Sanjay Paw, Chairman, Vidyanjali International School, says that the government is the agent that can catalyse the process of good education in our country
Why have you chosen Vidyanjali International School to be a girls’school?
I always wanted to start a school especially for girl children because girls’ education in India is still not getting the focus it needs. We started Vidyanjali International School with the aim to provide quality education to girls. We have been successful in doing this and believe that we will continue serving the society the way we have always been.
What major challenges do you see in school education today?
Challenges are many and inevitable, but we need to be focused on what we really want to do. Quality education to girls should be the major focus of the government because one educated girl can educate the entire family and her education has multi-fold impact on the lives of people around her. Access to education and providing quality education are the major challenges. Access to education does not mean forceful implementation of the Right to Education Act (RTE); it means making education available at different levels of the society and as per the endowment of people. There should be proper co-ordination between schools. Existing schools should be upgraded and teachers should be trained to provide quality education. Also, the government needs to work on improving the efficiency and relevance of its schools. One way to do this is better co-ordination between private and public schools at different levels of academics, cocurricular activities and administration.
How important is the role of government in education?
The government is indeed one of the largest stakeholders, and education is its subject. The government needs to be progressive and forward-thinking be cause only it can catalyse the process of good education in our country.
PPP can Boost Quality in Education
Cynthia James, Principal and Director-Academics, Indore Public School, says government schools must be trained to impart quality education to students
Please share with us the story of Indore Public School.
The school was incepted in the year 1987 and was the first public school after Daly College. In 1991, we started the system of no books and no exams for students till class three and gave special training to our teachers for that. Today, we have successfully completed 25 years and have four more branches of the school. We have also opened Indo Kids, a zonal school upto Nursery. We already have six such schools and are planning to start 25 more by July next year.
How can we address the problem of making education accessible to all?
A majority of the government’s programmes are directed toward raising the enrolment ratio. The government has recently enacted the Right to Education (RTE) Act also, but has its own drawbacks. Forcing a school to take a certain percentage of students from the weaker sections of the society is not a well- thought process. Students face problems integrating with other students, which may hamper their overall development.Instead, government schools must be trained to impart quality education.
A lot of people debate that we are not focusing on quality but quantity. What is your opinion on that?
I agree that quality is missing in our education system but that is not because enrolment is being raised. Anyhow, we need to raise the enrolment ratio if we want to make India literate. I strongly feel that we do not have enough good teachers and that is why quality is not upto the mark. Another area that needs to be looked into is the interaction between government and private schools and how they can be encouraged to assist each other. This will help in raising the quality of education.