Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Will privatisation of education solve all our problems?

Ask anyone, literally anyone, on what they think of the Indian education system, and each one will have an opinion (no seriously, try it). The system is failing, teachers are to blame, politicians should focus more on education, the infrastructure is lacking and what not. Fix all this, and you’ll solve for education. 

That’s a general perception. 
But is it really that simple?
In the last 10 years, government schools, which promise free education for all children till the age of 14, have seen the migration of 13 million students to fee-charging private schools. 40% of all children today, a study in a private school. 

In the midst of several initiatives such as Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, where India invests ~4.41 lakh crore rupees to improve the access and quality of education in government schools in India, will complete privatisation of education solve all our problems? 

While private schools are aggregately (ranging from a top class elite private school to affordable private schools) doing better than government schools, are they really doing good? Do private schools really offer a better value for money and a ‘good’ education, as perceived by millions of parents? Do we even know what ‘good’ schooling means? 

In this episode of EI Dialogues, we talked to Amitav Virmani, Founder CEO of The Education Alliance, who asks the same questions. Amitav is an Economics major from St. Stephens College, Delhi. After getting his MBA degree from the University of North Carolina, he returned to India. After four years of working as the Country Director of ARK, he founded The Educational Alliance (TEA). Amitav currently also sits on the board of the Central Square Foundation and is a 2010 Aspen Fellow and a 2015 Ashoka Fellow.

Amitav talks to us about what is really meant by good quality education, how his organisation is creating effective partnerships by connecting governments with non-profits to leverage the strengths of both, and how they are creating a layer of accountability within the system for getting children into schools, improve teacher attendance, and more importantly, make sure that the students are learning. 

Is the need of the hour to shift the debate from government vs private to that of good vs bad quality education? 

As always, we would love to hear what you think about this, and ways to make EI Dialogues better through this feedback form: https://forms.gle/vtfquBD1ZQrjqa8w9  

Please do write to us on what you thought of the episode, and share it in your networks!

Ritesh Agarwal 

1 comment:

  1. very relevant to our present day education scenario.... we need quality consciousness!!


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