25% of seats for financially disadvantaged (poor) children
April 13, 2012 at 2:01 pm #67362
I would like to share this email I received this day .
The Supreme Court has upheld the various provisions of the Right to Education Act and in it’s recent landmark judgment made it clear that all schools will have to keep aside 25 per cent of seats for poor children. UNICEF belives the judgment represents a real step forward for the implementation of the Right to Education Act in the country.
By providing clarity on an issue that has been in controversy over the last two years since the RTE has been in force, we can focus on the roll-out of RTE and ensure quality education with equity for every child across India.
What do you think about Supreme Court’s judgment? Do you agree or disagree with the court ruling? Share your thoughts and join the discussion.
May we discuss this topic?April 13, 2012 at 6:35 pm #72008
Re: 25% of seats for poor children
You started the topic right when I was about to do the same. Anyway, here goes my thoughts about this whole issue. These are all purely my opinions and does not have to be accepted by everyone.
1. The landmark judgement is no doubt, a step in the right direction. By virtue of this judgement, children from the poorer sections of the society will atleast be provided with an opportunity to study and rub shoulders with their richer counterparts. However, there is no clear direction on how this ruling would be implemented accross India. There are several reasons behind my saying this:
a. Since there are no clear directions on how these admissions are going to take place, we can assume that there will be enormous numbers of people wanting to admit their wards in missionary and convent schools. The question, thus arises, that will the government machinery, (which can only direct private schools to follow certain directions but cannot act as a watchdog to the administration of such schools) be able to stop any foul play that can arise if there are too many applicants. Many guardians may even be prepared to pay some ‘donations’ to get their children admitted. The whole purpose of this ruling would then be defeated.
b. I have seen the book lists of some convents in our locality. They are absurdly huge. Add to that a whole array of classwork, homework and test copies for every subject. Will it be possible for a parent living below poverty level, to provide his children with so many books and copies? The same applies for uniform which needs to be perfectly clean and regularly ironed, day in and day out. This requires at least three sets of uniforms. Will a BPL parent be able to afford such expenses?
2. It has usually been observed that private schools inevitably extract extra money from the students through a number of means. Donations for charity, for construction purposes, fetes, cultural programmes etc. The reservation, I believe, only provides relief from tuition fees. How will poor parents be able to pay all that much of extra money?
3. With all this hankering after private schools, it would seem that government or government aided schools lag far behind in their quality of education. We, who work in rural areas, might just lose out on some potentially good students who might choose to join the neighbouring convent. The fact however remains that in most cases the teaching quality of teachers in government and government aided schools is much better than that of some of the highly rated convents, most of which are not prepared to pay a deserving compensation to the teachers. So will most students from the poorer sections of society, really be benefitted in the long run? At least, in schools like ours, I feel, teachers are much more approachable, which encourages students to speak about their problems to them. Will the students from poorer sections of the society really get such help from teachers of private schools? I am stressing on this point because, such students will not be able to afford many tuitions and will need all the help they can gather from their school teachers.
4. And last but not the least, the private schools will try their level best to ensure that their income remains steady. If 25% seats should become free seats, they will surely leave no stones unturned to extract the fees of those 25% seats from the remaining 75%. This would mean an increase in tuition and capitation or donation fees. This would come as a blow to the parents of all regular students and clashes with the school administration regarding this cannot be ruled out. This would create a total chaos in the educational system, over which, I doubt, the Supreme court would, or could pass a judgement.April 14, 2012 at 6:40 am #72012
Re: 25% of seats for financially disadvantaged children
Disclosures first: the comments below are entirely my personal thoughts and not intended to criticize/support any person or policy in particular. Viewers discretions are requested before reading further.
The recent SC judgement we are discussing here is definitely laudable. However, the feared exodus of students from aided schools to the self imposed aura emanating snazzy schools may be an initial knee jerk reaction but it will die its natural death very fast and ultimately, I am sure, the good and practical sense amongst all concerned will prevail. Finally, the aura will disappear and all schools will be in a level playing field.
Now, if we read between the lines of the reports regarding this judgement, we shall find that the honourable judges were very clear in the order that only local students (students residing within a certain radius, most probably 2kms) will get admission to these private schools under this scheme. Now my question to all of you: How many such schools do actually exist in rural areas? My guess would be less than 1% in our state. Comments from more knowledgeable friends are welcome here. So why the fuss? The feared mass emigration is over hyped.
