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Fw: Completely misguided arguments on compulsory education



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From: Enakshi Ganguly Thukral / Kishore Thukral <thukral@del3.vsnl.net.in>
To: owner-india_policy@cinenet.net

The arguments in this debate are horrifying to say the least. To even think
that making education compulsory is "futile" is being myopic. That all these
people are being able to express their opinion by accessing this very medium
is because they had access to the education that had been compulsorily
thrust upon them at an age when they had little or no say over their lives.
But it serves the middle class purpose to keep education to a limited few.
After all knowledge is power and with literacy will come the need to access
information- first hand. That will mean that the poor and the illiterate
will no longer need "someone" to help them gain and understand information
(also read- filter information). Besides where will the legions of unskilled
labour then come from, ones who can be made work without minimum wages, poor
working conditions -at construction sites, hotels/dhabas, as coolies and
head loaders and most importantly as domestic help while we can sit and
indulge in em conferences using the very access to education we deny to
others! It is not for nothing that our "rulers" of free India have not shown
the political will to ensure education for all- after all how else do we
continue to be the largest illiterate democracy in the world.

There is no doubt that to be effective, education has to be available,
accessible (physically and socially), relevant and affordable. But these are
issues of implementation, once the intent and will is there. Also it needs
to be clarified here-compulsory means that it is compulsory on the state to
provide Universal elementary education for all and not on the parents at
this stage. "Quality" issues are crucial -but can be dealt with once the
basic accessible and affordable system is in place.

If we are talking of Right to equal Opportunity we are also talking of a
Common School system and a basic education that is available to all.

Enakshi Ganguly Thukral



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