There has been a silent revolution happening, at least in the big cities, in the field of education. The silent revolution has brought along several changes...unfortunately, not all are good for the society. Education is fast getting out of reach of the common man. There are various boards one can now choose from SSC, ICSE to CBSE, and a few modern equivalents or supposedly better. Like all things new and trendy, so has been the trend with education.
Honestly, the new systems of education don't always mean better. Statistics show that families in India have to spend a lot more on the primary school education of their children, making the fundamental right to basic education for the poor Indian families a distant dream.
Recently, I was sitting with my sister who was working out on her monthly budget, and trying to understand how she could save money. Usually, I just warm up the chair when I am there but when my sister gave me the numbers for the school and tuition fees for her kids, I was appalled!! The amount she was paying for her two kids was probably enough to pay the monthly mortgage on a fancy Land Cruiser. I don't think that the school will consider the option of reducing the fees, on the contrary, the school's fees will only increase. So in about 15 years of education that she intended to provide to the kids, she could have moved into a super luxury apartment. I'm not exaggerating. My head was spinning on hearing the astronomical fees. I couldn't understand how the government could allow educational institutes to charge exorbitant fees?
Since when did greed become a part of the education system and just when did the field of education merge with cold calculations of business? Isn't education the basic right of every Indian? Wasn't education a part of India's effort to build a progressive and productive nation? Education doesn't just help the individual but also society on the whole. I asked my sister why she chose such an expensive school for her kids and why she couldn't send them to an ordinary aided school. She told me that ordinary aided schools just didn't have it anymore (read: not glamorous enough because it didn't have too many kids from wealthy families and the reputation of the family had to be protected).
Besides, these modern schools had better techniques of education and focussed on the overall development of a child. The school buses became a point for consideration since the parents didn't have to worry about getting their children transported to schools. While talking to her, I realized it wasn't education any more but more about social status for parents. Schools are no longer considered as temples of learning but an extension of fashion statements, like acquiring a new pair of Jimmy Choo shoes or being the ideal places to flaunt a new Prada bag. Except, this was a more expensive statement.
I understand the parental need to provide the best for their kids but this trend, especially when it comes to education, needs to be addressed and if possible, stopped. What amazes me is that when exactly did this happen? I seem to have missed it. I was in school till March and education in my school was affordable, to almost everyone. When I compare the scenario with today, it's all about the money!! Thank God, I've many more miles to cross before I become a father.
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