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Prof. Asher's points.



On Mon, 21 Sep 1998 ecsasher@nus.edu.sg wrote:

> While there are many abuses in the system, thinking that NGO based system is
> a solution may overlook the fact that unless social-poltical coalitions
> and/or their self interest(brought about by demands for greater
> accountabilty and transparency, particularly from the middle classes)
> changing the form may not bring about as much of a change as one may think.

Well: the system we have proposed so far is very sketchy. The incentives
have to be further refined to ensure that the participants perform
optimally. But I would dare suggest that its form is actually going to
make a difference. By officially handing over ALL responsibility for
appointing and retaining their teachers to the people, we are making a
statement whose purport cannot go unnoticed.
 
> Also, decentralised solutions are likely to be more efficient in the Indian
> case. So setting one type of arrangement as THE model may not be entirely
> appropriate.Question of what the education is for also needs to be
> addressed. In general, changes will be increamental, and not radical in the
> Indian case.

Decentralization can mean a variety in language, syllabus, etc. But
perhaps not in form. I as a taxpayer want to see my funds used properly.
The best possible system to do that must be selected. Either it could be a
corporation, or a cooperative, or a society. Perhaps the last is the most
appropriate. 

About radical change vs. incremental one. Big bang therapy has generally
proved more valuable (Polish case). But without building institutions we
might fail in a nation the size of India. So, the manifesto is only a very
very preliminary first step. Acceptance of these ideas will take years,
implementing will take more. So it will turn out to be incremental,
automatically. 

SS


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