By Nupur Dogra:
In India, right to education is a fundamental right i.e. everyone should get equal access to educational facilities. Can this ever be a reality or will it remain a myth?
School life is an essential determinant in shaping one’s life, skills, personalities and future. Every child who has been to school has his/her experience of school life. But there is a huge difference amongst the experiences of students in private and government schools. As we all know that private school are expensive, they teach to earn profit, and thus because of immense competition they are motivated to work with all their potential to ensure an enriching experience to its students. For them better result means more profit. On the other hand the government schools have no such motivation or competition. The teachers, with no proper checks, and with lax attitude towards all round development of their students are only interested in their salaries. Unlike private teachers they have permanent jobs and thus, liberty to practice their own will.
Following is a close insight to school life experiences. One is my own and the other is of my servant’s daughter.
My parents got me admitted into a very prestigious school right from the very beginning while on the other hand my servant struggled to get her child admitted into a government school. The procedure of my selection included a written test and followed by an interview and then of course the donation by my parents. But the procedure of admission in a government school was altogether a different experience for my servant. When she went to government school she was told that first she will have to pay Rs. 4000, on asking “why?” as according to the law – admission to a government school should be free especially when you are a girl, she was told either to pay the money or go somewhere else. Most of the poor people refrain to spend so much on their daughter’s education, but unlike them, my servant was adamant on sending her child to school. She somehow managed Rs. 3000 and pleaded the government servants to take her child. They took Rs. 3000 and allowed the admission.
Now coming to the school life, I remember my school for all the school trips, the iced tea in my canteen, my supportive, protective and encouraging teachers and of course my friends.
When I asked Seema (my servant’s daughter) to share some of her memories, she told me how once she got badly injured when she sat on the chair which had nails coming out, that her teacher used to love the tea made by her, and she was always the one who was sent to make tea for her, while of course the class was going on. She told me how one of her teachers cut her hair short because they were not properly braided. She told me about all the different kinds of punishments she used to get for either long nails or petty things. She told me she was asked to take 30 rounds of the huge playground in scorching heat of July, because she had once refused to make tea for her teacher. I remember once my sports teacher told me to take 20 rounds of the ground in winters, because I had bunked a period, after 10 rounds I told him “Sir! Brutal and physical punishments are banned and if something happened my parents can file a case against you” and simply walked back to my class without any further explanations or permission.
All in all, I remember my school for all the good things and Seema remembers hers for all the terrifying, horrific experiences. She is a 10th standard dropout, she left the school because one of her male teacher tried to sexually molest her, but she was lucky enough to evade it at the right time. She never went back to school after that and has pledged that she would never send her future children to a government school. Unfortunately, this is the harsh reality of our government schools today. Perfect example of how a well motivated and determined mother got discouraged from sending her daughter to school. It’s high time our government comes to strict terms with the teachers and administrators of their schools. Only continuous supervision from a trustworthy and loyal authority can set them right. Also, encouraging and motivating workshops should be organised for teachers. The teachers should be rewarded for better performance to enhance performance and build some competition among themselves. The current system is doing nothing but further widening the gap between the rich and the poor.
What do you think? Drop your views in the comments section below.