Our Experiences with the government school system

Swaminathan, Anand (2014) Our Experiences with the government school system. Learning Curve (25). pp. 40-43.

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In popular narrative, Government schools 2 are mediocre and failing. They have inadequate and rundown infrastructure. Teachers do not come to school; if they come to school, they do not teach; and if they teach, children do not learn. Most Government school students cannot read or write or do basic Math despite years of schooling. Only the very poor send their children to the local Government school; if they had a choice, they would prefer private schools, which are far better. It is a system without any hope of reform. This narrative has been fuelled by mainstream media and by a large number of neo-liberal voices in civil society. It has become so dominant, that any experience or evidence to the contrary has little chance of a hearing. This article examines how much of this stereotype is real and how much is myth.The big mystery of school education is that despite genuine efforts at teaching and years of schooling, students struggle to learn. On an average, students learn only 40-50% of the scholastic concepts expected of them in each grade. 8 An argument one hears is around teachers. It goes like this: Teaching is not an aspirational or well- paying profession and it only attracts those who have no other career options. What else can you expect with such teachers? Now this argument really has no basis. One, becoming a Government school teacher is quite an aspiration for many; in most towns and villages in the country, a Government teacher’s job pays better than most other options, and offers good service terms to boot. 9 Two, being a good teacher is not the privy of a few. With appropriate education and practice, most people can develop into capable teachers.

Item Type: Articles in APF Magazines
Authors: Swaminathan, Anand
Document Language:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Education, Elementary education, Early childhood education
Subjects: Social sciences > Education
Divisions: Azim Premji University > University Publications > Learning Curve
Full Text Status: Public
URI: http://publications.azimpremjiuniversity.edu.in/id/eprint/917
Publisher URL: http://apfstatic.s3.ap-south-1.amazonaws.com/s3fs-...

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