Amartya Sen has often spoken against private tuitions, especially by government teachers – and the communist government in West Bengal implemented a ban on all tuitions by school teachers based on Sen’s recommendations. Now of course there is a certain conflict of interest here, but outright banning of tuitions where the teachers actually have an incentive to teach (as opposed to in government schools, where there is no performance pay) is counterproductive. Swami Aiyer had earlier taken Sen to the cleaners earlier, but we have some more data from the ASER 2010 report which further shows the stupidity and hypocrisy of Sen’s prescriptions

A clear decrease is seen in the incidence of tuition among children enrolled in private schools across all classes up to Std VIII. This proportion has not changed much among children enrolled in government schools, although in states like Bihar, West Bengal and Orissa, where private school enrolment is low, the proportion of children in Std V enrolled in government schools who take tuition classes is high

So not only is the law being blatantly violated in my state (thank god for law-breakers!), there is a clear correlation between lack of private schools and high incidence of tuitions.

Amartya Sen, like all good socialists, got it reverse. Instead of banning all private provisions to create an illusory level playing field, he and others should support an enhanced role for the private sector in education and other fields. That creates accountability, and then remedies/supplements like tuitions are less required. But if socialists had sense, they would not be socialists – now would they?

Cross-posted here

Read more :

Post Disclaimer

The opinions expressed in this essay are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of CCS.