Whenever I walk down the street close to my house on weekdays I find a group of young adults dressed in green pants and untidy white shirts, sitting on the benches in the market and looking for possible targets. These are the students from a local Government run school. They sit in the market everyday and look for people whom they could trouble, preferably girls. There is a college close by, the students of which usually avoid getting in a tiff with these boys from the school. A few days ago, a few students of the college who had come from the north-eastern states were beaten up by these rowdy school boys; a girl from the college was stopped (in the middle of the road) on her way to the paying guest accomodation where she lived, and just when they were about to molest her, a few boys from the neighbourhood called the police. Last year, a student of the same school was arrested for raping a 5 year old.
I am quoting only a few cases but there have been many such cases in the past. People who live here, fear these boys who are school going. This is not the case of just one school but Delhi has many such schools. Apurva Desai, a resident of Vasundhra Enclave in East Delhi and an avid blogger at Youth Ki Awaaz has also faced something similar. “Students from these schools do not seem to be school going kids. Neither are they disciplined nor do they have any respect for women. They just want to trouble people by throwing stones and passing cheap comments.” she says.
Students from the Universities all across Delhi feel that there must be a PCR (Police Control Room) van made to stand in front of these schools. “They are not students, they are rowdies who are not at all interested in studies, they just come to school for their ‘evil’ fun.” says Pratyush, a student of Maharaja Agrasen college, situated right next to a Government school.
So the question is, are our Government and Municipal schools breeding goons? Yes they are. These students are usually from semi rural areas and grow up in a hostile environment. All their life they see domestic violence, use of unethical language and the presence of an unnatural sexual drive. These children grow in an environment which makes them feel like adults at the age of 7 or 8. They indulge in every possible illegal act, from drug abuse to rapes to kidnappings and even murders.
Gone are the days when our parents and forefathers used to cherish the concept of Government and Municipal schools. Most of them studied from these schools and have turned into fine human beings. Even today, there are Government and Municipal schools which are reputed, but they are outnumbered by the goony schools.
So where is the fault? “The teachers are no better. There are Government run schools like the Kendriya Vidyalayas which have great teachers and better students, but if we talk of other Government or Municipal run schools, the situation is bad. The teachers make use of the same language to address their students. One cannot expect the students to learn a lot from them.” says a teacher of an MCD run school who did not want herself to be named.
These schools also lack the presence of counsellors. According to Neela Laksh, a retired government school counsellor, the Central Bureau of Educational and Vocational Guidance (CBEVG) has displayed a callous attitude and the matter is not a priority. The CBEVG is the state government’s department responsible for training and selecting counsellors. According to the Delhi government’s directorate of education, in the year 2008-2009, there were only 107 counsellors in the 926 government schools run by it. An estimated 950,000 students are enrolled in these. “There are too many cases of stress, juvenile crimes being committed…depression is more prevalent and more problems among students are being seen, but not enough counsellors are there to help combat these,” said another counsellor who declined to be named.
The education system at these schools needs a serious revival. The authorities are looking at and taking care of bigger issues and are making sure that students make religious use of the resources available. The class 10th board examinations are being scrapped, steps are being taken to lessen the burden of students. But is all this too big to affect these grass root level schools? These schools are an extremely important part of our educational system. They can play a major role in reviving a whole village. If regulated, they can transform a rowdy student into a focussed one. But why isn’t this happening? Do the authorities have better work? Or is this work to big and tedious for them?
These schools are not being taken care of and the students of these schools are turning into roadside romeos and rowdies. Lack of ethics is leading them to a bleak future, and thus is leading India to a bleak future. They are in dire need of good teachers, lenient rules and the presence of good counsellors.
If we further ignore the above facts, the problem will worsen and the whole nation would suffer. Even today in states like Madhya Pradesh, states of South India and the North Eastern India, there are Government and Municipal schools which are reputed and have disciplined students, the why aren’t the other schools like them? Why are the schools in Delhi and NCR in particular not like them?
I would like to know what you feel of this issue. Please post a comment and voice yourself.[image source: 2mm.typepad.com/usa/india/] [data about counsellors: http://www.indiaedunews.net/]