For those who are smitten by the half-baked socialist Arvind Kejriwal (who simply refuses to listen to any sensible idea), here is a leader who is 100 times better. Shantanu, in this video, is explaining why ALL government schools and colleges in India should be privatised. I've, of course, outlined this in great detail in BFN.
I'm also attaching a little "slide" I had prepared yesterday for Facebook.
Despite the hype about promoting education, what the government is actually saying (by directly managing government schools) is this: "You, Graduate of education, are a fool. You MUST work under bureaucratic supervision."
You may be BETTER qualified than me (IAS officer) but you MUST work under my thumb.
You must do what I say.
You must report to me.
You are accountable to ME, not to parents.
You are my slave. You shall not exercise any independence.
You are a mere highly qualified graduate while I'm a BUREAUCRAT. Who can possibly be better than a bureaucrat?
You must worship me.
You must pray to me.
I don't trust you. You must trust in me.
For some reason it appears to some people that a school is unlike any other business. It appears to them that a school is a holy service that can only be provided by the government.
It appears to me that the level of education required to teach schoolchildren is not very high. It doesn't need a PhD in physics to teach school level science. One doesn't have to be an outstanding writer to be able to teach school level language, nor the world's greatest artist to teach good art.
On a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 reflects the highest level of skill or education in a particular discipline, a schoolteacher needs a mere 5. It takes far more skill to become the head chef of a five-star restaurant than to teach schoolchildren.
Although the Indian government runs restaurants (e.g. Ashoka), most of us can easily agree that citizens in their private capacity can readily supply restaurants and hotels.
And if the private market can readily supply the skilled business of restaurants and hotels (leaving alone car factories or spacecraft), there seems to be no reason to believe that the private market cannot supply schools of high quality. If a person with appropriate training is hired as a school teacher or principal, there is no reason why he or she cannot teach in, or manage, a school.
So why do people think that schools are different category of business than hotels? Despite a person having appropriate qualifications to teach, it appears to them that only governments can run schools.
Do they believe that a qualified teacher suddenly becomes more capable by teaching in a government school?
Is there a mysterious spiritual ritual that is performed in schools that upgrades the skills of teachers?
This issue (of BLIND FAITH IN GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS) comes up while discussing the privatisation of schools and the use of parental choice (e.g. school vouchers) to resolve the problem of equal opportunity for the poorest sections of the community.
I'd appreciate any enlightenment that you could offer me in this regard. I'm completely confused why the most OBVIOUS solution to upgrade school standards, and to ensure the best value of taxpayer money for educating the poorest of the poor (- privatisation of schools and the use of parental choice - details in BFN) runs into so much resistance when I try to explain it to people.
Why are government bureaucrats considered so capable that only they know how to manage schools?
When I headed the school policy system in Assam (as Secretary to the Government) I did not think I was particularly gifted in this regard. Why are people DESPERATE to get a stupid babu (e.g. IAS) to teach their children?
By the way, ALMOST ALL THOSE WHO ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS SEND THEIR CHILDREN TO PRIVATE SCHOOLS.
I've upset Bhagwad Jal, my good young friend, by not publishing two of his comments.
I did not publish them (and will not do so even now) since I'm getting a tired of repeating the same thing a hundred times. I'm a fairly patient fellow (or so I think I am), but I can't go on hammering my keyboard to repeat the same thing again – and again. (I do have quite severe RSI, I trust Bhagwad remembers that.)
So, dear Bhagwad, since you seem to think that there is a surfeit of criminal parents in India who don't send their children to school, and so these criminals must be punished (and their children confiscated?), I have the following suggestion for you:
Request for detailed policy proposal
You are aware I am a fighter for life and liberty (including yours), and I am therefore willing to entertain the idea of ANY compulsion and penalty on anyone only on grounds of negative liberty violation (i.e. demonstrable harm caused, tested in a court of law).
Since you have formed a view that liberty is basically meaningless, and can be constrained recklessly on every frivolous ground that your "moral sense" (or other "higher emotions") leads you towards, let me suggest that we stop this pointless debate in which I talk logic and evidence, and you assert. Assert, not prove.
