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Primary education - all well?

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What was your experience like when you ran around to get your 3-4 year old admitted into pre-school or nursery? Leaving out those who could afford to pay and get into the 'top end' primary schools (money was the clear filter there), did the rest have good visibility into the criteria used to accept or reject their children? How many of you got real receipts for the entry/admission fee you paid? And if you hedged between 2-3 schools, and got admission into all, did you get your fees or deposits refunded in full?

One civic 'issue' that doesn't get enough coverage and attention, doesn't even get acknowledged by many, is primary education. This is one area where I haven't been convinced yet - primary education setup needs to be socialist in nature.

There are two key things about education. One, its the best and only 'equalizer' in today's cut throat capitalist world. Second, it would figure in top three of every citizen's list of things to look for when picking a city or place to live in.

This isn't an attempt to portray every other expensive school in bad picture, but transparency is a requirement in a sector that provides the most basic equalizer. The other thing is that affordability of parents can't be the most important filtering criteria to decide what child goes where.

Do the mid-to-upper end primary schools have any mandatory social obligations - like a 'reservation' or 'scholarship' for children from economically poor background?

I have been reading about Ganguly Commission recommended system which is in play at Delhi now. While the system was hailed to be good (its 100-point based system that decides admissions at nursery level) despite having a bias towards "educated" parents (postgraduate dads and masters moms get more points, so kids with less-educated parents stand a lower chance), I have been hearing that the implementation hasn't been tight, parents have been a worried lot, and smarter chaps have been 'using' some loopholes in the point based system (for example - what happens when there are lot of applications are tied on points - a lottery? Who watches over this lottery?).

Its a tricky issue primary education, one can't just sound like an irrational socialist and get away. But for any city, Bangalore or other, to have a progressive and sound future, you got to feel that the 'gap' between you and your maid, driver or gardener will shrink to be smaller in the future between your children and theirs. How do you feel on that count?

Perhaps many of us haven't had the time yet to seek out these answers. We should.


kbsyed61's picture

Education - Isn't a right of child? Poor or Rich?

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 Thanks for opening a new thread on primary education. You have hit the nail on head.

 Which ever economy model we would held on to, there are certain areas, that has to be state funded. Military/Security, Health, Education etc.

  If India needs to march ahead the growth path trajectory, it has to secure its 2 important areas very well. On that education should be at higher priority.

 If we introspect our growth story, how would we answer the questions like:

  1. How did India grabbed oppurtunity of service Industry like Software and IT based technologies?
  2. Who were the work force that fitted the oppurtunities in #1?
  3. What were the education pattern of this work force ?

 Post Independence, India following the socialist theses and ideologies (prevelant at that time) expanded the education system inherited from Birtish, to each and every corner of the country. The teaching fraternity that got employed in the school were patriot and sincere to the core. Their hard work bore fruits with a large pool of educated young men getting employed starting with federal, state and local governments. Then came the wave of employment in Public sectors like HAL, ITI, BEL, HMT, etc. Then came the oppurtunities in Banking and Insurance. Then Indian work force (both skilled and unskilled) went to shores of middle East. Then to shores of Americas and Europe.

 Here the pattern should be read from a large number scenarios. Also during these long period a large numbers also took to business (small & big), industralization and enterpenurships. Even the family business heads are well educated comapared to not so educated decades back.

 But if you look carefully, all these development took place because Indian government (both federal and state) offered:

  1. Universal Education to large section of the population.
  2. Affordable Higher Education, that even poor people could dream of for their children.

 But I think this noble and important task has been neglected and detoriating day by day. Today even, working parents (both govt. teachers) would find hard to educate their children. Reason, education is no more affordable. Government educational infrastructure is in shambles and promoting discrimination. There are 2 educational system exist in India now. One that is good and excellent for rich, influential and urban population. Another for poor and forgotten souls that can't even dream of a decent education. Unfortunately, India still lives in its villages.

 It is our choice, do we tread the path that will have 2 education systems or we start fixing our universal education for all dream journey.?

