Amazing airs & graces

EducationWorld November 2019 | Postscript

A follow-up of the EducationWorld India School Rankings (EWISR) 2019-20 — the world’s largest and most extensive field survey of 12,213 sample respondents (educationists, principals, teachers, fees-paying parents and senior school students) across the country — the glittering EWISR 2019-20 Awards function in Gurgaon (Delhi NCR) was a great success. It was attended by over 1,500 edupreneurs, educationists, principals and deans of India’s Top 1,000 schools rated and ranked in three main and seven sub-categories and 14 parameters of school education excellence.

Inevitably, this celebratory event which lionises school promoters, leaders and teachers pushed around all year by the neta-babu brotherhood and the educracy of state governments, is not favoured by the brotherhood, whose policy formulation and administrative capabilities tend to be in inverse proportion to their exaggerated sense of entitlement and self-worth. However this year, Anil Swarup who recently demitted office as education secretary, government of India, accepted your editor’s invitation to grace the EWISR 2019-20 festival and confer awards on the occasion.

However, even as the star-studded event started with a brief discussion of the draft National Education Policy 2019 of the Kasturirangan Committee, and Swarup was invited to comment on its recommendations for private schools, he took umbrage and expressed indignation. According to him, your editor had “improperly” invited him to comment and he staged a walkout, threatening fire and brimstone upon hapless EW employees who rushed after him to smooth his feathers.

Later, your bewildered editor learnt that this worthy had expected to be invited on stage to deliver a lecture which was not on the crowded agenda of the event. Amazing airs and graces from a has-been bureaucrat during whose tenure learning outcomes of children in government primaries — as testified in ASER 2018 — went from bad to worse.

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