I often wonder when and where the education system of our beloved country got hijacked! Could we ever forget those halcyon days when we just walked into school?
This was a time when our parents didn’t carry the burden and experience the harassment of trying to figure out when, where and how they were to come up with the horrendously exorbitant donations and afterwards the fees that followed? Did this change happen when international schools were allowed and the existing schools felt the need to be competitive? What we are witnessing and what parents of today have to cope with are the staggering demands being made on them. We did have rich schools and less affluent schools, but not with such huge discrepancies.
The gap that exists was created by our erudite Ministry of Education. The burning rhetoric is the fate of the poor child. The poor children of our country have no education. Why? Because they don’t have the finances to meet the dispassionate demands made on them. So, don’t the poor kids of our country have a right to education? Is that the bottom line Mr. Minister? Why does the Ministry of Education not lay down the ground rules? There must be a reasonable control on the donations demanded by the schools in connection with the enrolling of children in academic institutes. This also applies to the subsequent fees and several other financial demands made on parents, not forgetting the expenses for tuition.
Speaking of tuition, do present teachers even have the right to be teachers? In some schools, children in the first grade are struggling to read full sentences. Living in this country, could we walk into a classroom where children are the same and know that the knowledge they receive will help in a new way to make them more sensitive to the issues that exist in the world around them?
There are many questions to which there are sadly no answers. Hence, the crying need for tuition! In most instances, tuition is given by the so called teachers themselves. Something has got to change Mr. Minister, but how is that change going to occur? WHEN and WHERE and HOW? It isn’t something you can keep putting off. It’s something you have got to address fast! It’s equally distressing to note that the people who have accepted the current situation have done so because they feel no change is possible.
Moving on, about children of forces personnel? We have one inadequate school for so many of them. A Police Sergeant will have to enroll his son at a remote school because he can’t meet the demands for a donation made by a popular school. Some of these parents, serving a security forces establishment, would have made huge sacrifices for this country. Yet, I dare to ask, how easy is it for the Forces children to get into a school? Where is the justice in all this? Why does their education have to be effected by our miserable system of education?
Many questions await your answers Mr. Minister. Most of them need to be addressed immediately! I refuse to go on pretending that we are a just society when everything around me is unjust. I believe that a change is possible. We can no longer afford to ignore the things around us which are wrong and wait for someone else to change them.
I know this sounds idealistic, but I also realize that unless we force ourselves to accept that changes are necessary, nothing will ever change. I wonder whether the present generation is thinking whether the education system would be subject to further drastic changes in the future! Could it be far worse than it is today?
Did this change to be competitive in education take place with the opening of international schools ?
We must keep working and not allow ourselves to fail. It is then only that someday we will succeed in building a country in which we can all take pride in. Let us show the world and the present generation of children that we won’t accept slack. We are so much more than that! It’s time we apply knowledge that we possess to create a productive atmosphere for our children; all our children, rich and poor alike and do away with this unfair education system.
(Over to you Mr. Prime Minister! yes, I say prime minister because you are one of the very few who has the courage to address grievances. The education of our children is the foundation that we will continue to build on and I am certain if any action is taken, despite the heavy demands of your office, you will be the one to find a solution to this problem.)
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