Saturday, 20 April 2013

“Regulate Private Schools”

 “Adjust Fee structure and devise policies that better suits the interests of the society”.

Syed Maajid Rashid Andrabi :
There has always been a much detailed discussion about the distinction between the govt schools and private schools and their roles in the field of imparting quality education. Although the govt schools have done commendable work but they have failed to secure a position in the hearts of people and the reason might be known to all. The changing competitive atmosphere on one hand has forced parents to look for better alternatives so as to enrich their children with good knowledge, and on the other hand favours private schools over govt schools. Thus, the parents are left with no choice other than getting their wards admitted in private schools, in anticipation of their bright future at any cost, of which the private schools have started to take undue advantage. With the result there has been a significant increase in the number of private schools with each adopting their own unique policies. Their prime role being to impart quality education among the students is under scanner due to their unfriendly practises and now questions are being raised against their duty regarding the development of the students and that of the education. Charging huge sum of money and resorting to unfamiliar admission policies have become common in some of the private schools. These educational institutes seem to have become more of business houses where one can earn huge amount of profits in contrary to their primarily role of providing the platform where knowledge is gained and shared. Whether they are really concerned about the students and in what sense their actions depict their seriousness in the field of education are the questions that strike one’s mind again and again and need to be answered. Much to the annoyance of the parents they charge huge admission and monthly fee and there is no one who can intervene and look for the solution.
Parents strive hard to meet the day to day requirements of their children and when it comes to the matter of imparting proper and quality education, they tend to choose the best. The irony starts here because you may have the option to choose but you don’t have the means by which you can fulfil the demands made by your preferred school authorities. The admission policies followed by some of the private schools are totally unacceptable. What is the point to interview a child of two to four years when he is yet to learn anything and has come to seek knowledge?? In turn this could have an adverse effect on him. Why is that interview policy been adopted which gives the right to choose only those students who are bright from the very beginning? Where would the less talented children go if they are discarded of the admissions every where? In addition to the interview policy, some of the private schools also charge a large sum of money on the pretext of having a good infrastructure. It seems that they have forgotten that infrastructure alone could be of no use if the school lacks well trained teachers and engaging curriculum that motivates a child to think and act in the proper way. Getting your ward admitted in a school is thought to be more difficult than getting the job itself.  It is being viewed as a challenge that a child of mere 2-3 years has to face without even knowing its relevance in his career. With the consistent increase in the educational fee, one can perceive that the time would not be so far when the right to education would only be valid to some of the students while others would be deprived of the same. If seeking education is the basic right of all, why is not there any unified mechanism which can check this disparity going on? It seems that there is no end to the problems of the parents who on one hand have to manage their expenses so that they could save the required sum for their child’s education and on the other hand have to take care of their day to day requirements. Some private schools seem to exercise those policies that best suits their interests come what their consequences may be and the parents are left with no option other than accepting it. What are the factors that favour private schools over govt schools and give them an edge to charge as much as they want? It is true that we cannot judge all the schools by going through the policies followed by some of the schools but there is a well known maxim that a single sinner sinks the whole boat. Thus most of us are indifferent towards others also. 
It is high time when these private schools should realise their role in the field of education and stand abreast in respecting this noble profession. These educational institutes must realise that their prime responsibility is to impart knowledge and they should follow a well laid down admission procedure that does not violate any law and is acceptable by its nature. A well laid down procedure can be formulated by taking into consideration the views of both school authorities and parents. Providing an equal opportunity to the weaker students as well as to guide them so that they too could excel in their field should be the pathway. The education should be aimed at creating a desire among the students to contribute positively to the well being of the society and that of a nation too. These educational institutes must realise their worth in terms of being the builders of nation. The govt should take its keen interest in solving this issue and should setup an effective monitoring system which could stop this unauthorised practise.