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MLAs and MPs should send their children to govt schools: Sonam Wangchuk

30 July 2019    |    63 Views

Noting that equitable education can be achieved by strengthening government schools, educationist Sonam Wangchuk Monday suggested making it mandatory for children of public representatives to study in these schools.

Wangchuk, director of the Himalayan Institute of Alternatives and the inspiration for popular Bollywood film 3 Idiots, was speaking at a one-day conference on ‘Education for Equity and Social Responsibility’. Earlier in the day, he — along with the education minister of Odisha — had visited an East Delhi government school where a ‘happiness festival’ is being held.

“I have travelled to many countries but if we talk of equity, I have not seen any country as unfair in its education than ours… It’s a country where 5-10% children study in such schools which are probably far ahead of schools in US. Around 90% schools are worse than those in sub-Saharan Africa,” he said.

Calling the binary of public and private education the biggest shortcoming of education in India, Wangchuk said, “If everybody’s children study in government schools, then there would be far more attention… A lot of times we hear that nothing good can happen in government schools. The reason nothing can happen is that the children of those who have a voice do not study in them… As long as the clientele are not those who can demand greater quality, there will be no one to give it either.”

Suggesting a policy intervention in this direction, he suggested that the children of public representatives should study in government schools. “We can’t force everybody to do so. But there should be a policy for those who are public representatives — like MLAs and MPs — to use the services which they claim that they are giving others… I can guarantee that in five years, their children will not suffer, and instead everyone’s children will improve… teachers will be sent for training, books will be improved…,” he said.

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