Among all parties, the Jago Party offers education reform ideas (see Q 14 and 15 in the FAQs) that are closer to the School Choice Campaign. Well, they actaully go a step further and suggest privatisation of all state schools! They decentralise the education system by abolishing state controls but then they recommend a single board exam for the whole country and thereby bring back centralisation! Why not be consistent and abolish the board exam completely? Does it really server the purpose for which it was instituted in the first place?
“All government schools will be privatized, because private schools are much more efficient in teaching even though they get less pay than government teachers.
All the students would be free to get admitted in any private school. Government would directly disburse all expenses on tuition fees, books etc for students. This would help students choose the best private school and in turn get best possible education. Private schools will also compete with each other to attract maximum students, which in turn would enhance their teaching standard.
Action on this line has already been initiated through Delhi Voucher Project by Centre for Civil Society, Delhi [www.schoolchoice.in] where students are given encashable school vouchers with an option to study in any school of their choice with very encouraging results.
Several countries such as U.K., U.S.A, Sweden etc have successfully implemented schemes for grant of finacial aid for study in private schools.
For higher education, students would be given soft loans, which would be repayable only after they start earning. A lot of scholarships would also be available to poor & meritorious students. There are also several companies which are ready to pay for the training & education, provided students commit to certain qualification and jobs.
There would be only one syllabus for all schools and only one all India level examination conducted by one board at class 12.
The education system would be changed in such a way that it not only enables a student to be skilled for a job, but also promotes the joy of learning, scientific thinking and experimentation, rather than just memorizing the given information and passing examinations. It should enable students to become aware of the major cultures of the world, problems of the society and life and solve those problems in innovative & scientific ways.
Teaching in English medium would help a student have competency in speaking and writing English, which is a must for a good job in today’s world. English medium instruction is not equivalent to teaching English culture.
In fact, apart from English, every student would also be taught one local language, with full vigour so that students are equally competent in that language also. This would help them connect with Indian culture and people in a more intimate way.”
The opinions expressed in this essay are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of CCS.