June 23, A Report.
- Dear friends
Please find revised version of document on education attached with this mail.
The document has already been submitted to HRD Ministry. We personally brief about importance of this document to Mr. Arjun Singh, HRD Minster, GOI. He showed his interest to utilise this document.
We know that these people does not work unless there is a persistent demand from the people and pressure from other section of the society. Because of this, we are releasing English version of the document for public in a press conference at Press Club of India on June 28, 2004. Very soon we will come with this document in other languages of the country.
There were about 20 eminent people from different backgrounds including former director of NCERT, chairman of UGC and heads of the departments from different Universities. All were echoing their voice together on the question of education- that is quality education for masses. Prominent among them were Acharya Rammurthi, Sandip Panday, Prof. Namwar Singh, Prof. Arjun Dev, Prof. Anil Sadgopal, Prof. Azizuddin, Prof. PP Singh, Prof. KM Chinoy, Prof. Hayi, Prof. Yashpal, Dr. Rizwan Qaiser, Dr. Ahmad Khan, Prof. Vijendra, Dr. Javed and Dr. Mathur to name a few. The meeting was well in time and people were given proper space to air their voices. For me it was extremely fruitful.
There was some minor amendments suggested by participants and accepted by the organizers. The meeting was held in a very cordial atmosphere and without any skirmish. Every one present there gave his ascent to the draft.
Some questions were raised about mushrooming of Sarswati Shishu Mandir (RSS School). Deterioration in the standard of the government school is the major cause given by the experts. Every one was in favour of strengthening government school. I don’t thing any one was in favour of parallel school system. Prof Sadgopal specially emphasized on common school system
Yes, RSS schools are mushrooming very fast. But what are we doing? What is our strategy to counter it? Do you thing we should leave it on government? If you read the preamble of the document, you can realise how important education is. And we also know the pace and style of government functioning towards basic education. I personally believe that leaving it on government will further allow RSS-run-schools to spread their tentacles and poison the society.
I am wondering whether we can form a group in different parts of country who can go to government schools to 1. to take some classes in order to give quality education 2. force teachers to discharge their duty. For example in Delhi we can identify schools and teachers. In South Delhi people (both students and teachers) from IIT, JNU and JMI and from some colleges can go to government schools at least once a week and at the most thrice a week.
We just can not leave everything on govt. we have to take the responsibility to counter onslaught on education by 1. demanding govt. to take the corrective measure and 2. by volunteering ourselves in strengthening the existing schools. We have to raise the standard of these schools to attract students from all sections of the society. These days, those who can afford, they send their children to private schools. Most of the govt. schools have become school for poor people. Because of lack of pressure from parents and non-accountability teachers don't bother to teach them seriously. They just fill the attendant register and leave everything for tuition classes.
And what about those places where still there is no govt. school. There is not only one, two, or three but hundred and thousands of such villages in our country. In these villages private schools are coming up very fast. We have to think about these villages also. We have three options:
1. force govt. to open schools. It takes a lot of time and you
never know whether the govt. will accept it.
2. talk to the owners of private schools and educate them
about our understanding of education, prepare syllabus for them
and if possible go (at least a couple of days in month) to
these schools and take classes. We have already done this work
in 4-5 schools in S. Delhi.
3. identify villages through survey, start a school, and ask
government to run it.
The other important decision was to translate this document in other languages and send it to people. We have already found people who can translate it into Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, Marathi, Khasi and Assami. We are looking for expert from other languages to take the responsibility of translation.
Please feel free to air your views on the ongoing debate.
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