Sunday, January 26, 2014

Good nursery education needs a lot of money.. Really?

There is something interesting happening in Delhi which relates to our toddlers. The news is that on the issue of nursery admissions Delhi government and School management are at loggerheads. Sometimes in Dec 2013 Delhi government announced new guidelines for nursery admissions. And ever since TV debates, court petitions are happening and parents are waiting for the final outcome.

In short the issue is that the school management is not happy with the abolishing ofmanagement quota and excessive weightage given to local factor. I have gone through many such news reports but could not find clearly understand why? What I sense is this - these two guidelines take away advantages which some of the premium, private and unaided schools have so far enjoyed. In plain terms they will not be able to make as much money as they used to before.

That brings us to the pertinent (though bit philosophical) question – why do schools exist in first place? Schools are institutions which have been entrusted to get our young ones on the right path in life. Indeed it is very important task and that is why parents go for the best education they can afford (sometimes even if they cannot afford). I can understand resentment from schools if something stops them from imparting best education. But that does not seem to be their prime concern – they are disturbed because now there will be greater scrutiny and transparency but less chances of making money. 

A classic argument suggests that if schools make more money they will be able to provide better education. But there is not data in public domain that confirms it. Actually some of the govt schools still impart best education and I know that they do not make that much money.

Now coming to my final point – I believe educational institutes today (leaving few good ones out) are being run purely as business i.e. their main aim is to make as much money as possible. Actually they come up with some very innovative schemes to extract more money from parents (more on them in a later post). With school management looking at those cute children as revenue streams, I doubt if they are passionate about the giving the best value system to children.

Unfortunately the same mentality is driving our higher education setup as well. Experiment that is happening in Delhi is likely to have far reaching effect across the country.

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