Monday, 15 February 2016

Make it easier to start schools in India

India is the youngest country in the world. Its population is second only to China and given the current growth rate of population, that's going to change soon as well.

The necessity for every country with a population as high as India's is to first make sure that younger generation is well nourished and well educated.

Nourishment is something which the government hasn't been able to do much. The Food Security Act, however crazy it may be, is one way the government is trying to deal with the nourishment issue. The other way is to try and reduce absolute poverty. Overall economic development help reduce it. So there are some efforts the government is making in trying to get nourishment sorted.

Education is one field which is a lot more controversial than nourishment. This is because of the massive number of people involved in the field. The number of citizens employed in education in India is massive. There are close to 2.5 crore teachers in government schools alone. India doesn't even have enough teachers even at the primary school level. Reports suggest that India needs close to 7 Lakh teachers in primary!

Right to Education was thrown into this already messy mix. There are some reports which suggest that it is forcing schools to shut down and causing problems to the students while other reports suggest that that is not happening.

The problem with teacher shortages and school shortages all comes down to the fact that the government mechanism hasn't been able to keep up with the speed at which the demand for schools. This has led to over crowding in schools.

The government mechanism for starting a school is very cumbersome and also takes very long. Just to give you an idea, look at the examples of Delhi and Poona. It is easier to start a company in the country than a school. The regulatory and financial requirement have made sure that people are repulsed from starting schools inspite of the demand.

It is beyond comprehension why a country which needs more schools has such tough requirements for starting schools. Shouldn't we make it easier to start schools for everyone? The government is clearly not equipped to start so many new schools so why not let others do it?

Anyways the government doesn't allow organisations to 'profit' from schools. So the only ones who are trying to start schools are supposedly doing it for social good. Private players have the resources and the skill to do the job in a much better way. The ASER survey found out that government spends three times the money private school spends per student and both of them get the same student outcomes. The rise of small school specifically for low income communities shows that there is demand.

The RTE has already set parameters which the government wants everyone to follow. The government can focus its energy and resources on evaluating schools and making sure that they meet all the standards.

Private players should be given a chance to run schools. The idea is to slowly and gradually make government a regulatory body instead of an administrator.

Dear Government,
Please make it easier to start schools in India.
Thank you


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  13. Any one can start school in India. This is why we are lagging in education system