I therefore am requesting you to provide evidence of your policy thinking capacity by doing some basic policy analysis to move this discussion further. In making this request I'm merely going to apply standard principles of regulation making.
Please consider the following (and similar) issues and justify on your own blog the following kinds of things:
a) the nature of the problem (i.e. nature of the deliberate harm caused by these criminal parents to their children, and the extent of such deliberate harm in a particular case);
b) the extent of the problem (i.e. how many parents in India deliberately intend to harm their children), and quantify for me the total cost to the Indian community of this harm;
c) your proposed method of identifying such parents among the billion Indians and proving beyond doubt their deliberate intent to harm (note that no one's liberty can be constrained without judicious proof, else such action will violate the constitution), noting that such parents have not only NOT killed their child, but have (i) borne the child after considerable effort, (ii) fed and clothed the child, and have (iii) not visibly injured the child. God forbid, these parents might even love their child (a thought that has evidently not crossed your mind).
Please also elaborate on all legal ramifications of how you will get any access to the (harmed) child under a Constitution that guarantees everyone liberty – assuming you've first satisfactorily proven the intent to harm the child.
Tell me also how many bureaucrats you need to identify these criminal parents. How much will it cost India?
d) the extent of penalty (after due process) you wish to impose. What will you do will you do with these children (if you decide we must confiscate them from their parents)?
Note that in good policy analysis, the key issue is to prove that your solution addresses the CAUSE of the problem, but I'm leaving out such a request from you, for such effort seems entirely beyond your capacity. You are determined to punish, and hence are applying the criminal law. So prove it.
I will not discuss this issue with you till you've published a well-thought out policy proposal on your blog that proves to me (and to the world) that the problem is real and not something you like to cook up in your aspiration to occupy a high moral ground over those whose children you didn't bear nor feed nor clothe.
Hence please do not respond to this request on this blog. No such comment will be entertained/ published.
Instead, do me the favour of publishing a full and comprehensive blog post. You could attack my arguments or just prove your case. Whichever works best for you. But please do all this on YOUR blog. No more discussion on this blog! Do spare me for now. I trust you appreciate this is not personal, simply practical.
There are MANY cases of so-called "educated" people who claim that parents are so stupid they don't care for their children. Hence there must be compulsory education, and if a parent doesn't educate his/her child, the parent must be penalised.
Such people – who often don't have their own children – simply don't understand human nature.
Indian parents are showing such half-"educated" people the truth.
in Patna, 65% of children go to private unaided schools while 34% attend government schools. The trend spans many states and is seen strengthening every year. Observers said private schools are perceived as providers of high-quality education, driving more parents away from government schools. [Source]
The government should REGULATE schools and fund PARENTS, never manage ANY school. It is not possible for any number of bureaucrats to manage ANYTHING, leave alone the extremely subtle and challenging task of managing a school.
As indicated in BFN, the solution is 100 per cent privatisation of all schools, and implementing school vouchers.
Also see this article: Milton & Rose Friedman's Legacy of School Reform
Here's further proof (if any was needed) that government schools are a disaster. When even those who teach in government schools don't send their children to government schools, you know something really bad is going on in these schools.
Out of a reported total of 47,030 primary and middle school teachers in Government schools, 36,322 teachers (77%) were reported to have school going children of their own. Of these 36,322 teachers,
- 27% (9,757 teachers) sent their children to Government Schools and
- 73% (26,565 teachers) sent their children to Private Schools. [Source]Out of a reported total of 50,782 high school and higher secondary school teachers in Government schools, 32,595 teachers (64%) were reported to have school going children of their own. Of these 32,595 teachers,
- 13% (4,281 teachers) sent their children to Government schools and
- 87% (28,314 teachers) sent their children to Private Schools.
The case is CLOSED. Government schools must be privatised. I've provided details on how to do this in BFN. It is not as difficult as it sounds. The same money spent by government today will yield FAR BETTER outcomes.