If you are patient enough to continue reading this post till this level, the question that must be popping in your mind is “What about towns and cities? We have financially disadvantaged families in our towns and metros, Don’t we?” In cities,towns and metros the number of these expensive schools are slightly higher. However, here I request all of you to approach this situation differently.From which families these expensive schools get students and why? Notwithstanding the fact that teachers in aided schools are more qualified, more competent and yes, the management and teachers are more approachable by the parents than their counterparts in pvt. schools. These aided schools are, more often than not, have better infrastructure than most private schools, at least in Kolkata. But why parents send their wards to the private schools, that too in most cases paying through their nose? My observation for the same is unstable policy of education in aided schools. We have seen in our lifetime several experimentation with education policy (here I am talking purely in academic point of view) in our state and remained helpless spectators of these miscarriages. The aided schools had to fall in line with the powerful and mighty policy makers. The Pvt. schools remained more or less immune to this problem. Now the basic human quality is, nobody likes uncertainty with the future of his/her kids. So everybody wanted to get their child admitted in a pvt. school. The result is startling! (for those who like document and statistics than just qualitative comments, I request a visit to this post
.) You will realise that most of the aided schools with better infrastructure, more qualified teachers and moderate fee structures are suffering from one dreaded disease, that is, lack of students! The cure is in short term: creating a level playing field and I believe this judgement is one step forward to achieve this goal; and in long term: stopping political interference in academic matters of school education.
After all we all here went to some school or other and continue to send our children to schools some day or other so we are all stake holders here. Therefore, friends share your feelings, be optimistic, prepare to press for what you believe is right and be pressed but do not remain silent and see your future wade through the murky water of dirty elements of the society and ultimately die.
So, please post your views.April 14, 2012 at 5:45 pm #72032
Re: 25% of seats for financially disadvantaged (poor) childr
Thanks a lot Shantanil and Kaushik for participating on this discussion and sharing your expressions, feelings, emotions, knowledge etc. The last Para wrote by kaushik compled me to write something being the thread holder of this topic
Let me have a review of the fact first for General viewers:-
The apex court bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia and Justice Swatanter Kumar upheld the constitutional validity of Section 12 1C of the RTE act that provides 25 percent reservation for students from weaker sections of society.
In a dissenting judgment, Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan, held that the mandate under RTE providing for reservation of seats was not constitutionally valid, thus none of the unaided schools could be compelled to earmark 25% seats in their institutions for weaker sections.
Most of the private schools opposed it saying that since they did not take any grants from the government, they could not be legally bound to reserve seats and also the per child cost as suggested by the government was very low. The government spends between Rs.6,000 and Rs.18,000 a child annually on elementary education and this will form the broad basis for reimbursement under the RTE, though the final amount will vary from State to State.
From my point of view, I welcome the positive steps taken by the Supreme Court for some welfare of the weaker section without considering the barrier of Caste and Community.
Now I would like to quote some of the points raised by my dear friends as I think not much they left to be disclosed
The same applies for uniform which needs to be perfectly clean and regularly ironed, day in and day out. This requires at least three sets of uniforms. Will a BPL parent be able to afford such expenses?
I think its the vital observation made by you. It looks like a king without kingdom. Govt. Should think first whether the policy will achieve the goal or not otherwise the whole impression will fade away.
It has usually been observed that private schools inevitably extract extra money from the students through a number of means. Donations for charity, for construction purposes, fetes, cultural programmes etc. The reservation, I believe, only provides relief from tuition fees. How will poor parents be able to pay all that much of extra money?
I think the Private schools will not have any authority to charge the extra money as per the judgment of the Apex Court. Its my personal thought, more discussions are solicited.
Will the students from poorer sections of the society really get such help from teachers of private schools? I am stressing on this point because, such students will not be able to afford many tuitions and will need all the help they can gather from their school teachers.
I am also in doubt about this. The main problem will be faced when they will prepare their home works. Describing more I would also like to point out one thing that the distinguish between the pupil of poor and rich family will make the whole atmosphere cloudy. The quality of Uniform, School bag, Tiffin and all aspects the weaker class students will suffer from some inferiority complex.
extract the fees of those 25% seats from the remaining 75%. This would mean an increase in tuition and capitation or donation fees. This would come as a blow to the parents of all regular students and clashes with the school administration regarding this cannot be ruled out.
Good thinking my friend, this will be the actual scenario on which Govt. cant interfere but who knows that the matter of fees will also be controlled by making some further Order?
Now my question to all of you: How many such schools do actually exist in rural areas? My guess would be less than 1% in our state. Comments from more knowledgeable friends are welcome here.
Yes, I think you are absolutely right and a very good point you disclosed. I dont think that the reservation policy will run in a longer way as we are not the citizen of an well equipped country.
Notwithstanding the fact that teachers in aided schools are more qualified, more competent and yes, the management and teachers are more approachable by the parents than their counterparts in pvt. schools.
