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Re: [Arkitect India] Press Release of Protest Against 'School Choice' Campaign

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  • Pankaj Jain
    It is now established that in India no one can legitimately make profit out of school education, as per Supreme court judgment and Govt. policy, and therefore
    Message 1 of 56 , Dec 5, 2012
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      It is now established that in India no one can legitimately make profit out of school education, as per Supreme court judgment and Govt. policy, and therefore any attempt at promoting profiteering from education must be avoided, but why should 'children and parents' having a choice of schooling where they can study be considered undesirable.

      After all, we all support freedom and choice, starting from voting through the selection of hospital where we wish to be treated for ailments, selection to telecom services provider, to choice of college etc. Why should only the choice of schooling be considered bad, provided (i) it does not entail profiteering, (ii) it conforms to national curriculum/ NCF as much as most Govt. schools conform to, (iii) delivers better educational outcome, (iv) is regulated by the Government as per transparent process/ criterion?

      Pankaj

      --- On Wed, 12/5/12, janaki rajan <rajan.janaki@...> wrote:

      From: janaki rajan <rajan.janaki@...>
      Subject: Re: [Arkitect India] Press Release of Protest Against 'School Choice' Campaign
      To: arkitectindia@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Wednesday, December 5, 2012, 10:24 PM

      Dear Vikas,

      Thank you for the press release on the protest demonstration. It is
      indeed very stirring. I also heard from Sarwat how enlivening the
      response was. My felicitations!

      A small point on the press release-this is just my personal view and
      you are free to discard this. I thought that the press release did not
      do justice to the considerable agency of the large number of
      persons-their views in their own words-apni zubaaani! I know there
      were many! Without these, the press release loses human agency,
      becomes pedantic-in my personal opinion. Even the pictorials of the
      charts as part of the press release could have added the flavour,
      Chaksa!

      In admiration,

      Janaki

      On Wed, Dec 5, 2012 at 6:35 AM, Vikas Gupta <vikasedu@...> wrote:
      > Press Release
      > All India Forum for Right to Education (AIFRTE) in collaboration with
      > various other individuals and groups/organizations including All India
      > Students’ Association (AISA), LOK SHIKSHAK MANCH, SAMBHAVANA,
      > SOCIALIST YUVJAN SABHA, VIDHYARTHI YUVJAN SABHA, and SHIKSHA ADHIKAAR
      > ABHIYAAN organized today a protest demonstration outside India Habitat
      > Center, Lodhi Road, New Delhi. A number of educationists, school and
      > college/university teachers, students, parents, organizations and
      > citizens from all walks of life participated in this protest
      > demonstration and signed in solidarity against ‘School Choice’
      > Campaign. They chose the aforesaid day and venue for their protest,
      > because they wished to register their protest against the ‘School
      > Choice’ Campaign agenda of the 4th Annual National Conference
      > organized by the NGO (Center for Civil Society) at the IHC on the same
      > day. This Conference, the protesters firmly believe, is not an
      > academic deliberation but represents vested group interests, a lobby
      > of corporate houses and their political, administrative, managerial,
      > and academic collaborators having neo-liberal ideology of
      > commercialization of education. The protesters categorically stated
      > that ‘School Choice’ Campaign with its agenda of PPP and voucher
      > schemes, is a conspiracy to siphon huge public funds to corporate
      > houses and to relegate majority of children to low-fee teaching shops.
      > The protesters underlined the point that it is not merely futile, but
      > erroneous and destructive to find the solution to the problem of
      > educational inequalities in the ‘School Choice’ model based on voucher
      > schemes and ‘public private partnership’ (PPP) in education. Despite
      > overwhelming research evidence showing grave concerns and problems
      > generated by the introduction of voucher schemes in different
      > countries, the advocates of ‘School Choice’ campaign are maneuvering
      > to implement this model. The ‘School Choice’ Campaign is propagating
      > the dangerous idea that their model would enhance competition amongst
      > different education providers guided by profit motifs, which would
      > result in the expansion of education market; and thereby, they
      > cunningly argue, in the reduction of social inequalities in education.
      > On the contrary, the protesters are convinced that the ‘School Choice’
      > model would reproduce, aggravate and legitimize inequalities, because
      > in the context of different and unregulated fee-structures of
      > different schools, rich and poor students would ultimately go to
      > separate schools despite being provided with school vouchers by the
      > state. They forecasted that the overwhelming majority of students (who
      > belong to economically weaker sections) would mostly end-up getting
      > admission in low-fee substandard private institutions, as the cloak of
      > voucher scheme would enable state to continue to increasingly abdicate
      > its constitutional obligation to establish sufficient number of
      > well-equipped neighborhood schools.
      > ‘School Choice’ model advocates the broadening of ‘choice’ and
      > competition rather than advocating radical policies for restructuring
      > the entire education system in consonance with the fundamental right
      > to equality to ensure education of equitable quality for all children.
      > It completely undermines the fundamental difference between education
      > and tradable commodities. This campaign intends to replace
      > Constitutional principles of equality and social justice with
      > neo-liberal ideology of inclusion. This model considers education as a
      > profitable business, not as a fundamentally human project of
      > individual and social transformation.
      > The ‘School Choice’ model is based on some erroneous suppositions
      > (without any conclusive research finding) that private schools
      > essentially impart better quality education than their Government
      > counterparts; and that due to the paucity of State’s resources for
      > education, involving private initiative and international agencies of
      > global capital is indispensable. In fact, it is a mechanism for
      > siphoning huge public money to corporate houses in the name of PPP and
      > school vouchers, which would also provide further push to the
      > coalition between communal and market interests. The campaigns like
      > ‘School Choice’ are both part and result of World Bank-WTO-GATTS
      > agenda of education governed by their “structural adjustment policy”,
      > which has been a major cause of planned and purposeful distortion of
      > public (state) funded system of education in India in the recent
      > decades.
      > Not merely the ownership of schools and student admission, the ‘School
      > Choice’ campaign sees everything connected with education, such as
      > teacher training and their recruitment; preparation of reading
      > material and teaching learning aids; management of schools and
      > educational ‘outcomes’ through the lens of market values and
      > profitability. When education functions as a market-determined value,
      > it restricts the collective quest for sharing knowledge, substituting
      > this with the need to maximize individual gains measured in market
      > price and status. It promotes a competitiveness in which ‘winners’ are
      > as isolated as the ‘losers’ they leave behind because it discourages
      > the development of democratic solidarities which are essential to the
      > concerns of social justice. Indeed, these very concerns must be the
      > guiding principles of any system that aims at ensuring that all
      > children can freely ’educate’ themselves.
      > Therefore, the protesters raised the slogan:–‘No to
      > Anti-Constitutional ‘School Choice’ Model of PPP, Voucher Scheme,
      > Commercialization, and Profiteering in Education! Yes to Directly (and
      > Fully) State-Funded Common School System Based on Neighborhood School
      > Guaranteeing Equitable Quality Education to All!’
      >
      >
      > Signed by Prof. Anil Sadgopal
      > (Member-Presidium, AIFRTE)
      >
      >
      >
      > --
      > Vikas Gupta
      > Assistant Professor–University of Delhi;
      > Joint Secretary–Sambhavana Organization;
      > National Executive Member–All-India Forum for Right to Education (AIF-RTE);
      > Associate Editor–'Reconstructing Education';
      >
      >
      > Permanent Office: Department of History,
      > Faculty of Social Sciences,
      > University of Delhi ,
      > Delhi 110007, India.
      >
      > Ph: +91-11-266659 (O.), +91-11-27662347 (R.) & +91-9818193875 (M.)
      > Email: vikasedu@...
      >
      >
      >
      > ------------------------------------
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >


