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RE:Patient wait for the laws



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http://www.indiapolicy.org/lists/india_policy/2000/Jan/msg00148.html

I don't think we are very far apart if :

You are not opposed to government funding, but would like to rather give
control of the schools in the hands of parents. 

Where we differ a little bit is asking the government to pay for the schools
that would be run by NGOs, if I understood you correctly. I don't dispute
the merit of the idea, where I have doubts is on the difficulty of
implementing such an idea, and the new avenues of corruption and favoritism
it is likely to create, as to which of the NGOs can be granted government
funds etc. (if there is any funds with the government to spend in education,
and I am sure you being more closer to the government machinery can speak
better on this part). 

My ideas are not mere rhetoric's about "rights" and "compulsions" or demand
and supply because the problem of illiteracy in India is obviously much more
complicated then that. Let me explain my point and then I will try one more
time to put together what in my opinion can be a simple yet tested model to
follow. We as a nation are yet to become a mature democracy in terms of
really making all of our citizens understand that they do have rights. Lot
of our people just don't know that they have some rights too. It is for
those of us, and I am sure there are millions of us, who do care to believe
strongly that there is a "NEED" for every child in India to get educated, we
ought to work towards creating an atmosphere where people express their
NEED. In an ideal world, that would simply translate into "DEMAND" but
that's not happening because, I believe citizens don't believe that they
have a right to "DEMAND" the means to obtain primary education for every
child, or else there certainly would be one. 

The facts are not in dispute that the "SUPPLY" of just namesake schools let
alone quality schools that would impart primary education for every child in
India is simply not there, at least that is true for good 40% of Indian
children. In such a situation, and if anything we are talking here has any
practical relevance to the children of India, the policies, and their
implementations must result into 

* encouraging citizens to express their needs, and therefore DEMAND the
minimum means, the school, the teachers, and necessary infrastructure to
ensure every child in India gets at least the primary education.
* force governments, local as well as at all levels, to SUPPLY the
infrastructure. The later would not only require genuine willingness and
activism on the part of elected representatives of the people, but also a
definite, and significant financial commitment from the citizens to bring
about such an infrastructure in their community. If we talk loosely about
giving money to the NGOs or making education a voluntary exercise without
asking for the accountability to pay for what services the citizens get,
then we are not doing anything other then paying lip service and protecting

the status quo, and in some ways, even asking the government to be the sole
distributor of wealth much like a communist system. 

In my proposal, and you can refer back my earlier column, because I am not
changing it at all :

1. Local citizens must pay a certain percentage of their primary home value
as local school tax to the local city government. 
2. The local citizens and their local elected representatives must control
the affairs of the local public school.
3. The State and Federal administration must pay the difference between what
can be raised as local taxes in the city and what actually required to fund
the minimum amount of infrastructure for the primary public school. 
4. City administration must match the record of every child of school going
age in town with the school admission records of all of the private schools
or the public school to ensure that every child does get primary education,
or else make the parents accountable for the same. PLEASE REMEMBER: PRIMARY
EDUCATION OUGHT TO BE THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD AND NOT THE PRIVILEGE OF The
PARENT'S MERCY. If a child doesn't get the primary education, then it is a
collective failure of the system, the parents and the nation. 
5. After having paid their dues, the taxes, every citizen must have the
rights to DEMAND that appropriate infrastructure be made available locally
in order to allow their children to obtain primary education. 

You have to make laws very clear and make them public so that everyone
understands them clearly. The laws don't have to be too complicated, and you
won't have to worry about its implementation, because just like you say,
most parents are concerned about providing good education to their children,
and such simple regulations will help them get somewhere at last!

Hope this helps. 


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