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Can govt compete with private schools?

Can govt compete with  private schools?
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BH Ramakrishna - Admissions in majority pvt schools come to an end - Govt to start the process from June 1 - Drop-outs a major concern Perhaps for ...

BH Ramakrishna

- Admissions in majority pvt schools come to an end - Govt to start the process from June 1 - Drop-outs a major concern

Perhaps for the first time, the state government has noticed rather publicly that private schools have gone ahead in enticing children to their institutions. In a note circulated recently to all the District Education Officers a few days back, the Commissioner of School Education, V Usharani has asked them to go in for a comprehensive drive for admissions.

"The private schools are starting enrolment from June 1 onwards whereas government schools open on June 12. By the time the government schools open, several children would have taken admissions in private schools. So, time has come for us to do some extra work. All our teachers shall start campaign for enrolment at least from June 1," the note said.

The note clearly sends a message that unless we adapt 'early bird catches the worm' policy, it is difficult to sustain. But the notice clearly forgets one key factor, i.e. most of the top rung private schools complete their admission process by second week of May itself and not starting from June 1. The admission tests of private schools have been going on even now with full swing. "How can we tap students - especially the brilliant minds- if we start the process as late as June?" Srinivasa Reddy, President of Private Schools Managements Association asked.

Though the government schools have been offering education up to 14 years free of cost under RTE, it fails to woo several parents who prefer to get their wards joined in private schools only. "The private institutions cater to the future needs of students in a perfect way.

In majority of the government schools, there is no English medium, which is a dire necessity these days," Lavanya, a parent of Parigi in Rangareddy district said. Besides, English medium, other reasons for lack of interest towards government schools are irregularity of teachers who commute from neighbouring towns, lack of time management, no clarity over school's working, no continuation of teachers, lack of amenities in school premises etc.

Rajiv Vidya Mission officials have been worried on rate of drop out, which has been growing by every passing year. A study conducted recently at RVM revealed that half of the students that are enrolled ten years back, have backed out from government schools due to various reasons.

At the same time, there is a marked increase in enrolment in private schools. Scheme such as mid-day meal scheme, free uniforms, supply of sanitary napkins, improvement in environment etc could not entice the parents in a big way. "We have to compete with private schools in terms of content. English medium shall be introduced in all sections besides Telugu medium. Periodic examinations, student-centric evaluation methodology etc shall be introduced" a senior officer connected with the research work of RVM felt.

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