Letters: Education as commodity

With reference to Debashis Basu’s thought-provoking article “Want the government to ‘act’? Think again” (April 17), he has raked up the genuine issue of the “commercialisation” of education in our country. Mind you, the strong protests by the aggrieved parents in Gurgaon and Faridabad over the steep hike in fees by some 40 private schools could merely be the tip of an iceberg as it’s an all-India phenomenon. In fact, this “man-made” crisis has already assumed serious proportions with the government doing lip service only as its indifferent attitude politically suits it. Basu has rightly remarked, “We don’t realise that it is the government that is the problem” here. He also sarcastically points out that the “business of education is so foul that only politicians and people close to them can wade into this” by citing the living example of educational institutions in Maharashtra where the self-serving and high brand politicians virtually call the shots.

It’s intriguing to know that various public protests seeking government intervention in all such cases go up in smoke as the exploitative situation on ground doesn’t change as the government’s much needed “intervention” remains on paper. A plethora of laws and regulations can be circumvented as per one’s suitability depending on his/her calibre and socio-political status. In any case, it’s high time to break the vicious circle of the extant “commercialisation” of education playing havoc with the future of millions of meritorious students. The government must also rise to the occasion by ensuring education at any level is never treated like a commercial product.

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