all this mad rush, one vital issue is largely ignored. What
really constitutes good education? Education is left entirely
to the school management and indifferent schools are mushrooming,
taking advantage of parents' desperation.
are led to believe that rote learning, heavy load of books,
endless hours of dreary homework, and soulless examinations
are the stuff of education. Real school education imparts
clear understanding of various concepts, promotes logical
thinking and improves communication skills. None of these
is emphasized in most of our schools. Physical education and
problems solving skills are also very critical to good education.
Hyderabad city, with about a million children between the
ages of 6 and 17, there are only a handful of reasonably good
schools. Most schools foster neither initiative nor creativity.
Stress is on monotonous repetition and rote learning and not
on thinking or effective communication.
parents are deeply dissatisfied with these schools. But there
is a vicious cycle in operation. Even if the more enlightened
parents seek genuinely good schools, there is no supply. And
if daring educators start good schools, most parents shun
them, and prefer the trodden path. There are some schools
emphasizing learning and growth, but parents panic after a
few years and demand examinations, ranking and cramming.
net result is most children going to schools are ending up
without real knowledge or understanding. They may get good
grades and later obtain college degrees. But the poor foundations
laid in schools do not allow emergence of mature, confident,
competent adults. And thousands of children burn out young,
what with 14-16 hours of study with neither respite nor enthusiasm.
parent wants to see the child stunted. And yet, unthinkingly
the growth of most of our children is stunted. We need better
schools, and parents need to appreciate the value of good
schooling. Obviously people are willing to spend money. There
are fancy schools charging upto Rs 3 lakh a year! Even middle
class parents are spending Rs 500 - 1000 per month for education.
Resources are not a problem. We need to promote many, many
good schools with real education, and encourage parents to
send their children to such schools. We need to understand
that our children's future is secure in schools fostering
thinking, communication and creativity.