Yesterday I told you that we sometimes have to deny a child admission to our school for ‘not being poor enough’ although we know that the parents are, by no means, rich people. I mentioned that I would like to finish the need for making this distinction between ‘poor’ and ‘not so very poor’. My wishes go a step further however: I would actually like to completely finish the distinction according to financial status! I want complete equality in education, no matter for whom!
Unfortunately, in India education is not equal for everyone. In many western countries that I have travelled to and especially in Germany, I have been to schools which were run by the government and where children of all social levels were learning together. There can also be private schools where very rich people send their children into expensive care that includes boarding – but even if you don’t have any money, your child will not only have the right to go to school but is by law required to go! And every child will go to a school where he or she gets a good quality of education, no matter how much the parents earn. They are equal, sitting in the same row of benches and learning from the same teacher!
In India, this is a faraway dream. Here, only those children get good education whose parents earn well. If someone’s parents are illiterate, they on one hand don’t give importance to education because they themselves never needed it. On the other hand, if they actually do feel like sending their child to school, their only chance is a state school or a very cheap, private one. The result: low quality of education to no education at all!
In villages, the situation of state schools is so bad that they are only running on documents and teachers come twice a year to collect their money. I told you once about a village where the school building was used as a house for cattle! This all is happening in front of everyone’s eyes and everyone knows that corruption is the evil force in this. So why should parents send their children to school in such circumstances?
In India, only children of those parents can reach far who have enough money. In our country, the first thing is corruption and the second thing is the big business that people have made out of education! Government schools don’t work due to corruption and big people saw an opportunity for business: they started an industry and opened education malls. You can choose between different levels of education according to your pocket. Even within one brand, you can choose your level of facilities and education to match how much you can afford!
To be very clear, even a child with a brilliant mind has no chance to get good education if his parents cannot pay! You only have an average amount of money? You only get an average quality of education!
I know the pain of such parents, too. They are middle class mothers and fathers who know that their child is intelligent and are ready to work hard and even take loans for the education of their son or daughter – but they still have to make a compromise with the quality of education they would like to have. It is simply too expensive!
Once I told you how a couple came by car to our school to admit their children. We politely denied because they could obviously afford school fees at a private school. Looking at the disappointment in the parents’ faces however, we could understand their pain: they could not pay the fees for a school as good as ours. So their only fault was that they earned a bit too much money for coming to our school!
Children are not equal in this country where education has become a victim of corruption and business moguls. This is something that I want to see a change in! And I will work towards that! How? That you will read in tomorrow’s blog post!