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Education – Equality and Excellence

June 14, 2010

This post has been published by me as a team member of Tiger Trails Team for the SUPER 5 round of Bloggers Premier League (BPL) – The first ever unique, elite team blogging event in the history of blogging world. To catch the BPL action and also be part of future editions and other contests, visit and register at Cafe GingerChai


‘Education’ – An instant indication that we ‘belong to the civilized part of the world’!India is touted to become the next superpower by the year 2025. The reason behind it is the large and growing number of youngsters in the age group of 18 – 35 (around 60%). And to derive the fullest benefit of this precious human resource, education is absolutely crucial.

If we truly aim to achieve super power status by 2025, then we have only 15 years left, in which we must maximize our potential to take that giant leap forward. Sadly, the steps our country has taken with regard to education, is almost ‘Nil’. If anything can be done to improve this situation, it has to be done over the next 5 years.

What we need is not merely excellence in quality of education. Education must be available equally to every single person in the country. And by ‘Education’, I mean knowledge that goes beyond the almost fake horizons of ‘academic’ syllabus.

Current state – Money, Education and people:

It is common knowledge that our country is a developing one. Around 30% of the people live below poverty line. A person is said to live below BPL when he/she earns below 538.60 rupees/month in urban and 356.35 rupees/month in rural areas. By this 27.5% of Indians live in poverty. And if World bank’s criteria of 1.25$/day is taken into account, 42% of our people live in poverty. (Source: Wikipedia).

Can you imagine having to live your life, with earning less than 20 rupees/day???

For people like these, ‘surviving’ in this country is itself a huge challenge. ‘Parents’ who live in poverty may never ever send their children to schools. Their only other option is to send them to work to make both ends meet!! Also, even if such parents take the effort to send their children to Government schools, can they be assured of receiving the same quality of education in a more expensive private school?

In India, everything has become a business since globalization. Education has also become a product. It’s a costly affair. Now to admit a kid in a good school parents have to spend more than 20K/year. I personally know children who are studying in 2nd and 4th standards respectively, in the best private sector school in their locality. Guess the amount of fees being shelled out by the parents per child? Not less than Rupees 40K/year PER CHILD. This does not include extra-curricular activities!

 With the spending capacity of a parent, quality also changes. With the change in cost, facilities can change but not the education. This is a deplorable situation. 

  • A kid of parents who are capable and willing to spend 10K – 50K per child per year, normally goes to a school with excellent infrastructure (spacious classrooms, wider area with natural surroundings, etc.) , receives good quality education and also enjoys a host of extracurricular activities and fun.
  •  So if a parent able to spend 1K – 10K, their child normally goes to a school which has limited space consisting only concretes, often loves to teach aggressively rather than patiently or creatively, aims mostly at ‘marks’, and thrive on the hallucination among the parents that the no. of state rank holders in a school shows how good they are. 
  • For a parent who can’t spend or spend less than 1000 rupees, corporation and government schools are available. Very often, such schools also do have good teachers and average infrastructure, unfortunately, they do not take much responsibility or interest, in the child’s education.

Therefore, education in our country is more a byproduct of the parent’s earning capacity, and less a ‘basic right’!

 So if parents make the ‘mistake of not being rich’, children are automatically denied good quality education.

 But let us give credit where it is due. Our Government is indeed providing free education. Free meals too, in fact. And to be quite honest, many of poor families send their children to school in the hope that they will get atleast that one free meal a day, rather than starve on the roads!

However, it is important that we do not compromise on the QUALITY of education and easy ACCESSIBILITY.

 ‘Standardized’ Education – Why?  

  • There are many students who are forced to travel around the country to accommodate their parent’s career.
  • After studying in different levels till 9th grade they have to take public examination on the common platform where some students maybe at the disadvantage. 
  • Generally there is a perception that CBSE is the best education. So students who are studying under other boards sometimes feel inferior to them.

There is a different syllabus for each kind of board. For example, in my state Tamilnadu, there is separate syllabus for state board, matriculation, CBSE, Anglo-Indian, etc… 

This is more of a business trick to fool and lure the parents towards certain schools, rather than based on some strong ideology of ‘good quality’ of education. I fail to see a distinct need for different kinds of syllabus for children who are begin their education between the age of 3 and 5!!!

Everyone is equal and must be given an equal chance. There can be a difference in the language it is taught and the language in which the text books are written, but certainly not in the subjects they learn.

Is academic excellence enough?

