Millennium Post

We do want our education

It’s that time of the year again. When snaking queues for forms in front of schools inform that it’s admission season again. A nursery school in Delhi offering 368 seats have already received 578 registrations. Another has got 280 applications for 132 seats. With online registrations offering som relief to frenzied parents this year, one school has received 1,745 online registrations for 368 seats. And the time to book your registration is by no means over. So more applications will flow in, before schools close their gates and the process of scrutiny begins.

While the rush for education is by all means praiseworthy such competition to get a toddler to nursery school is mind-boggling. The competition also takes its toll, not just on parents (who are also interviewed before their child is allowed entry to nursery school), but the children, who from this young age are pushed by their parents to perform in the test, so as to secure their seat in the school. And if they fail to get their place in the most-coveted school, it is collective mourning for the family, with the toddler experiencing his first feeling of inferiority, a feeling that will compound with every step that he takes into the adult world, culminating with the rush to secure over 90 per cent marks to guarantee his admission in a college that will guarantee him job placement in a good company.

But parents alone cannot be blamed for this problem. Paucity of schools is one reason for the competition, and this paucity continues with the years, paucity of institutes of higher education, paucity of jobs, the infrastructure simply fails to keep up with the population, resulting in the extreme competition. The policy of giving maximum weightage to those from the neighbourhood is a good move. Quality of education and opportunities offered at schools should be made uniform so that there is no rush to get children admitted to any particular school. The number of schools should increase, with the gap in infrastructure between private and government schools narrowed. The education system too needs to be reviewed. Free books and other benefits meant for students should reach them. And quality of education made top priority.
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