Bilal Bashir Bhat
SRINAGAR: Powerful education system is the cornerstone of a civilized society and a progressive nation. As a matter of great misfortune the lopsided development of the all significant and pivotal public education system has given absolute monopoly to the private education sector in the state of Jammu & Kashmir.
On the one side of the spectrum, there is no fixed criterion for payment in private schools but in general it has been witnessed and researched that the teachers in private schools are paid very less as compared to their counterparts in government or government-aided schools. While as the students are forced to pay heavy fees and donations and the agencies like JK BOSE who are supposed to regulate our education system seem to have no control over them. Private schools are working like imperialistic empires without any check and balance system.
Some of the private schools are charging much higher fees in gross violation of the prescribed rules that even surpass the fee structure of prestigious business schools.
This according to experts has made it more so mandatory for the state government to implement the historic right to education act. A section of voices also feel that these private institutions have been looting the people in the name of donations and fees.
According to expert voices this make implementation of Right to Education Act in a forceful manner important especially in our state Jammu& Kashmir.As a matter of fact, the Right to Education Act makes education a fundamental right of every child between the ages of 6 and 14 and specifies minimum norms in elementary schools. It requires all private schools to reserve 25% of seats to children from poor families (to be reimbursed by the state as part of the public-private partnership plan). It also prohibits all unrecognized schools from practice, and makes provisions for no donation or capitation fees and no interview of the child or parent for admission.
It is worth mentioning that the state government had recently stated that it would conduct a thorough survey in all educational institutions to regulate the fee structure and to improve the quality of education. (KNB)