By Anshul Tewari:
IBN 7 just broke the news via television that Sri Sri Ravishankar, the well known figure promoting peace and art of living allegedly gave an extremely irresponsible statement in Jaipur suggesting that all that the Government schools in India do, is produce Naxalites. He further went on to say that all Government schools should be privatized, given to private houses, and that only private schools have the capability to produce diligent students.
His exact words were, “”Government ko koi school nahi chalana chahiye. Aksar paya jata hai ki government school se padhe hue bacche hi is tarha naxalvad me hinsa ke marg me chale jate hai” (Government should not run any school. It is often found that boys studied in government schools go into Naxalism and violence). “I feel that all the schools and colleges should be privatised and handed over to some other Sanstha (organisation). Such things are not in the boys of private schools and they (from private schools) move ahead with an ideal and teachers are responsible for it,” he added. “
This at a time when over 50% of the school going population in India prefers Government schools over Private schools. His statement also comes a slap on the face of the well-known good quality education being provided by Government schools such as the chain of Kendriya Vidyalayas and the Navodaya Vidyalayas, which have a special focus on helping rural talent rise up and receive education, and produce few of the best and most diligent students in the country.
Furthermore, with Private schools chargingÂ exorbitantÂ fees, the only option left for parents who cannot afford such a high costing education are the Government run schools. Seems he has forgotten the rural India, where almost 100% school going students go to Government run schools, and they are not naxalites.
A man of his stature, Sri Sri Ravishankar is responsible for making sure that people do not perceive Government run schools in a bad light, especially when many of them do not have an option. Moreover, having millions of followers, many of whom have children studying in Government institution, it is definitely something that projects him in bad light.
Had Sri Sri Ravishankar said that Government schools need an improvement, it would have been a different and acceptable statement; but passing hard hitting, demeaning statements such as the one he did is unacceptable. Also, to say that Government schools must be handed over to private houses is not practical considering the fees charged by these schools, and many other factors.
Perhaps, Sri Sri Ravishankar is not aware that a noteworthy personality, one of the most brilliant minds India has,Â our ex-President APJ Abdul Kalam studied from a Government school. His argument is invalid.
Sri Sri Ravishankar issued the following clarification (as read on NDTV)
“I did not say that all government schools should be privatised. I only meant that all government schools in Naxal affected area should be privatised.” More clarification followed on his Twitter account: “I specifically referred to sick government schools in Naxal affected areas. Many who have turned to Naxalism have come from these schools. I did not say all Govt schools (where lakhs study) breed Naxalism. Great talents have emerged from these schools & I would never generalize.”