Our education system has always given importance to ‘mugging up’ and ‘parroting’ in an exam to evaluate a students’ knowledge. What happens if a student who understood the subject is unable to reproduce it in exam paper? She/he FAILS. Children are vulnerable to failures. It is not just children, in fact. Even parents are greatly affected by ‘failure’ of children. This kind of early failures will reduce their confidence, make them distracted and if the kid hails from a poor family, parents may force him/her to go to work. Illiteracy is the main reason why we are still in developing state. So we shouldn’t give any chance for a child to quit the school for any reason.

 There are students good in art, or at analytical skills. Some excel in sports. An unusual high importance given to ‘academics’ has robbed children of other equally important life skills and also some wonderful career in their interested field. There is not much of a career for children who are choosing fields other than engineering, medicine, commerce and science subjects in our country. With larger number of people studying in the above fields are there are enough opportunities created for them in future? Again the answer is no.

 What can be done to get over this?

  • Government must ensure that the quality of the schools to be equal (at least in terms of education provided if not in facilities and infrastructure) throughout the state and country. If they can’t control the schools run by private institutions then they can take over it and run by themselves. This way a child does not have to travel more than 10 kilometers a day to reach a particular government school, as there will be such schools within 5 kilometers of every home.
  • Government should form a committee consisting of individuals who are really passionate about education and NGOs to monitor the fee structure and the quality of education in all the schools. 
  • Government should implement a common syllabus for the subjects Mathematics, Science, civil science and English throughout the nation. (Tamilnadu has taken step towards this and equal education has been implemented throughout the state from this year).
  • Students must be encouraged to take up different activities other than ‘academics’, thereby making them ‘all-rounders’.
  • For the above to happen, the evaluation system must get a revamp with certain percentage of marks awarded for the skills other than ‘reproducing text’. This will surely reduce the so-called ‘failures’ because EVERY individual possesses SOME special talent. 

It is not possible to implement all the above ideas right away. But it can surely be done in a phased manner. This will give us wonderful citizens who can think independently, and make our nation proud.

40 Comments leave one →
  1. June 14, 2010 10:52 pm

    Kanagu, Brilliant post!

    kanagu: Thanks Smitha 🙂

    You have raised so many relevant points. Infact education is one aspect, which, if we handle properly, a lot of other issues will get resolved as a downstream effect of it. If we can ensure that all the children in the country has access to a standard level of education, we can ensure that our country has a better future.

    kanagu: I always feel that illiteracy is one thing which pegs us back… more than the academic ones other books opened up a new world to me…. but for that basic education is important… Someday the dream will come true 🙂 🙂

    As you said, quality education and standardized education, which does not depend on how rich or poor a family is. That is what we need!

    kanagu: Yes… its important.. if we can give that we gonna achieve for sure…

    Brilliant post, Kanagu.

    And all the best for the contest!

    kanagu: Thank you very much Smitha 🙂

  2. June 14, 2010 10:59 pm

    Nice analysis of the facts. We need more and more students to choose streams of their choice, areas where they can excel rather than taking up something where they’ll remain mediocre throughout their lives.

    kanagu: Welcome here Arif… 🙂
    perfectly said by you…

  3. June 15, 2010 12:13 am

    It has turned out VERY well, Kanagu. Congrats 🙂

    kanagu: Yes it is Pals.. thanks to you and Smita.. 🙂 🙂

  4. June 15, 2010 3:51 am

    hi Kanagu ,

    very good post.

    kanagu: Thanks Deepa 🙂

    I think education should also be made compulsory with no caste etc attached. I studied in a private Catholic school. I’ll never regret it. The fees were real low as they were getting funds from abroad, and the quality of education was superb, and the best part is they never forced non Christians to convert.

    kanagu: Thats really nice to hear Deepa… in many such schools I have heard that they force people to convert….

    That aside, I think things are going to change only if the education is made non controllable by ministers and their lot. Else if ministers are controlling the sector, the ministers should be highly educated individuals with a vision of the future. All too much to ask …

    kanagu: If left free also there is a possibility that it may go into wrong hands.. some control unit should be there….

