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Are Schools Necessary?

Are Schools Necessary?

I visit PRAYOG in Gopalganj every month to interact with children, add up the stock of library’s resources, give them tasks to complete. Since June 2013, PRAYOG has been creating ripples in the relationships with the people over there. Now that we are a registered Trust, PRAYOG has selected a youth volunteer – a Change maker who is to manage the day to day activities over there. But before I write about our change maker, I am keen to share an observation of mine and get your feedbacks.

I see that each of PRAYOG’s blogs are read by some more than 100 people on an average. And I feel sad that we do not start a further conversation. Your feedbacks are valuable for us and will help us to shape the future of generation next, who are from rural areas.

During the course of my return from Gopalganj, I usually start at the preset of dawn. This is the hinterland and one can find small pockets of market areas every 8 – 10 kilometres. I cross almost 20-30 such areas during the course of journey and by the time it is day light, life comes to normal here. People carrying ‘lotas’ is a common sight but their numbers have declined tremendously over past few years. But there is something that is a cause of worry for us:

When I first noticed boys and girls riding their bicycles as early as 5 am, I  thought they must be moving on to their schools. But, as my journey continued, I saw another set of children cleaning some centre and arranging desks. Now I realised that they are here for their tuitions! Till 10 a.m, if you travel to the entire stretch from various districts enroute Patna via Gopalganj, Siwan, Chapra and Vaishali or via Gopalganj, East Champaran, Muzaffarpur and Vaishali; you are bound to see hundreds of bicycles outside tuition centres in each market area. This is what I have been seeing since June 2013.

I was not disturbed by this emerging trend of tuition centres till November 24th. After a discussion with them and handing over new books/resources to the library, I asked some 37 students to meet again at our centre on the next morning at 7 am. The students gave me an option that we can meet at 10 am but I refused citing that this would be their school time. Every single child responded that they will leave their school but not their tuition class!

Where is the education system of Bihar moving?

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2 Comments on “Are Schools Necessary?

  1. Its interesting to note specially the last one "Every single child responded that they will leave their school but not their tuition class!".

    Remembering my school days……….class 7 onwards tuition ran like regular education for me. I can go to the extent saying….tuition is to study subjects….and school is to learn life skills so to say…..how to make a mark in the crowd, be it fighting, quarreling, understanding yourself or something like learning social or anti social behaviour, forming prejudice…..or learning bit of lessons into liberation…from Caste or something….

    Other than that school has long lost its relevance…..its personal opinion…however there is corroborative evidence from ASER Report by Pratham. There is this whole study commission by ADB I think……..read if you have time….nd mind it its not Bihar…barring few good govt. schooling system like KVS, NVS….all other have same issues…..

    .Mark Bray and Chad Lykins. “Shadow Education Private Supplementary Tutoring and Its Implications for Policy Makers in Asia”

    Never mind. to my mind….as society moves forward…and personal pursuit, individualism taking front seat…its tougher call towards changing school system….

    other forces i am any way discounting….trained versus non trained…salary difference etc etc…..

  2. I agree with you Rajeev bhai! What I find in discussion with these children is that they are not learning the so called life skills as well.

    I am sure, during your days the tutors would have not been the same teachers of your school. I still remember that some highly educated/engineers etc used to teach tuitions as part of their interest. Whats very common now is that the same bunch of teachers who are in the schools are not teaching anything at all at school and running their tution centres.

    Yes, with rising personal pursuit, individualism etc. we cannot change the school system. So, what will the future schools look like? Centres for mid – day meals, teachers disbursing scholarship money??

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