Kudos to you for your cover story on fees regulation fever and the challenges confronting private schools in India (EW February). You aptly observe that these hapless institutions are unimpressed with the appeals mechanism of the Gujarat Self-Financed Schools (Regulation of Fees) Act, 2017, because they “dread the prospect of incremental interaction with the country’s bureaucracy globally infamous for its red tape and venality”.
The stage has indeed been set for determining if Indian education will emerge victorious in its war against not mere official indifference but sheer systemic obstructionism, the objective of which is to extort speed money and bribes.
I agree with your views in ‘Fees regulation fever: End of the road for India’s top private schools?’ (EW February) that it’s irrational for the Gujarat government to decide on common tuition fees for all private primary, secondary and higher secondary schools in the state. This is a populist stunt by politicians to appease the middle class.
Parents are well-aware of a school’s tuition fees structure when they choose to enroll their child there. The real problem arises when the schools sharply hike their fees in subsequent academic years. It would be advisable for state governments to cap these annual fee hikes at 10 percent. Imposing a blanket ceiling on fees is not the answer to curb commercialisation of education.
Congratulations on the success of your EW Early Childhood Education National Conference staged in Bangalore! In your special report (EW February), I found the keynote addresses of Dr. Rekha Sharma Sen, Dr. Niranjanaradhya V.P, Swati Popat Vats, Shailaja Menon and Divya Punjabi very absorbing. Especially, Swati’s address which called for establishing independent ECCE affiliation/accreditation boards. I believe the quality of early childhood education is an issue that needs to be addressed urgently.
Congratulations Team EW for your commendable effort in staging your eighth consecutive Early Childhood Education National Conference featuring an innovative teachers’ workshop, five keynote addresses, the EW India Preschool Rankings Awards ceremony and the inaugural EW Promising Preschools of the Future Awards.
All this packed into one day enabled you to cover a lot of ground in ECCE and generate greater awareness of the vital importance of early years learning.
Keep up the good work!
Eye-opening career option
I am a Plus Two student and a regular reader of EducationWorld, especially its very informative articles on emerging careers. The spotlight on the new ‘restoration architect’ (EW January) career was well-written and interesting.
It was an eye-opener for me as I wasn’t aware such a career existed. Thanks to EW I am now well-informed and so is my peer group.
Teachers prime consumers
I am a secondary school teacher and found your Teacher-2-Teacher essay on Edtech trends in 2018 (EW February) an interesting read.
As much as these technology trends appear to be impactful in education, I agree with Sivaramakrishnan V. that before implementation, we must keep in mind the evolving needs of teachers who are the prime consumers.
Preschool education in India is in a sad state. There is no curriculum, regulatory or accrediting body. Anybody who has a garage space can start a preschool. Teaching is age-inappropriate in most of them and the staff unskilled. It’s surprising the government is showing little interest despite rising global awareness about the importance of early childhood education. Even though the Karnataka government initiated action in this connection four years ago, no substantial advancement has been made.
Instead of waiting for tragedies to happen, I believe state governments should consult experts in the field to implement necessary regulatory policies.