Is Inequality in Indian education a hurdle for National development ?

The Pillars of our Constitution are equality and fraternity.  It expects the Government and the citizens to observe constitutional morality and to abide by the constitutional values.

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Is Inequality in Indian education a hurdle for National development ?

We Indians for the last hundreds of years are suffering from the evil of inequality created by the Caste System.  The great Saints, Social Reformers, and Leaders have fought this scourged courageously but failed to diminish the Caste, but their endeavor resulted in bridging the gaps amongst the different Castes.  While we are at war with the devil of Caste, we are facing the further danger of being divided into Classes.  The source of this divide is not only inequality of social or economical status but inequality in educational standards.

The Pillars of our Constitution are equality and fraternity.  It expects the Government and the citizens to observe constitutional morality and to abide by the constitutional values.  Anchored in the belief that the values of equality, social justice, and democracy and the creation of a just and humane society can be achieved only through the provision of inclusive elementary education to all, the Constitution guaranteed the Right to Free and Compulsory Education to every child between the age of 6 to 14.

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Is Inequality in Indian education a hurdle for National development ?Though, the Right to Education is being in force since 2009, at the same time we are witnessing Schools affiliated to various Boards for example ICSE, CBSE, State Board, etc.  The Fees structure and facilities in the Schools affiliated to these Boards are also different depending upon the Fees structure.  This fact is debarring children from different walks of life to take education at a common facility but making these Schools of the homogenous category of children ultimately making them a Class.  If the discussions of parents are overheard, we can see the difference in the attitude of the parents of the children studying in these Schools thereby further taking the Classes to the parents also.

Earlier, all the children use to attend affiliated to single Board, mostly, Government or Aided Schools, there was no difference in the admission process and all were having fair and equal opportunity till they reach 12th Standard.  All of them had an equal start in life and equal rights to compete for further Courses.  Now, the educational standards of different Boards are different, what is taught in Standard 8th of ICSE is taught in Standard 10th of CBSE similarly the Course of Standard 8th CBSE is of Standard 10th of State Board, while, these all reach Standard 12th and compete for admissions to Professional Courses or Higher Studies, they do not have equal playfield and the Students from State Board Schools failed to get the fair opportunity because of the difference in the Syllabus in their School Curriculum.

Is Inequality in Indian education a hurdle for National development ?Another reason is the Urban and Rural divide.  The Schools affiliated to ICSE and CBSE are mostly situated in Urban areas considering the paying capacity of the parents, the Rural area, Tribal Hamlets, or Urban Slums are left for the Government Schools affiliated to State Boards.  This difference in the educational standards acts as the Class divide for the Urban and Rural Population and it continued for the entire life.

Though the Right to Education expects the creation of infrastructure ensuring equality to all Students but for the last 2 Sessions the Schools are imparting education virtually only.  The quality and availability of the Internet in Cities and Villages are two poles, and totally absent in Tribal areas.  This Digital divide has left the unprivileged children without education, most of them might have forgotten the skills they have learned.  Now, there will be Classes of children who are Digitally rich or poor.

While, there is a strong view that to progress we must ‘Save the Merit’, but this rising Class because of the unequal distribution of infrastructure and resources is killing the merit of the children from unprivileged, disadvantaged, and Tribal families.  They are institutionally denied the opportunity to have equal quality education.  This is giving rise to Classes amongst the citizens and is reverse to the spirit of Equality and Fraternity of the Constitution.

We are aware of the inhumane results of Caste inequality, therefore, we must be careful about the creation of Classes.  As expected by the Preamble of the Constitution each child must get equality of status and opportunity, each person should be dealt with dignity and fraternity, for this, it is necessary to remove the causes creating inequality, now the measure cause being the different Educational Boards and the different Schools having special facilities for rich and poor.  The only solution is to merge all Boards into one, laying down standards for identical infrastructure for all Schools, there has to be restriction of distance while admitting to Schools and most importantly no Fees should be charged as guaranteed under Article 21A of the Constitution.

Providing Free Education is the constitutional duty of the Government, it cannot delegate this duty to the capitalists and permit them to make profits out of it, the Government cannot avoid performing its duty on the pretext of Funds, etc.  It is the responsibility of the Government and citizens to see that each child should get equal opportunity and equal education so that the future generations need not face the scourge of ‘Class Differences’.


By,
Firdos Mirza,
Advocate,
Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court
Firdos Mirza_The_Policy_Times


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Is Inequality in Indian education a hurdle for National development ?
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The Pillars of our Constitution are equality and fraternity.  It expects the Government and the citizens to observe constitutional morality and to abide by the constitutional values.
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THE POLICY TIMES
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