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Barun is more correct



I was talking to a friend (who is on this list) who was a Deputy
Commissioner (in Rajasthan) some time ago. He told me about a village
visit of his. Summary:

a) Parents complained that the govt. teacher was never present in school,
did not teach properly when present. 

b) Teacher told that parents do not send children to school.

It was found that parents had, in their desperation (remember: I told you
that parents are CRAZY to educate their children), had started sending
their children to a completely unrecognized school which was opened by a
private - unqualified - teacher who was charging Rs.5 per month per
student.

Attendence figures: govt.school: 15. Private (illegitimate?) school: 150.
The govt. teacher wanted the Deputy Commissioner to CLOSE DOWN the private
initiative.

The govt. teacher was paid by govt. He was a post-graduate. He was not
accountable to ANYONE in the whole wide world. The pvt. teacher was
unqualified, paid by the parents, and responsible to the PARENTS. All I
have been saying is that let us accept ONLY THIS model: local initiative,
local management. Funding can be to this system. This is workable since
this is the only system that works anyway.

This is in keeping with my own experiences. Zillions of ILLEGITIMATE
"English medium" schools have popped up across the landscape of Assam,
which are run purely on private (citizen) initiative. Yet, in addition to
all these efforts, we have these thousands of crores invested into paying
the salaries of teachers who do not teach. On an average day, NONE of the
top bureaucrats/ ministers of Education are touring schools and getting
feedback. They are busy considering the transfers and postings of the
lakhs of teachers they have appointed. In fact, one my my key tasks was to
work on hundreds of high court cases which were basically lodged by
teachers against the state government. The other major task was to
investigate the huge corruption going on in the appointments of teachers
across the state at the district level. I helped nullify many bad
appointments, suspend and start investigating bad Inspectors of Schools,
and then we faced these court cases. The whole thing is a MESS.

The thousands of crores shelled out to govt. teachers as salaries are
often utilized as pocket money and 'relaxation' money (in many cases).
They often got their jobs through bribery and are least bothered about
teaching anyway. Most of them do not live in the village in which they are
supposed to teach. In MANY, MANY cases they NEVER attended the school
where they were appointed, but continued to draw salaries.  Most are
politically connected and they have strong unions which means that you can
never terminate any govt. teacher no matter how hard you try. And don't
forget the court cases which they lodge against the govt. Thousands of
crores are spent on these frivolous cases each year.

Ajay, Vikram, Utkarsh and a few others who voted for govt. production of
education: please sit back and think. At least 2 IAS officers who are
"inside" the system are now telling you the truth about the system. Give
up: give up your faith in govt. managed education. Most of India's
literacy (whatever little has been achieved so far) has been through
private effort. In Kerala it took a major role. Take a close look at
Parth's paper again. In our senseless attempt in producing education
through govt., we are WASTING very precious resources and demoralizing the
good teachers everywhere.

So much about production. Even on funding, I would like to reconsider the
'funding' formula I proposed earlier and propose a drastic cutting down of
funding of education as follows:

	primary - remote areas: 50% (matching contributions)
		  others:	25%
	
	secondary - 		25% (mostly scholarships)

	tertiary -		10% (mostly scholarships)

I think the debate on education is so important that it should continue
while we discuss infrastructure funding. I agree with Ajay that while the
major debate can be on infrastructure, we should not close this topic. I
don't think we feel a sense of closure yet, on it.

Economic liberalization has been long discussed. Educational
liberalization has been kept under the covers for too long.

SS



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