Updated 28 Jul 2022, 4:40 am
We have said it before and are going to say it again. Schools are not factories or assembly line for churning out robot like creatures and teachers are not drill sergeants. In the current debate of why government run schools are not able to produce toppers while students from mission and private schools are getting away with toppers in every examination year after year, government leaders seem to be running against a wall or rather slowly succumbing to the path laid out by private players.
We all know that the multitude of private schools with thousands of students on their rolls are today run like factories or broiler farms. Many of them are commercial ventures for some self-styled educationists. Some of the private schools are even styled in the form of composite farms with its own paddy fields, vegetable and fish farms, poultry and piggery units for catering to the hostels run by the school establishments.
The prime objective of every private school management is always to ensure high marks and inclusion in the top rankings from its students, as public perception is always focussed on which school makes the cut in the top rankings. That is good for business, as most parents flock to such schools for admission to the next class.
However, no parent seems to question whether there is overall improvement in knowledge base and personality development of their wards in a system primarily focussed on scoring of high marks in the private schools.
In the process, every teacher is being turned into a drill sergeant whose responsibility is to incessantly subject the students into learning by heart the lessons through back-breaking class work and heavy-laden home work. After school, the students are rushed off to private tuition for completing the home work or if the parents are educated they take over and it is the daily grind. In short, it is all work and no play for the students.
The culture of private tuition has grown to such lengths that even kids in Class I are subjected to it and goes up to the post-graduate level. That way, the spillover effect has led to mushrooming growth of coaching centres.
In fact, there is simply no time or space for the young kids in their formative years to explore his mind and develop innovative ideas or pursue their imagination. Only a few succeed in the daily grind while many fell by the wayside to seek solace in idle indulgences.
If this is the routine we are seeking to develop in government schools, one might not have any future to look forward to.
While private schools and coaching centres celebrate the performance of their students in HSLC and HSSLC examinations through full page ads and functions, as the ‘wise’ commentators go full throttle in the media on the dismal performance of government schools, the leaders of education sector in the government seems to have pressed the panic button while suddenly becoming defensive.
Statements like there is overall increase in pass percentage of government school students besides subject toppers and that the government is planning to start special coaching with the objective of producing toppers are defeatist by nature.
We would like to reiterate that a holistic approach is always needed in the pursuit of a realistic overhaul of the school education system and the primary objective of the government should rather be on how to impart basic knowledge systems to the school going kids so as to enthral the growing mind and develop capabilities to surprise us with new ideas and imagination while all other approaches should be secondary to the prime objective.
Any piecemeal approach or selective development would only lead to waste of public money and defeat the purpose. Regarding government teachers, one should be thinking on the lines of how to motivate them in fulfilling the promise of education and moulding future pillars of the society. Motivation rather than numbers is more important.
First published:28 Jul 2022, 4:39 am
private schoolsgovernment schoolsschool educationprivate tuition cultureeducation system in Manipur