Friday, October 12, 2007

Becoming literate more expensive than becoming a doctor?

India's Education tragedy continues.
Families in India have to spend a considerable amount on the primary school education of their children, making the fundamental right to basic education a distant dream, according to a recent UNESCO report. In contrast, university education remains subsidised and costs just half of the primary school spending.
Take a deep breath, and read that again: going to School is twice as expensive as going to University. This when a University education can pay for itself
(by making you qualified for more skileld jobs)and hence be rendered as a fee-for-service.

And Arjun Singh wants to continue meddling with the IITs and the IIMs.
Of course, we all know why -- seats at these schools are a powerful tool for political patronage.

In contrast, making functional primary education requires real work -- as you need to create millions of them to educate the hundreds of millions of Indian Children.

When the Government, despite focusing on Uiversities like a hawk, has still failed to create enough capacity, can it, by any stretch of imagination, ever provide enough Primary Education?

Education in India is the largest remaining bastion of the License Raj, propped up by rabidly discriminatory laws like Article 30 and surrounded by an impressive ring of lies, half truths and emotionally wrenching but factually empty statements (Private education will be too expensive. Education is too important to be given to the rapacious private sector. Private companies will fleece the poor etc. etc.).

This bastion must fall, for India to get anywhere. Otherwise, no amount of hand-wringing, staring at the demographic bulge, exhorting Indian businesses and companies or calling for innovation is going to help.

I despair.