Sunday, November 7, 2010

Education as a Service or Education as a Business??

It is a hot topic in Tamil Nadu, India. School and College education becoming a money spinning business. Making money through education is viewed as a crime by many.

Some technical details... As per Government policy, every educational institution must be registered as a service organization with no profit in mind. So, the educators start such institutions and also start another company. This other company will provide services to the educational institutions. In turn, the institutions will pay outlandish fees. Thus an educator is a noble service provider and also a great business person. Many have become millionaires in this.

The problems erupted when the parents find the increasing fees of education a great burden. Of course parents can admit their students in Government schools. But most parents do not like Government schools. Good teachers, moderate infrastructure and somewhat achieving students of Government schools will be featured in news paper. Such is the level.

The fundamental question is, How can private educators provide good infrastructure, good teaching, good exposure to arts/science/business/etc., with the amount Government fixes? It is common for private schools to have Tennis court, Swimming pool, etc. If enough money is not collected from students, the educators can not provide such facilities to students. After all, we want more Indians to be Olympic medalists and Nobel prize winners. Instead of stifling private educators with "money matters", they are to be regulated with "student beneficial matters". For example, students should not be made to skip 11th standard subjects to jump and mug up 12th standard subjects in order to show "results". Private educators must be allowed to profit from business without compromising on student benefits.

Economically backward people should have a level playing field as well. It is just required for the Government to improve the standard of education in Government schools and open new schools.

The current involvement of the Government in Education is not just fixing the fees and providing free bicycles, uniforms and books. Government has to have strict regulatory control to bring up students with the best knowledge, sports and social wellness.

Anyways, I have not heard of Government opening new schools; however I do hear of Government opening new TASMAC ( the Government owned liquor shops) outlets every now and then.