Imagine you’re a primary student. It’s just another day at school during the science hour. You are sitting with your friends discussing the exclusion of Pluto from the league of ‘planets’. Suddenly, the teacher enters and tells you "Children, tomorrow onwards you will not come to this school. You are shifted to another school. Government has given orders for shutting down this school". What would be your reaction?
Initially the students might feel that the teacher is kidding. The mischievous lot might pass comments among themselves that the teacher is perhaps not in her senses. But they will simply not believe that they will have to stop coming to their school all of a sudden and go to another school that they are not at all aware of.
But they ‘had’ to believe this. The teacher was neither kidding, nor was she out of her senses. As a result of a completely ‘out of the bag’ decision taken by the authorities, there is all likelihood of this happening in Bangalore.
The reason – Permission was given to run these schools with Kannada as the medium of instruction and these schools were running all this time with English as the medium of instruction. In other words these were termed as ‘Illegal’ schools. Whether these schools are ‘illegal’ or ‘legal’ is left to the schools and the authorities to be sorted out. What is most important right now is the purpose for which these schools were built, and that is – the students. The problem is with ‘their’ future. The kind of effect this change may have on their studies, their intellectual and all round development, their career, their life.
It is a crystallized fact that education imparted in private schools is far more advanced and far more interesting. The kind of facilities provided, the kind of personal care and attention given, the standard of education, it’s all far better than the education provided in Government schools. It’s almost like a snail competing with a hare for a sprint!
The sudden infiltration of children who were accustomed to private school education to Government schools will mean a real loss of genuine quality education that these children were receiving. This in no way seems to be a wise decision. It reminds most of us of the ‘comedy of errors’ committed by Tughlaq as he decided to shift his capital!
The entire rhythm of the children and their studies is bound to get distracted. The momentum is disturbed. To adapt to a different approach of study is not at all a piece of cake. And by ‘shifting’ them to a different study and teaching atmosphere, the children are exposed to a stressful
Much to the anger of the parents of these students, the Government has taken an untimely decision. Most of them expressed their disgust for being penalized for the failure of the department to keep a check on the blossoming of illegal schools and quite rightly so. They are bearing the effects of somebody else’s mistake.
Now, half way through the academic year, the students will be compelled to study in a totally different institution and, to add salt to the injury, in a different medium of instruction.
Hundreds of schools have been given the orders to close down which means thousands of students deprived of the quality education they were obtaining. Where will these many students go? To Government Schools? (as the Government has decided to direct them to). Why can’t the Government address issues like providing better facilities and raising the bar of the quality of education imparted in the Government Schools? That is something which needs more attention; more than tracing legal and illegal sources of education.
The writer is a student of III BA, (Journalism) at St Aloysius College, Mangalore.
Author: Abrar Khan- Mangalore