Sorry dear friend, I am not agree with you on this aspect. There are many private schools you may find having very much qualified teachers and the matter of competency is also upto the mark. Though the percentage of that schools in a whole may be low against the Govt. aided schools. I am praying for prior pardon if I am wrong but I think the document you referred is not enough to prove that.
friends share your feelings, be optimistic, prepare to press for what you believe is right and be pressed but do not remain silent and see your future wade through the murky water of dirty elements of the society and ultimately die.
So, please post your views.
Thanks for the invitation and of course we are now in a situation which compel us to think about our future generation as the Govt. encouraging too much experiments with the education system.
Now let me conclude: Sorry for the lengthy writing but I think it should be discussed as the nice points raised by our dear friends were inviting some comments as well deserve some encouragements.
How would it be if the Govt. be some more active to take responsibilities of the pupil of weaker section affording them more educational facilities without knocking the door of the Private Schools? How would be if the Govt. be more active for upgradation the infrastructures of aided schools upto the level of the Private schools? I think the necessity and reputations of the Private schools would fade away automatically and we would happily look at the moon for our future generation
Waiting for more comments from our friends.April 16, 2012 at 6:53 am #72049
Re: 25% of seats for financially disadvantaged (poor) childr
Sorry dear friend, I am not agree with you on this aspect. There are many private schools you may find having very much qualified teachers and the matter of competency is also upto the mark. Though the percentage of that schools in a whole may be low against the Govt. aided schools.
Dear friends, I can never even dream of telling that private schools do not have qualified teachers and their teachers are not competent. If my comment meant so then I am sorry. However, I find that my comment needs some elaboration. I was talking in average term while making the disputed comment of mine. Just imagine the huge pool of talent engaged in aided schools as teachers.Every year, for the last 10-12 years 8000-10000 teachers ae recruited through SSC amongst the 400000 to 800000 applicants. So, assuming fair selection only best talents filter through this process. You will be surprised, here I write from my personal experience, how many eligible teachers, already working in pvt. schools, sit for SSC examination. At this background the private schools does indeed look like a minuscule phenomenon. But now the competence: good and effective teaching is never directly related to the qualification of a teacher. It is a complex function of qualification, personal traits, administration, policy of the school, academic environment, stock of pupils etc. etc., the list here is just indicative and not exhaustive. Hope I could explain my stand.April 16, 2012 at 4:26 pm #72058
Re: 25% of seats for financially disadvantaged (poor) childr
It will be helpful to those pupils who are really talent but poor and want to do something. In other instances the out put will be zero.April 18, 2012 at 2:35 am #72074
Re: 25% of seats for financially disadvantaged (poor) childr
It will be helpful to those pupils who are really talent but poor and want to do something. In other instances the out put will be zero.
Thanks friend for participating on this discussion. I am agree with the first part of your comment but please explain elaborately the comment “the out put will be zero”.
I think it contradicts your first part.
@ kayshikr :- I am sorry for the late reply, actually I was struggling with my PC and was also finding some documentary proof to stand my point of view. At first I am to say that the explanation you made is enough to stand your point of view and now all of us in an affirmative mood to accept that the teachers of the private schools are also qualified and competent enough.
But this is not the actual factor for which we should debate, The main factor is competency or reliability of the school. Being guardian, every one wish to get their children admitted in a private school. The main reason behind it is the output and obviously the private schools provide far better output than the Govt. Schools and aided Schools. In support of my comments I would like to request you to have a look at the attached file and go through the under lined sentence in page no. 13. This is a report regarding “ Private and public schooling: The Indian experience “ written by Geeta Gandhi of University of Oxford . I am also quoting the line below:-
both pass rates and average
aggregate percentage mark are considerably higher in private than government schools.
Government and aided schools are similar in their average marks but both lag behind a great deal
compared with the private schools. Of course, despite the fact that some poor people also partake
of private education, the student-intake in private schools is more privileged than in government
and aided schools.
You may say that this document is not required to stand my point of view as it is well known to all, but I think this document in a whole should be helpful to extract the exact situation of the Indian educational system. We all admit the fact that the reason behind the difference of out put may not be the quality or competency of teacher. Actually it depends upon many factors like the success of a team and averagely the private schools are better on this aspects. Thats the reason why I said that it would be better if the Govt take some positive steps to upgrade the infrastructures of the Govt schools and Aided Schools upto the level of private schools without making much experiennts.
One thing we must consider that the private schools are at liberty to filter the quality of candidates to select as a student which the Govt and aided schools cant. But this is not the only factor behind the success.
What do you and others say?
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