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Massification danger

EducationWorld September 2019 | Mailbox

Thanks for your cover story ‘Unsung contribution of India’s private chain schools’ (EW August).

The country’s top K-12 education chains need to be commended for providing standardised, acceptable quality education at affordable prices to India’s growing middle class, especially in small-town India.

However, on the downside they have massified school education and popularised one-size-fits-all curriculums and pedagogies. In the long run, this could result in factory-style production of school-leavers.

Sarah Samuel
Bangalore

Timely warning

Your cover story ‘Unsung contribution of India’s private chain schools’ (EW August) is a timely warning to middle class parents.

As you have rightly argued, government regulation of tuition fees of private unaided schools is going to backfire sooner or later.With inflation steadily rising, school managements are unable to cope with increasing operational costs, especially rising salaries of teachers.

The parents community needs to understand that schools cannot be operated as non-profit enterprises. When a private individual invests in an enterprise, she expects reasonable return on investment and if any private enterprise including schools, is not generating returns, the promoters will shut down the venture. In the unfortunate event of a large number of private schools shutting shop, middle class parents will have no alternative but to enroll their children in dysfunctional government schools.

It’s in the interest of students that parents work constructively with school managements to resolve tuition fee issues rather than invite government intervention.

Meera Kutty
Bangalore

Uncaring elite

I am in full agreement with views expressed in your editorial ‘Why desperate citizens are fleeing India’ (EW July). While the majority of those emplaning to foreign shores are students, there are also many migrants from the lower socio-economic strata desperate to escape India’s grinding poverty. They are easy prey of conniving middlemen and human traffickers who sell them dreams of a better life in foreign countries. But many blue collar migrants who make it to foreign countries are subjected to inhuman working conditions and transform into modern-day slaves.
It’s truly a shame that the country’s ruling elite doesn’t care about creating better living conditions for India’s poor and dispossessed, and particularly about providing high-quality school education for all children so they don’t have to flee their native land.

Garima Kaur
Chandigarh

Regressive Wage Code Act

I wish to draw your attention to the Wage Code Bill 2019, which despite prolonged protests was passed by both Houses of Parliament on August 2 and is now law. While universalising minimum wages, the Bill has stipulated floor minimum wages at the national and zonal levels which will increase unemployment. Moreover, the code has diluted gender justice laws by removing some critical provisions relating to post-recruitment rights of women employees. It lacks social vision and has failed to fully implement the parliamentary standing committee’s recommendations such as increasing penalties, defining hours of work, expending gender-equity rights, etc.

By leaving out the criteria for determination of wages, hours of work, etc, the code has given wide scope for possibilities of differential wage and hours of work and overtime.

Prof. K.R. Shyam Sundar
XLRI — Xavier School of Management, Jamshedpur

Inspiring balloonist

I am a regular reader of EducationWorld. I was pleasantly surprised to read about balloonist Rita Yadav in the Career Focus column (EW July).

Her story of qualifying as a balloon pilot is inspiring. I wasn’t aware about courses for hot air balloon pilots and their enviable pay. Please continue to inspire us with similar offbeat careers.

Mohit Narayan
Trivandrum

Description errors

In your cover story ‘Unsung contribution of India’s private chain schools’ (EW August), I have been incorrectly described as a former principal of DPS, Palwal. Please note I have never been the principal of this school. Moreover, I am the director of The Shriram Millennium Schools, not CEO as described.

Uttara Singh
Director, The Shriram Millennium Schools, Delhi NCR

The errors are regretted — Editor

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