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Recent education sector reforms in India- for whose benefit?
The year 2009 saw two major reforms in education sector.The first one was the announcement by the government to abolish compulsory CBSE Board exams for Class X from 2010-11 session and introduction of grading system from current year. The second one was t
THE YEAR 2009 saw two major reforms in education sector. One of the so called “finest mind” of India, Union Minister Kapil Sibal  was in the lime light during the year 2009. The first one was the announcement by the government to abolish compulsory CBSE Board exams for Class X from 2010-11 session and introduction of grading system from current year.

 
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The second one was the passage of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill, which was hanging for last four years. As usual we say, the landmark Act provides for free and compulsory education as a fundamental right of children in the 6-14 age group.
 
The first reform was made to reduce the examination stress of students. The influencing factor most probably is the statistics of different reports which indicates toll of student during or after annual examinations.



According to the National Crime Record Bureau, students try to commit suicide every 90 minutes across the country. During 2006-07, 5,857 students committed suicide. A study by a magazine found that approximately 4,000 students commit is exam-related suicide in India each year. So this challenged the government to play with the capabilities of other students. Life is a competition and the fittest survives always.



Those who are unable to fight a small problem can hardly contribute in any field. The suicides happen not because of the examination but because of the fear of not meeting the family’s or parents’ expectation in most of the cases.



At a point when a country like USA is asking its own children to be like the students of India and China, in regard to knowledge, our government’s decision is nothing short of playing with the development of Capabilities of the people.



Those who are welcoming this decision are unable to see the grim future of this country. The poorly educated citizens can not build a great nation. On the other hand it will help the teacher to clean their hands with poor performance. Rather the government would have to think of different solutions for this, there are so many other options. We can prepare the parents not to expect too much for children, we can change the syllabus, not necessary for all to read the same subjects, we can allow the children to select their own subject- it may be arts, dance, music, vocational trade or the general education. But whatever they choose they have to justify that they are really capable of utilizing the acquired knowledge.


Coming to the second reform I would like to say policies only can not help to bring the solution to any sort of issue- policy needs to come into practice-it needs to be implemented properly. Let us see some pictures of the country in the field of education; as per one statistical survey, 82 per cent of children belonging to the age group of 6-10 years and 74 per cent belonging to the age group of 11-14 years children are in school (Source- MICS2000).



So, on the other hand around 20 per cent children of both these age groups are not going to school. If we will discuss about the learning level of the children those who are going to school then the situation looks quite grim. As per the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2007, from among the students of class III academic year, only 50 per cent children can read a class I textbook and from the students of class IV academic year only 40 per cent children can read a class II textbook.



While the proportion of children who can read class I textbook reaches 80 per cent by the middle of class V, it takes 80 per cent children of class VII to reach the middle of the academic year to be able to read a class II textbook. This is the average Indian situation. So what the difference the government will bring in the life of the children after passing the bill is a major concern for me.
 
After completion of formal schooling what the poor children will do, that is another serious question for me. The urban parents prefer to send their children to public schools and running private schools is a very big business in this great country.



Again all the professional courses are sold at a good price in Indian market also. I do not think it is possible for the rural people and more particularly for the tribal of this country to buy a professional course whose children are yet to get quality primary education. The distance between the two classes of this country is increasing, and I would strongly say to hide this class distinction these politicians are playing with the caste and the best policy they have used is the caste based reservation.



The 64th Independence Day is approaching within another 7 months and till now this reservation system has not changed the fate of the reserved groups. Because those who have received the benefit from this system, most of them have joined the class fight with unconsciousness. I say this reservation system is also a challenge to the capabilities of the reserved group. The Indian government does not see them as intelligent and having potential. That means it does not respect its own people.
 
A nation’s growth and development fully depends upon the capabilities of its people. But more or less the Indian government has tried to close the door for improving the capacity of the people. The welfare nature of the government has made millions of people dependant, for me this is the nasty way of politics. We do not try to realize the potential of our people rather try to feed them making them incapable of doing anything, except casting vote. This also helps the politicians and other government servants to earn a lot.



The irony is that though the government employees are called government servants but they treat poor people like animals in most of the cases. There are thousand examples like this and I think very few will disagree with me on this. I say to develop our county we need intelligent and capable citizens and education is the most important medium for this.  I would urge the government not to put politics at least in education sector or else it will ruin the future of this great country.


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