    It is disgusting to think of spending 1Lakh in donation for a KG 1 kid, and I feel like parents should avoid sending their kids to such schools …. but it is a no win situation .. if you dont sit in schools, u cant write the 10th exams .. a very bad situation

    kanagu: Its liek business… Parents are helpless 😦 😦

    • June 24, 2010 12:44 am

      I know … parents are helpless … that is what makes things worse .. you work and earn mainly to lead a good life .. but at the end of it all ?

      kanagu: But thats what they know.. thats the kind of mentality people have.. study well.. join in a company.. earn well and live safely.. stay happily.. isn’t it??? Live has much more than that…
      there was a real good school that refused admission to a UKG student coz he hadn’t done his pre kindergarten …. hopeless !

      kanagu: OMG 😯 is Pre-KG is some degree or qualification??? I think I am not qualified as I was directly put into LKG… 😀 😀

  5. Sudhakar permalink
    June 15, 2010 8:15 am

    Now that’s some transformation from the initial draft. Wonderfully written Kanagu. Loved it.

    kanagu: Thanks Sudhakar 🙂 🙂

    You’ve touched all the major points very elegantly. I’ve never been a fan of our Educational system. But then, if a reform is proposed, most people blindly oppose it. That is the sorry state of Education in our country. Super post.

    kanagu: True… we are not ready for reforms but then the reforms are not complete…. 😦 😦

  6. June 15, 2010 8:20 am

    Excellent writing.

    kanagu: Thanks Sir 🙂 🙂

    Only if we all understand -education is the answer to most of the problems we have in the country.
    Very impressive post

    kanagu: 🙂 🙂

  7. June 15, 2010 8:37 am

    All I can say is – Brilliant!

    kanagu: Thanks Bones 🙂 🙂

    Not only is our education system creating parrots, but it is also creating a class of people who don’t want to know what is happening around them…They work with blinders on… Imagine such people running our corporations and country – eeks! There’s a proverb (I think African) which should become a mantra for all students: “Not to know is bad, to not want to know is unforgivable.”

    kanagu: True Bones.. our education system never goes beyond academic syllabus 😦 😦

  8. aryan's mom permalink
    June 15, 2010 9:00 am

    Very very good post….

    kanagu: Thank you 🙂

    I totoally agree.. government should make efforts to enhance the quality of education…atleast few of the points that u mentioned, if implemented would be very helpful.

    kanagu: hmmm… for sure govt. should take some steps…
    Education is such a costly affair that I cannot tell u..We had to shell around 70k per annum apart from donation and other capitation fees…just for LKG admission!!

    kanagu: SCARY!!!!

  9. June 15, 2010 12:09 pm

    Very well written, Kanagu.

    kanagu: Thank you..

    The commercialisation of education is actually a scar on India’s growth chart. The value of education is based on money, is indeed a sad state.

    Its high time, we come up with Standardized Eductional Reforms…but what they cant even do a simple abolition of the CBSE X std board, with out creating confusion among parents, schools and students.

    kanagu: There is no clear explanation on what and how they are going to do gives scare among parents…

  10. June 15, 2010 12:11 pm

    A very powerful post, Kanagu!

    You have touched upon all the relevant points surrounding education in our country. You’re bang on when you say that good education is often dependent on the financial situation of the parents. The fact that under-privileged children too have as much right to quality education is often overlooked.

    kanagu: Thanks Deeps… actually we are denying an opportunity for no mistake of a child.. really sad na… 😦

    I feel the government and the authorities should not just stop at giving free education and free meals but also ensure the schools that are made available to these underprivileged children are sufficiently staffed, kept clean.

    I totally agree with you on the point on standardized education.

    Brilliant post, Kanagu!

    Good luck for teh contest 🙂

    kanagu: Thank you very much Deeps 🙂 🙂

  11. June 15, 2010 1:29 pm

    They have said it all Kanagu! Wonderfully written! I sincerely hope and wish we see better times @ the earliest!

    kanagu: Thanks Swaram 🙂 🙂

    • June 15, 2010 1:30 pm

      So if parents make the ‘mistake of not being rich’, children are automatically denied good quality education. – thatz such a sad state isn’t it 😦 😦

      kanagu: 😦 😦

  12. June 15, 2010 6:17 pm

    Kanagu, eppadi idellaaam ???

    This is your third post on education and each one was a totally different read.

    I guess, the ones above already added enough to your already lengthy post 😀 😀 😀 but seriously Kanagu, this was really good ! The best part of your post is you even provided solutions; most of them just rant or complain about the situation and end the post ! 😀

    saaaar, neengey engeyooo poyiteeengey !! 😀 😀

    kanagu: Thank you Very much bro.. 🙂 🙂

  13. June 15, 2010 9:44 pm

    Btw, Kanagu, I really will not be surprised if this post of yours actually tops the round 🙂 Eager to see the results of the contest now. Fingers crossed 🙂

    kanagu: It topped and major credit must be given to you Pals 🙂 🙂

    • June 20, 2010 2:37 pm


      kanagu: thanks Pals for helping me out 😀 😀

  14. June 15, 2010 10:12 pm

    AWESOME kanagu… this is ur best work till date! 🙂 loved it !! And I agree with every word…

