Topping in enrolment in private schools Dubious distinction


Dubious distinction it is. That is to be named as the State with the highest percentage of students enrolled in private schools. This reflects a reality for which there could be many reasons. For one it could mean that the people here in Manipur are comparatively well placed so much so that numerous parents can afford to send their children to private schools, where the expenses are comparatively much higher than Government schools. Another reality is the fact that parents are ready to invest in the education of their children, even to the extent of sacrificing their financial security so that their children do not have a problem when they come of age to enter the job market, where the competition can be tough, very tough. These points are on the brighter side and look at the other way round and it paints all the Government schools in a very poor light. Such a reality is also a reflection of the fact that most of the parents do not want to gamble with the future of their children and are willing to walk the extra mile to ensure that their children get what education should be all about. Hence the priority of getting their children admitted to private schools, most notably Mission schools. In fact such is the harsh reality that even parents who are otherwise employed as teachers in Government schools prefer to send their children to private schools. It is also the same case when it comes to the policy makers of the State. Many, most notably the policy makers, have talked about the need to improve the Government run schools, but ironically all the champions of Government schools prefer to send their children to private schools !
This is where the disconnect becomes palpably clear. So on one hand parents are forced to send their children to private schools for it is thought to be more competitive and more sincere in educating their youngsters, while on the other hand, no parents would want their children to land up as teachers in private schools. A situation where young students are sent to private schools in the hope of getting the best for them and on the other hand, a situation wherein no one would want their children to become teachers in private schools. This is a point which has been touched many times in this column and one primary reason why no parent or elder of the family would want their children to become teachers in private schools basically rests on the fact that private school teachers are paid a pittance. Produce the best but get paid peanuts for the efforts is the unwritten clause. Inevitably this means that private school teachers are more interested in giving private tuitions which supplement the income they get as salaries. The brunt is obviously borne by parents and guardians of the young students but this is a point which does not seem to have registered in the consciousness of the people who matter. Apart from the high school fees parents have to fork out, they also have to bear the expenses of sending their children to private tuitions. Highest percentage of students enrolled in private schools in the country and while this says so many things simultaneously, it is time that some thoughts are also given to the teachers who have been moulding and producing the best students down the years.

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