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    • Pankaj Jain
      I am afraid Satish ji that seasoned, not aligned to a view person may not be easily available to preside over an extended engagement through email. The only
      Message 56 of 56 , Dec 16, 2012
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        I am afraid Satish ji that "seasoned, not aligned to a view person' may not be easily available to preside over an extended engagement through email. The only practical way has been to get such a person to chair a conference session-group discussion over a limited period. Do you wish to volunteer? 

        Regarding the observation of Mr. Sarwant Ali, I would suggest that even though steering wheel and the wheels of the car are interlinked, and are designed to some extent as unified entity, there is also a time when the engineer should focus on designing wheel and steering mechanism, each by itself . The same should go for the design of complex system like 'education system'. There will be stages in drawing up education policy, where different components will be treated together and when each is focused upon exclusively.

        Pankaj

         

        --- On Sun, 12/16/12, Satish Jha <satish.jha@...> wrote:

        From: Satish Jha <satish.jha@...>
        Subject: Re: [Arkitect India] School Choice as a way of improving Children's education
        To: "arkitectindia@yahoogroups.com" <arkitectindia@yahoogroups.com>
        Date: Sunday, December 16, 2012, 8:19 PM

         

        I would urge that for a discussion to yield meaningful results a seasoned, not aligned to a view person, should help moderate the discussion. 


        Let us suspend our beliefs and try to address the question of learning in the times we live in to beproductive  in times thy we cannot predict as well as we need to.or like..

        On Sunday, December 16, 2012, Sarwat Ali wrote:
         

        Dear All,


        Nothing can be seen/ dealt with in isolation, each aspect is significant and interlinked and therefore, all have to be dealt with simultaneously. Prof. Rajagopalan has raised issues which can not be ignored while education for the children is being debated. I endorse his views.

        best 

        Sarwat 

        --
        sarwat ali
        pocket A/3C sukhdev Vihar
        New Delhi - 110025

        9810525317





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        Satish Jha
        Chairman,
        OLPC India Foundation
        Wellesley, MA 02482
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