Public schools need govt support to ensure quality education, say experts

Any change in government policy leads to increase in fee

Government’s support is essential for public schools to continue giving quality education rather than being forced to shut down when Delhi’s population is increasing per year, said educationists on the sidelines of an event in Delhi on Sunday.

“For quality education we need government’s support. We will need to educate the residents of the Capital to move forward like developed countries such as the United States have. Their focus has always been on education,” said K L Luthra, general secretary, action committee of unaided recognised private schools at the event organised by an education portal.

Matin Ahmed, vice chairman of Delhi Jal Board, echoed similar views.

Need basic infrastructure

Others highlighted that with several government schools lacking basic infrastructure and teachers to impart education, public schools need encouragement as they aim at providing “low-cost quality education.”  “We are not challenging any rules or acts but we need to ensure that every school is given a chance to grow within the education framework,” said R C Jain, president of the Delhi State Public Schools Management Association. He said the new Central Board Secondary Education (CBSE) rule of schools getting accreditation in every three years is not justified as the board has not asked government schools to do the same.

Khagesh Jha, lawyer and RTE campaigner pointed out that parents face maximum number of issues. 

Increase in school fee

“Any change in government policies leads to increase in school fees which is borne by the parents,” he said. 

“Also, when we see the problems faced by public schools it is important to note that greedy management members are responsible for a school’s downfall,” he added. 

Some experts pointed out that in the locality where the Delhi education minister resides, close to eight public schools have closed down, including Navyug Anglo Public School, Bal Vikas Public School and Adarsh Public School.

There are over 2,000 schools in Delhi which are not recognised or registered and are operational in slum and backward areas. 

They now face the threat of closure as they do not meet the recently declared Right to Education (RTE) Act norms of having a playground, required number of classrooms, teachers’ salaries in accordance with the sixth pay commission among others.

“With just 1,950 registered private schools how will Delhi educate the existing and migrating population? We need to encourage all kinds of schools to co-exist for providing better education,” said Ravi Sharma, an advocate and owner of a budget private school near Yamuna Bank.

Experts also noted that though there are 973 government schools running in Delhi, there are only 500 buildings running these schools as many are being run on double shifts. 

The most prominent issue is with city’s obsession with getting their child’s admission in the most sought-after schools, said some educationists. 

“Nearly 1,500 public schools wait for children to take admission and are wasting their resources. We need to send children to nearby public schools also,” said Harikant Tyagi, an educationist.

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