Home Forum Need to Strengthen Government Schools

Need to Strengthen Government Schools


By Dr AK Srivastava

Education is a purposeful activity that aims to develop knowledge, skills and character of an individual and also to transmit many traits and values of society from one generation to another. Education is to bring out the inner qualities or talents of an individual and guide the mind and spirit in order to achieve the mission of life. Education is the backbone of any society or nation. The success and progress of a nation depends on the quality education provided to the children. The worst thing that happened with our nation was that the British Colonials did not make any systematic plan to educate our people. On other hand, they purposely tailored the education policy in such a manner that it did not widen the mental horizon of our people. They were made clerks to serve the British Raj. The students were never taught to think above and beyond the service of the British. They never encouraged the spirit of adventure, research and exploration.

After independence, the first generation of our country was educated in government schools and colleges but somehow the government could not develop or improvise its educational institutions up to the expectations of the people and slowly but surely the shift of public interest from the government institutions to the public or private schools and colleges created complicated problems. Education became very expensive and the gap between the rich and poor came to the surface alarmingly. The commercialisation of education restricted quality education for only the creamy layer of society. We know that talents and aspirations of children cannot be confined to the pockets of their parents. This resulted in severe frustration and disappointment as the poor could not educate their children in good schools and colleges. Here, while the government is to be blamed for ignoring such an important aspect, on other hand the teachers and other employees of the government schools and colleges are to be questioned because they ignore their duties and responsibilities after getting government jobs. Again, it is a classic illustration of an imbalance between rights and duties of citizens in a democratic set up.

India is a country of villages and still seventy percent population of the nation lives in rural areas. Here, only government schools can play a significant role. But there are millions of immensely talented children who need proper education. This mammoth task can be accomplished only if the government makes a comprehensive education policy. Not only in cities and town but also in villages, education should focus on the needs and aspirations of children. There is no scarcity of talent and mental abilities in our children but they need quality education at a reasonable price in order to achieve their goals and ambitions in life. Heavy investment in human resources as well as in infrastructure is needed. The education system has to change in tune with the time. The progress and enhancement of science and technology should reach villages. Facilities like computer education, smart class rooms, online lessons and good libraries are really required so that the students can keep themselves updated. Similarly, regular and permanent teachers and support staff will yield the desired results.

There is no point in making every child a Graduate or Postgraduate because they cannot find suitable job with such degrees in the vicinity of his/her village. Then, the problem of overcrowded cities creates much confusion. Hence, job oriented education and skills like automobile repairing, carpentry, electricians’ work, computer repairing, etc., introduced by government in the curriculum should be supported by qualified staff along with required structural set up. All these need to be introduced in village schools. Today, thousands of poor villagers come to cities for education and stay in hostels or boarding houses. All this involves tremendous amount of money. Moreover, the education that they get is of no use in their villages. The level of competition for government jobs is so high that only a very small percentage can get it. The rest of the villagers are disillusioned and do not know what to do.  Once a student drops out of school, it is really difficult to bring him and particularly her back to school.

Here, the role of parents and guardians is very important. It is true that the government has introduced several schemes for the welfare of students like the mid day meal, different types of scholarships, free uniform, books, bags and shoes, etc. Parents must take good interest in the studies of their ward. They ought to ensure that their ward is reaching schools and colleges regularly and punctually. Such facilities should not be taken for granted and as a matter of right. The reciprocal sincerity in terms of maximum attention towards academic progress and all round development is also the prime responsibility of parents. The parents should regularly visit the schools and meet the teachers. These are small things but life is always governed by small things.

Although the economy of our country is improving yet we have a very major chunk of population that cannot educate children in expensive public schools. Another pertinent factor is that private institutions are in cities and towns. In villages, we have only government intuitions. Unless we focus on the betterment of these institutions, this problem will continue for a very long time. Consequently, the progress and growth of our beloved nation will suffer severely.

The government should look into the matter and a well organised team of scholars and social workers should chalk out the education policies for the future of our nation. Here the role of rich and well accomplished people is also vital. Now we can feel pride in claiming that we have millions of millionaires in India. Such citizens can come forward and adopt Government institutions. Proper counseling, guidance and creating awareness for job oriented education along with well designed curriculum and plenty of incentives will certainly make a remarkable difference. Educating a generation is a mammoth task. Government, teachers and parents have to contribute with a deep sense of commitment for progress and development.

(Dr AK Srivastava is Principal, DAV Intermediate College, Dehradun)