    kanagu: Thanks Ash 🙂 🙂

    My grandfather was a lecturer and principal of a college. He always used to say: today’s education can be compared to an old story where a guy used to invite guests to his home and make them sleep on a standard size bed… if the guest was too short, he’d pull on their legs and stretch to make them reach the bed end, if the guest was too tall he’d chop off their feet. today’s education system does something similar to students having different set of skills and levels of comprehension. I have to agree …

    kanagu: Perfectly said by your grandpa.. really true Ash…

    • June 18, 2010 7:55 pm

      I so agree with Ashwathy!! We have no concept of each child being a unique person with his own needs and talents and skills.
      It’s like if in a jungle every animal, bird or insect is made to swim, run, fly, dig, crawl, climb and hunt… I am hoping Kapil Sibal’s reforms make a difference.

      kanagu: Me too hoping so IHM..

  15. June 16, 2010 2:59 pm

    Delhi government imposed this rules on the school across the state of Delhi……….that all the school have to accept certain percentage of pupils living under BPL……..i saw this being implemented…..and it was implemented really well…………….

    Elite schools in Delhi and NCR like DPS, Modern PS…..etc…..provide free or almost free education to these kids………they taught in the second shift…..i mean from 2 pm-6pm……..

    i always thought of it as a great initiative……and i’m sure this is one decision for which…..many will be thankful to Shiela Dixit’s government………………

    Now a days, i’m living in Bengaluru…..and when checked found that this is not implemented here………….i feel sad of the kids here…….hope Yedurappa impose something similar to the schools here….. too and may be all over India…..if government agrees to it……….

    kanagu: Welcome here Hitesh.. 🙂 🙂 Really thanks for teh info and its heartening to read about this 🙂
    hope every govt. follows this…

  16. June 16, 2010 3:23 pm

    a power packed post kanagu..from the first draft to here – is turned out to be a masterpiece..and as Pal said, it may win too 😀 good luck Tiger..let’s Rock and Roar 😉

    kanagu: Welcome here Neha.. 🙂 🙂 Thank you.. 🙂 🙂 its turned really well.. thanks to Pals and Smita 🙂
    And it topped 🙂 🙂

    • June 20, 2010 2:37 pm


      kanagu: Time to Dance 😀 😀 We won 😀 😀

  17. June 16, 2010 9:21 pm

    This is an entirely amazing side of Kanagu! You have analyzed the situation here, in all angles and provided solutions too!

    kanagu: Thank you very much 🙂 🙂

    Normally, we tend to list the complaints…this is different. If we have common education system, i.e. syllubus, infrastructure everything, our country will come out of the ‘third world’ brand within years. Will it happen here, in India? Hope for the best, Kanagu.

    All the solutions you have listed, are the best ones.

    All the best and you will definitely win this contest!

    kanagu: Thank you 🙂 🙂

  18. June 18, 2010 3:01 am

    Very well thought out, analysed and written Kanagu 🙂 🙂 Way to go 🙂

    kanagu: Thanks PNA 🙂 🙂

    U have explained every aspect that causes our educational system in the country. A balanced and standardized education made compulsory for all is the solution at affordable rates (bad word!).

    India needs to revamp to a more practical kind of education. We produce theorists, but when it comes to practice, most of the students have cold feet. Change in the method of teaching to be thought about. A more close to the real world kind of education which gives equal opportunity study wise and job wise to all who pass out. Because the problem does not end with making the whole nation literate, umemployment has to be tackled

    kanagu: Well said.. there is a problem of unemployment which needs to be addressed soon… and our theoretical teaching won’t help every time…

    Hope India learns fast and aim at improving the education system and as a result secure the future for all of us 🙂 🙂

    Good post 🙂 ATB for the contest 🙂

    kanagu: Thanks PNA and We have done well in the contest 🙂

  19. June 18, 2010 11:03 am

    What a well written and thoughtful post! Kanagu

    kanagu: Thanks Indy 🙂 🙂

    I hope your solutions make it to the education board…and I mean it! And let’s hope our nation will reach it’s full potential through the education of the coming generations!

    kanagu: I don’t know whether my ideas are that worthy.. but I wish education in our country takes a turn for good..

  20. June 18, 2010 8:10 pm

    ‘There are students good in art, or at analytical skills. Some excel in sports. An unusual high importance given to ‘academics’ has robbed children of other equally important life skills and also some wonderful career in their interested field.’

    I so agree!!!

