Ensuring the right to education, forming bonds for life

Ensuring the right to education, forming bonds for life

Don’t hesitate to send your children to govt schools, writes @OxfamIndia staff Suraiya http://bit.ly/19nmOlB #HaqBantaHai

Why is it important to fully implement the Right to Education Act?   

I will not mince my words around the debate on Right to Education – each child has a right to learn and access quality education, period.  

What makes me nervous though is the mushrooming of private schools with air-conditioned buildings claiming to be the best for my child. What worries me is the exorbitant tuition fees and a hike in the fees at the drop of a hat. 

All around, parents are queuing up to get their children admitted into ‘big brand’ schools. Not sure what’s on their mind though – Is it the assurance for quality education? Or, the aspiration for maintaining their status? A quick chat with the neighbour convinced me of the latter. 

This mindset is unfolding a scary future for all who believe in an equal society and that includes me. 

I have fond memories of my childhood where all children, in the large joint family that I belonged to, were sent to the same school irrespective of the financial status of our parents.  We never felt unequal or inferior to each other. We didn’t have ‘brand names’ to throw at the cousins and the only competition between us was to excel in our studies. 

We studied in a private primary school for the simple reason that there were no government aided schools close by. From class sixth onwards, however, not only were there government schools, but also schools exclusively for boys and girls. And these schools had some of the best teachers who were both qualified and committed to their profession.

I still cherish the memories of my school, classmates and classroom. It did not matter whether any one was rich or poor. Our religion and social background were not the prerequisites for forging a bond. We sat through our Moral Science classes together, played in the recess together, sang together and of course, be punished together. Those were the beginning of great friendships. I still remember being punished for being noisy and unruly when the teacher wasn’t around! 

The ‘big brand schools’ are a serious concern. Parents are wary of sending their children to government schools where they could mingle with children from different strata of society. For instance a school where children from a low income housing society go is a big no-no for those residing in posh gated societies. They believe that the quality of teachers and students will not be good or upto the mark of private schools (which must be good because they charge a bomb). 

It doesn’t matter what the child learns; it is important that the parents are able to say the name of the school with a sense of pride, a pride purely backed by wealth.

These conservative thoughts and actions will lead to a whole new generation that is ideologically divided between the haves and have-nots, self-centred and with zero appreciation or patience for diversity. It is for this very reason that the government needs to take serious action to implement the Right To Education Act in its totality. 

The right to access of quality education is necessary not only for saving the future of children but also the country. 

 

By:Suraiya Tabassum, Programme Coordinator, Gender Justice, Oxfam India

 

Essential Services

We focus on ensuring access to quality and affordable health and education for all

Read More

Related Blogs

Blogs

Stories that inspire us

Essential Services

19 Sep, 2019

Delhi

Code on Wages lacks clear policy outcome

India is recognised to be one of the first developing countries to have introduced minimum wage policies through the Minimum Wages Act in 1948. Several more Bills and Acts contribut...

Essential Services

19 Sep, 2019

Delhi

Caste, Class and Education

Today, in 2019, India stands to be the seventh largest economy in the world, while also witnessing a steady increase in the gross enrolment ratio in both men and women portraying st...

Essential Services

25 Jul, 2019

Delhi

Rural healthcare in India — a boon or bane?

Rural healthcare infrastructure in India is a three-tiered network comprising of a sub-center, primary health center (PHC) and community health center (CHC). Unfortunately, this set...

Essential Services

18 Jun, 2019

Delhi

#YesDemocracy | Creating fearless spaces for all

As per The Economist’s Democracy Index 2018, India is ranked at 41- a notch above than 2017. With a score of 7.23, India is classified as a ‘flawed democracy’ as per the index. (Sou...

img Become an Oxfam Supporter, Sign Up Today One of the most trusted non-profit organisations in India