying in these schools or sending their children there.
I feel the improper handling of the funds and sanctions made every year for these government run schools is the main reason why people hesitate to be a part of them. I suggest either the private sector should try approaching the government or vice versa to make sure they can together work as a team to achieve the common goal of educating the children of our country.
But In the recent times what we have noticed is that the private sector run schools primarily aim at making huge profits than anything else .Sadly they have moved away from their actual aim of providing good quality education.
When I made a suggestion regarding the government and the private sector working together, what I actually meant was that the funding should be majorly done by the government and the functioning, enrollment of the teachers and the systematic management of the school should be handled by the private body to ensure decent performance both by the students and teachers.
It was Nelson Mandela who once said , “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children”.
At present, on one hand the Government run schools in our do not function properly and on the other the private schools charge huge fees and donation to enroll children into their schools.
Where exactly should these underprivileged children go?
This is the question no government or private school authorities have been able to answer yet.
Until the huge gap between the government schools and private schools is bridged in our country, we cannot hope to see all boys and girls of our country studying in schools and acquiring knowledge together.
Here I quote Mandela again .He said “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
If not each one of us but some in our country have taken these golden words as their realization which has driven enthusiastic youngsters to have volunteered for NGO’s Like- ‘Teach for India’ , ‘Make A Difference’ , ‘Child Right s and You’ , ‘Pratham’ and ‘Barefoot college India’ . The primary aim with which all of them began was to provide, support and sustain the educational needs of the poor. The dedication with which these NGO’s have taken this up is something that the whole country should take notice of and should be in a state to appreciate openly. We should try and understand that it isn’t their responsibility alone to educate the poor instead it’s a collective responsibility to which we should adhere and be a responsible part.
Let us together stand up for the cause and prove to the world that the education we have acquired in our schools aim not just at our personal good instead it aims at attaining universal good .