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The Education Debate: India's expert

Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
I have abstained from the education discussion because it seemed to be
covering quite wll-known matters.   Our Hawaii project twelve years ago
found it extremely difficult to find an expert on Indian education, and a
projected chapter on the subject failed to be commissioned.  However, one of
the top experts in the field was identified as Dr. Jandhilya Bal Ganghadar
Tilak of the National Institute of Educational Planning in New Delhi, whose
work I quoted in our work.    If someone inviteds him to join IPI, he will
add much light and little heat I am sure.

Subroto Roy.

-----Original Message-----
From: Tiwari, Umesh K <UKTiwari@pcgb.com>
To: 'debate@indiapolicy.org' <debate@indiapolicy.org>
Date: Saturday, February 26, 2000 10:26 AM
Subject: RE:Umesh's proposal on compulsion : Constructive engagement

>Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
>Dear Dr. Sablok,
>We have debated enough on philosophies, and our passionate arguments as to
>what each one of us think is the right prescription for education system
>reform. Our arguments in fact became little bit more heated then I would
>have liked them to be. Although such heated debates are natural outcome of
>lively participation, however, the purpose is served much better if, after
>having gone through the heated arguments, we sit back and think it over,
>may be, read again, what the other side suggested and see it from their
>perspective for a change. Nobody wins if a good constructive policy
>framework does not come out of such debates.
>As I read these and other potions of your message :
>"...Your first part of suggestions make a lot of sense, and I will
>these for the manifesto. But let us all get away from the desire toimprison
>the poor for a decision which is related to the consequences ofthe state of
>affairs of India today. Change that state of affairs and weare through!!
>Finally, I hope you will agree with me that we have to get our
> a) reform the economic system
> b) reform the governance system
> c) reform the education system
>...and THEN, if there are a vast number of poor parents who still do not
>wishto put their children to school, AND we have jailed ALL the criminals
>andcorrupt, THEN we can start imprisoning the poor. Let us be patient,
>andwork on the causes of parents not putting their children to school, NOT
>thesymptoms of disease...."
>I see your apprehensions about the poor getting hurt or thrown into a jail
>without mercy, and rather then solving a problem of illiteracy, we might
>up creating other problems for the already oppressed people.
>I am aware of these concerns, and believe me, I did give some thought to
>these issues before writing the proposal. Yes, this proposed policy is not
>going to work in the vacuum, and we do need to have a local government
>machinery (as mentioned in my assumption,and proposed in short by you in
>point b) above.
>Economic reform is a necessity that we all know. Even though I know, in a
>situation where the economic condition of the citizens  has improved , the
>education system thus proposed, is likely to work, or in fact, we might not
>even need the government too much concerned about educating the children,
>because citizens with good economic condition will know the significance of
>educating their children, and will pay their dues to support the necessary
>infrastructure, I still come down on the side of not linking economic
>as a pre-condition to education reform for the following two reasons :
>1. Who controls the economic reforms? Don't you want to have the local
>citizens to take control of their own economy?
>    How do you do that if you don't ensure that they do get educated?
>2. What happens until the economic system reforms have improved economic
>condition of the "poor"?
>As for the fear of imprisonment hanging over the poor, I think you have
>taken my proposal of enforcement out of context and selectively applied
>towards poor people, even though I have clearly proposed safeguards, which
>am repeating here :
>In my original proposal, I said :
>- A: Ensuring that every child gets enrolled in a school.
>   ...
>  2. Such an annual report must be presented to the city council, andthen
>the council decides on issues such as :
> (i) Non availability of the school infrastructure.
> (ii) Inability of a significant number of citizens to pay even the
>minimum fee ...
> (This at least partially covers poverty)
>  3. For the unresolved cases, where the village clerk and the respected
>ward member make a determination ....
>   (Please remember, here the ward member, who gets voted by none other
>the parents and their neighbors, makes the determination, while being
>assisted by the village clerk who has all the facts in front of him/her,
>whether or not the case requires making parents answerable for their
>probable failure.)
> Even this step does not directly make a case for legal action, and
>there is one more step of hearing at the office of the village attorney,
>can be expected to understand the genuine reasons for the parent's failure
>to enroll the kids for the reasons that may or may not be related to their
> One can't imagine how much good can come out of such exercises. If
>just the information goes out from the office of the village attorney or
>village council that a certain number of parents could not enroll their
>children to the school due to their poverty, you can see lot of generous
>citizens who are well off, volunteering to make donations or support such
>parents, etc.
> As for the legal measures, that's the ultimate safeguard, and just
>the existence of such a safeguard itself is enough to prevent people from
>taking children's education less seriously, and yes, it is the accepted
>that 99% of the parents do care, and do understand that education is
>important. If that is the case, then citizen's should not fear from these
>protection mechanisms, especially when they have complete local control
>through their local government, who they themselves help elect at regular
>intervals, and for that matter, I do agree that, we have to have a local
>government infrastructure first, and agree 100% if that's what you mean by
>reform on governance.
>I think we do have village panchayats in most of the places. Only a few
>minor changes in the system should set the ball rolling.
>It is hard to argue when I have to satisfy arguments that go both ways.
>I left the enforcement issues for others to work on, you came hard on the
>lack of enforcement in my proposals, saying, it should just be "requested
>education...", but when I outlined the very basic and minimum level of
>protection for the children, which, by the way, also shows ways for the
>village government to factually support their case when they ask the state
>or central government for funds to finance new schools, as well as work on
>poverty related causes to ensure education reaches every child, you decided
>to selectively apply the enforcement to the poor and attacked it as being
>too harsh.
>Why don't those who find shortcomings in this proposal, come out with their
>own thoughts and arguments and say as to how they think a universal primary
>education policy can be enforced
>1. without compromising individual freedom,
>2. protecting the rights of the children
>3. ensuring that the policies don't create more bureaucratic layers for
>corruption, and gives most of the control to the local citizens.
>4.provides some teeth to the system so that it can not be abused by those
>who care a damn about laws and do abuse their children (if you think there
>are none, then we don't have any argument about enforcement)

>This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
>Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/

This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/