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A good education empowers our children, making them strong enough to look after themselves in any given situation. A large role in delivering the education is played by our educational institutions, the temples of learning. However, the equilibrium between the demand and supply of private schools has been largely disturbed in Delhi, leaving a huge gap between parents’ aspirations and availability of seats due to government’s failure to open new schools.
The Delhi School Education Act and Rules 1973 made a distinction between Government Schools, Government-aided Schools and Unaided Private Schools. As a result of this, the Managing Committees of aided schools lost the autonomy they once enjoyed. This reduced their control over the staff because the selection of the staff was now required to be based on internal promotion or on the lists of candidates sponsored by the Employment Exchange. This reduced the chances of recruiting specially-identified Principals and teachers who could maintain the high standards for which the schools had once received acclaim. Another contentious feature of the prevailing Delhi School Education Act is that all schools need to pay salaries to teachers in tune with government scales. But there is a huge difference in fees, in certain cases as high as 200% between the low end and high end schools. It would not be fair to expect all schools to adopt the government scales as compliance exists only on paper but in reality teachers are paid less. Further, there is a need for 1,400 teachers in primary schools, but for the past two years there hasn't been any recruitment in this regard. The Right to Education Act says the student-teacher ratio cannot be more than 40 to 1, but as the blame game continues, the future of lakhs of students remain at stake.
The Right to Education Act
The total number of schools in Delhi is around 5,500. And if we look at the fees, we are bound to get shocked. Most of the nursery schools in Delhi charge more than IITs. The Hindu recently quoted that the RTE Act of India comprised more of wrongs than rights. Firstly, we can’t deny the fact that amount and quality of education given to both the rich kids and the poor kids are the same (in the elementary level). But, what would be the fate of the economical weaker kids once they finish their elementary education? The tuition fee itself is more than the annual income of their parents. Children are forced to quit such schools and get back to unrecognized schools. Though the RTE Act has been passed, it is not being implemented with sincerity. One reason for this is utter negligence on part of the government because the flawed point system restricts admissions to only those children who fall under some criteria. And children from rich families are very much unfortunate. Because of this, many students who are interested in studies end up with no admissions.
According to a survey done by Samajik Suvidha Sangam Society under the aegis of the Delhi government, New Delhi has 2.42 lakh children out of school. Only 71% of Delhi’s children attend school against the national figure of 94.5%. The educational disparity between the rich and the poor in Delhi can be judged from another finding of the survey which found that only 4.7% of the people in slums clusters were graduates. Only about 20% were found to have completed elementary education, 15.2 % primary and only 7.9% higher secondary.
The other major problem demanding urgent action is land allotment for educational institutions. Over 270 schools in Delhi were given the lands at throwaway prices with a condition that schools must admit children from the economically weaker sections of the society. The schools, however, have failed to adhere to this condition. Hence, the Delhi government began to pressurize such schools to get admission for poor children also. The government also specified its orders by stating that children from families whose annual income is below 48,000 should be given both free admission and free education in the schools. However, the statement is applicable only for class 11 students. The government has stopped negotiating into the matter any further, and the schools have come back to their ruthless practice.
2,28,000 students have appeared from CBSE Delhi and 85.40% had passed out but Delhi University has capacity to accommodate only 54,000 students. The OBC & SC/ST seats totalling more than 26,000 are filled by students from outside Delhi as Delhi doesn’t have many candidates from these categories. Out of the balance 29,270 seats, 60% are filled by students from outside leaving mere 11 thousand seats for 2,28,000 students who have appeared from CBSE Delhi. Due to non-availability of seats in DU, local students are forced to study outside Delhi and live in small PG accommodations shelling out exorbitant fees, sometimes as high as 200% of DU fee. In the last 13 years, not a single new college has been established in Delhi. Every state has established a university of its own to cater to their respective population. But Delhi University does not give any preference to Delhi students.
Today approximately 60% students are from outside the states. There are universities in the national capital that cater only to Delhi students such as Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi Technological University (formerly Delhi College of Engineering, Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology and Ambedkar University. However, the catch is that these institutions offer specialized courses like Engineering, MBA, BBA or Mass Communication whereas students seeking admissions in B.A., B.Com (Hons.) end up applying in DU where no preference is given to Delhi based students.
