EDITORIAL: Beautiful But Rhetoric

For a change, it’s nice to hear that the Government has started discussion to finance the expenses on education in addition to the steps being taken up to provide text books, uniform and even school bags, all free of cost, to students of Government schools. Setting up of Model Schools with an eye on producing meritorious students too is a good step deserving applause, especially in the light of the fact that students in private schools have been faring well than their counterparts in Government schools. The appeal to the teachers of Government schools, who enjoy fat pay package in comparison to their poor cousins working in private schools, for giving that much needed extra punch and dedication in producing good students is also very well. There is also nothing to complain against the announcement for providing lakhs of rupees to construct state of the art school buildings and development of infrastructures.

But what is hard to digest here is low success rate of the schemes and other developmental projects initiated and implemented by the Government from time to time. One does not have to seek far to get an answer to this. Just take a look at how Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan is being implemented. Students upto Primary level are supposed to be get free text books under this scheme. But the text books meant for free distributions have been confiscated from book shops in the market. Occasionally, public may have also come across news reports on distribution of text books, school uniforms or bags among the students. But how many students have been actually benefited cannot be known without taking that extra mile of inquiring everyone. Everything may just turn out to be nothing but some beautifully managed shows.

On the other hand, implementation of Mid-Day meal scheme has been here for long. But today, with exception to some head teachers, rest of the teachers may not even know about the implementation of the scheme in their respective schools. In such a situation, it would be real stupidity to live under the impression that the students are enjoying their Mid-Day meal. In the case of school buildings too, there have been numerous revelations of cowsheds looking more elegant than the supposedly constructed new school buildings. When the Model School was established for the first time, many of the students, of course, did well scoring better marks in the HSLC examination. But today, it appears to be a thing of the bygone era. Appeals and exhortations to the teachers are not new anymore, but they have not brought about anything new. In such a backdrop, discussion of the Government to fund the education of the students, however pleasing it may be to the ears, sounds more like some wishful dreams.

No doubt, whatever projects and schemes undertaken by the Government are intended for the welfare of the students, who are the future pillars of the society, and the public ought to welcome such schemes and projects with open arms and hearts. But the failure of implementing most schemes and projects in the past has raised suspicion in the minds of the public, who have started looking upon any new initiatives of the Government with skepticism. Such suspicion or skepticism of the public, however, should not be deterrence on the part of Government from coming up with many more noble projects and schemes for the welfare of the students and the society at large. What is more important here is to find out why most schemes and projects have failed from taking off the ground. The students and their parents may not be completely guiltless over the failure of certain schemes and projects. But lack of sincerity and efficiency on the part of the Government and its implementing agencies are normally at the heart of the problem. So, with the onus of ensuring the success of implementing any scheme and projects squarely lying on its shoulder, the Government ought to employ all its resources in finding out where the loophole lies and plug it in time so as to win the confidence of the public. Just empty rhetoric would not be able to do the trick.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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