Editorial | Modernising Government Schools

The debate over the performance of the government schools is an ongoing thing. The condition of the buildings that host these schools, the status of the infrastructure, the appointment of teachers to these schools, and the enrolment of students to these schools; every single ingredient that goes into making a school is discussed in the public domain, over and over again. Unfortunately the government run schools, particularly the primary wings, are considered as non-performing. Each time they are in news it is for the bad reasons. Somewhere in our mental landscape we have concluded that nothing can change the state of affairs in these schools and the things can only go from bad to worse. And that is really unfortunate. The space has been completely ceded to the private players.

There is no doubt that we need private players who invest in education, but in absence of good government schools it leaves many people in a permanent disadvantage. Those who cannot afford to pay the fee that is demanded by a private school, even in the mid cap segment of these schools, are left with no option than to go to a government school where they know that the standards of education are abysmally low. But having no option than to go to a government school these children have practically no future, and stand no where compared to the children that go to some decent private school. The one odd example of excellence is only an exception, and no argument can be build over that in favour of the government schools. This way we have given rise to two permanent classes of people. Looking from the classical class perspective it is sheer injustice with the children of the poor families who cannot afford education in a private school. For this reason it is the duty of the government to think of a comprehensive plan to make a turn around possible in these schools. We have the example of the Delhi government that did a spectacular job in this segment. If it can be changed elsewhere, why not in J&K. The idea of modernising government schools in Srinagar should be placed in that larger perspective.