If we don't take care of now, the price that we have to pay at later stage would be enormous.

SB, in education, India's best bet is socialist path.


silkboard's picture

Thinking Bangalore - need an RTI letter

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Thanks for the support Syed. I was thinking Bangalore first, and wanted to know the following

  1. There was some talk of implementing Ganguly Commission report  for admission into Bagalore primary schools as well? Any word if this will progress
  2. What are the stats on growth in number of schools and number of seats in all primary schools in Bangalore over last 5 years. How does that compare with the growth in Bangalore's population?

I will tell you what worries me. While the city expands, and we know how badly planned our city's growth has been, I want to know if adequate number of schools for all income levels have been coming up on the peripheries. What I 'hear' is that the low income group is increasingly facing crowding in existing government schools that have generally not seen increase in capacity, and almost every other new school that comes up these days, targets the middle-to-high income group.

Want to help out with an RTI letter to state's education ministry? I will post it once you have drafted something. Lets try prepare the list of things to ask right here in this post.

City.Zen's picture

The key to good primary education is....

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Any education system is only as good as the teachers in it.

The finest infrastructure, syllabi, reading materials, teaching aids will all be useless if the teachers are not there or if the teachers are found less inspiring.

The RTI might want to  know what is the govt.'s plans in this regard.  How many schools have unfilled vacancies since how long and when they might be filled?


City Zen
s_yajaman's picture

Some questions for the RTI

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Here are some questions

Basic questions

a. How many BBMP schools are there in the BBMP area?

b. How many children are enrolled in them? Boys/girls, Primary and High School.

c. What was the funding in the 2008/2009 budget for BBMP schools?

d. How many teachers are employed in these schools?

e. What is the target student/teacher ratio? (I doubt they have this - but...)

f. What is the average number of classrooms in a BBMP school?

g. What was the pass percentage in these schools in the 2008 SSLC exam? Boys/girls

h. Which school among these had the best pass percentage?  Which had the worst? Boys/Girls

i. How many schools have at least 1 working PC accessible to students?  Does it have internet access?

j. How many schools have functioning science labs?

My basic premise is that what gets measured gets acted on.  If we don't have answers to these questions then it means that we are in a truly bad state.


Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

kbsyed61's picture

Schools run by BBMP?

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I am not sure whether government schools are run by BBMP. I think it is the department of education that runs the schools. Recruitment of teachers, salaries etc are all handle by education department.

BBMP does own some of these government school buildings. I think BBMP is just associated with school buildings. Rest is handeld by education department.

 let me check on this and get back to you.


kbsyed61's picture

Shifting Focus

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Below is an article on present state of education in Bangalore and in India in general . This dwells more in details on what you and others has echoed on Praja Forums.

" ...Educational sociologists now recognise that while providing equal access to education is possible, there can be no guarantee about the equality of the outcome which is guided by the students background, parental support and the family-home ambience, writes M A Siraj. (Deccan Herald)..."

For more details read @

Courtsey - Deccan Herald.

santsub's picture

What can we do to improve education..

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While many of us agree to this that teachers in govt schools are not up to the mark can we as citizens participate in the system and do volunteer work on teaching these kids in school on a 1 - 2 days a week bases in turns? I am sure that will be a great advantage to the kids themselves and it will be a great mentoring program. Its always noticed in many parts of the world that mentoring the underprivilaged kids will reduce the number of dropouts and helps them aim higher in life. I am sure there is talent galore to be exploited from this part of our society.

I know there are many professors and teachers who do this in the rural areas and I have volunteered in a tribal school 2 times its my personal experience that these kids are so happy and learn a lot from the little knowledge we can impart. I am sure this can become a part of the mainschool system and piloted in Bangalore. Ideal because of the huge knowledge base we have in the city and the large number of educated citizens :).

I was also thinking about the child labour policies of our govt and was disturbed to read an article today in TOI - may be we can help street kids to get in to schools and bridge this gap. I am sure I can start another thread on this - but I wanted to pen down this thought as a part of this post because it still relates to education. comment guidelines

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