Friday, February 20, 2009

Something bullish to cheer you up

At the young age children, particularly the poor children struggle to face life on daily basis for everything. 

The recent PROBE survey report that:

  • Aggravating the situation is the fact that teachers often come late and leave early. Even when they are present, they are not necessarily teaching. In half of the sample schools, there was no teaching activity at all when the investigators arrived – in 1996 as well as in 2006. 
  • Even in the active classrooms, pupil achievements were very poor. Teaching methods are dominated by mindless rote learning, for example, chanting endless mathematical tables or reciting without comprehension. It is therefore not surprising that children learn little in most schools. For instance, we found that barely half of the children in Classes 4 and 5 could do single digit multiplication, or a simple division by 5”.

Since the authors are determined socialist, so there is no surprise to heard the like this: 

  • The quality of private schools varies a great deal, and the ’cheaper’ ones (those that are accessible to poor families) are not very different from government schools. Their success in attracting children is not always a reflection of better teaching standards; some of them also take advantage of the ignorance of parents, for example, with misleading claims of being "English medium." Further, a privatised schooling system is inherently inequitable, as schooling opportunities depend on one’s ability to pay. It also puts girls at a disadvantage: boys accounted for 74 per cent of all children enrolled in private schools in the 2006 survey (compared with 51 per cent of children enrolled in government schools). Private schooling therefore defeats one of the main purposes of ’universal elementary education’ – breaking the old barriers of class, caste, and gender in Indian society.

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