Nowadays, parents spend too much money on their children at private institutions. It is high time that someone stands up to them and says, “Enough, stop squandering your savings away on the menaces you created.” Luckily for us, the National Educational Policy (NEP) draft has come just in time.
It is shocking to see how parents run blindly towards ‘for-profit’ private institutions even after knowing about their achievements. Private hospitals can barely match the death rate accomplished by government hospitals. So many women who have their delivery in private hospitals tend to return home alive with their baby.
Parents get fooled by the vaccines manufactured by ‘for-profit’ companies. They stop listening to anti-vaxxers and their attempt at preserving immunity naturally. Worse still, they keep purchasing baby food from companies that are solely focused on churning out profits.
Their lunacy does not end here. When babies begin to grow and show potential, parents are adamant on squashing their capabilities by sending them to private daycare. It almost seems as if they are deluded. What other explanation could there be when our government has adequate anganwadis right at the edge of the next village?
Splurging on these luxuries is clearly a sign of madness. So, how do we pull parents away from this abyss? Most people are too afraid to speak up in case these parents throw their wallets at their faces in response. Even the newspapers are terrified: so much so that they do not even dare to tout ‘non-profit’. But now we have the NEP to lead us into battle. It is the true local hero that has had the guts to go out and protect our principles in this fight against savings. Understandably, it does not have the resources to concern itself with mundane issues of health, wealth, and happiness. In a 484-pages long document, it repeats its hatred for ‘for-profit’ schools at least 10 times. As it is such an arduous task, it is not surprising that it accidentally forgets to explain why ‘for-profit schools’ are menaces in the first place. But we forgive this for the greater good.
The only way out is to mandate government education. Parents’ minds are too addled by the long lines outside private schools to realise the benefits of not spending money. With expenses being met by our taxes, public schools are the epitome of freebies. There is no danger of teachers imposing thought control as there are no teachers. Most are busy educating politicians about the latest delay in their pay hike. They also take one for the team and send their children to private schools to help government schools achieve a good pupil-to-teacher ratio. It is only the privileged who get to learn from Mother Nature and treat their desks as collateral damage. Breaking these privately-manufactured desks encourages hands-on learning and challenges the indoctrination of wasting money.
Even if teachers do come, they don’t have to exert their brains; textbooks are revised on the basis of local lores that do not need explaining. This also does away with the cost of tuition. There is no need to spend extra money on lunches or worry about inculcating moral values. Half a banana while building the Statue of Unity in-between classes is satisfactory.
The Government of India has been diligent in effort to increase access to education for children in India. In fact, it is such a perfectionist that it has been pushing its deadline for universal education since 1949. Allowing profit-seeking leeches to enter the education sector with their focus on lowering costs and improving learning outcomes will hinder all previous progress. We must put all our support behind the NEP and government education, and pray that they tie the purse strings of parents.
The opinions expressed in this essay are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of CCS.