Every year, the university has to perforce turn away many aspiring students and is unable to meet the needs of the growing young population of Delhi. Notwithstanding the presence of five universities, the demand is far outstretching the availability of educational opportunities, as the admission rush in the University of Delhi every summer will testify.
The overall theme of growth with quality has to be kept in mind and a number of concomitant steps must be taken for improving the quality of education in Delhi Government's technical, professional and higher education institutions. These steps include granting functional autonomy to institutions, wherever possible, and taking steps to encourage renowned academics and professionals to join the Delhi's educational institutions. Professional courses should be industry oriented and practice based. For this to happen, all professional bodies /industrial associations should prepare generalized competency profile for different vocations/sectors of employment and based on this, curricula at different levels should be developed.
AICTE/Government may stop further mushrooming andcommercialization of professional institutions in the conventional disciplines and allow the system to stabilize with specific reference to making available right type of faculty in the technical/professional institutions. There is also a need to promote entrepreneurial development in the field of technical education.
Academicians should be encouraged for collaborative research andthey should do consulting and help build competencies.
- A 2 to 4 % relaxation in admission to students passing out of Delhi Boards
- There is urgent need to envision and plan the opening up of new colleges near to specific localities. It is suggested to open 15 new colleges immediately for East, West and Dwarka Campuses of Delhi University in addition to the existing North and South Campus.
- An online university can be opened to provide online education
- Extendizng reach of existing prestigious institutions in Delhi(some famous /popular colleges, etc) to other states by these institutions opening up their establishments there (based on model of IIMC) so that students from other students don't have to come here in large numbers, instead they can study there in these institutions This will create more opportunities for Delhi students.
- Opening up more medical, engineering and other professional colleges in PPP Model.
- Using CSR initiatives to pool in resources of private sector.
- Linking higher education institutes in Delhi with prestigious m universities such as Harvard and LSE.
- The Global Fellowship Programme needs to be initiated for Visiting Faculty from Universities of other countries for Research Oriented Inter-University Programmes on the subjects like Environmental Engineering, Disaster Management and Transportation & Traffic Engineering etc.
- Facilitating opening up of campuses of world class universities and institutions in Delhi so that students don't have to go abroad.
- Streamlining Distance Education and linking it with global institutions.Increase in Technical Education opportunities, in the public and private institutions.
ENABLING AND FACILITATING HIGHER EDUCATION
The role of any government must also be to enable and facilitate not only access to education but also the education process itself. In this regard too, the Congress government has shown lack of vision and planning. It is imperative that some key steps be taken.
These include the following:
- Creation and extension of hostel facilities
- Making campuses and colleges more safe for students, especially women students
- More U-Specials and concession on metro travel of at least 10 per cent for all college students
- Linking Skill Development and employment with Higher Education
- Support to students from weaker sections:
- Empowerment of economically weaker sections has been a priority for the BJP since long.
We find a number of Plan schemes and programmes being implemented for the welfare of SC / ST students. But there is no provision in these plan schemes for providing scholarships to students of economically weaker sections. It is the demand of the time to make a provision to provide financial assistance to students of weaker sections in order to enable them to pursue higher education courses. The assistance to economically weaker section students may be given on merit-cummeans basis, out of those who are desirous to pursue higher education.
The students of economically weaker sections can also enhance their skills and capabilities for ensuring the rapid economic development and integration in the national main stream. The students who could not seek admission in higher education / Colleges due to high level of admission fee will be benefited by this scheme.
Education, as perceived by the lower strata of the society is neither a status symbol nor a passport for going abroad. It's simply a way to mpower one to earn money. That circumscribes the whole gist of it. And the very element of vocational training, quality and the tool to empower one to earn money is missing.
A concerted political will and commitment is required to deliver the state's promises to its people of access to education and empowerment leading to a better quality of life. The need of the hour is to upgrade the Higher Education system to train the increasing proportion of young population so India can truly realise the prophesised 'Demographic Dividend', and nowhere is this more evident than in Delhi, where thousands are being denied admission to colleges in their hometown.
I was pleased to see your reply. You are the first politician who care what his supporter wants and reply in a very humble manner. It's very praise worthy. My all best wishes for upcoming election. It's a changing moment of history.
Sir, it's a request to you kindly raise the issue of unalloted plots to DDA Rohini 1981 scheme. We are waiting for it for 33 years as well as 25000 families are waiting too but DDA has given just paper assurance. Kindly look into the matter sir.