    Kanagu I also feel government should stop subsidizing higher education and start totally focusing on primary education. If all the children get equally good basic education (some may attend in AC classrooms, others under thatched roofs but there should be no lowering of standard in education for children.)

    kanagu: Thats the point IHM.. more than a primary basic education is important which should bring interest to the children such that they won’t drop-off school or college at any time…
    We should also encourage industries to sponsor or support the education of their employees.
    I liked Kapil Sibal’s idea of making all private schools take 25% students from amongst the economically backward classes.

    kanagu: Industries sponsoring students… thats interesting 🙂 🙂 His idea is good.. but it will be really good if it is implemented.. here hitesh has commented that in Delhi they have implemented that.. so nice..
    I feel there is nothing wrong with making profit through education, the only thing is they should not forget then that customer is god and they must provide customer service and satisfaction. Today most schools make profit but also act like gods 😐

    kanagu: I am not against making profits as it was their lifeline but they should stop sucking every penny out of parents pocket…

  21. gyanban permalink
    June 19, 2010 11:24 am

    This is a straight cut post. Simple style and well articulated thoughts.

    kanagu: Welcome here and thanks Gyanban 🙂 🙂

  22. June 19, 2010 2:22 pm

    Appa today only finished reading this :D. Everyday would start reading and somebody/something would disturb me 😀

    kanagu: Yeah.. its a real big and boring post.. 🙂 🙂
    Seriously speaking… what you say is correct to some extent….
    I studied throughout in schools where the fees were minimal and although not very focussed on extra curricular activities… but whatever little used to happen I used to participate in everything and my parents encouraged me a lot on that. When we moved from a small town to a big city like Chennai, I literally gaped at the big city Chennai girls for their confidence but ultimately or rather say very slowly I overcame that too and stood out among them. This also my parents played a huge part. Again college, put to battle with the best brains…and there too I could keep up my head high 😀 … (Ok ok am not boasting!!!)

    kanagu: Hmmm… you are too good Shilpa… I am actually signed a peace petition with my friends after 10th Std that I won’t be competing with them as I become really bad 🙂 🙂
    My parents also had a meager income and an extended family to support but I can proudly say they never compromised in my education part… because they also contributed towards my learning.So as saying goes “Education starts at home” but can say this holds good only for the educated lot and if and only if they are prepared to teach their own children. 😀 😀

    kanagu: Hmmm.. I still remember the beating I got from my mom :mrgreen: surely education starts from home… but some parents don’t have time to spend with their children 😦
    On the whole, nice post!!!

    kanagu: Thank you 🙂 🙂

  23. June 19, 2010 9:52 pm

    Exactly… Education system has to change for good. It is one of the primary things. Only education can solve all the problems in our country. A very nice post on this Kanagu. !!!!

    kanagu: True AK and thank you 🙂 🙂

  24. saritha permalink
    June 20, 2010 3:02 pm

    congrats kanagu

    kanagu: Thanks Akka 🙂 🙂

  25. June 21, 2010 6:04 am

    Loved the way you’ve brought to light the current scenario of the education system with possible solutions. We definitely need to come up solutions and suggestions not leaving the whole thinking and deciding to be done by the politicians.

    Give a strong foundation in the form of primary education to the general masses and let them rise to meet with the needed standards of higher education 😀 😀

    Congratulations on the much deserved win in the BPL 😛

    kanagu: Thank you very much CB 🙂 🙂

  26. June 21, 2010 12:24 pm

    Kanagu… Really wonderfull post.

    kanagu: Thanks Akka 🙂 🙂

  27. June 22, 2010 8:46 am

    I agree to the crux – ‘mugging up’ of the entire syllabus and reproducing that on paper is hurting the education… In fact one of my friends who scored pretty high marks had only one skill – photographic memory!!

    kanagu: Hmmm.. they are the ones who are better placed in this education system…
    I feel that as far as the parents and students want only marks and not quality of education, this situation is going to remain as such.

    kanagu: True… but the oppurtunities available in other fields were never known them… if they know they will do something different…
    CBSE is much better than State board – I studied in both and I say that from my personal experience. However, the best board considered by a lot of people is ICSE. Since I have not studied in it, I am not sure though.

    Destination Infinity

    kanagu: I know that… CBSE has some practicals… but State board is just about mugging up… if one want to understand boards never matters… Me too don’t know about ICSE…

  28. smallstar permalink
    June 23, 2010 2:49 am

    I hope evrything is going fine for u

    I have a new blog, if u r interested…
    the link is:



    kanagu: Hi friend.. I am really fine… hope you are good too.. thanks for letting me know 🙂 Will be there… take care.. hugs 🙂 🙂

  29. smallstar permalink
    June 23, 2010 2:50 am

    sorry, the link was

  30. smallstar permalink
    June 23, 2010 2:52 am

    me so silly!!!!!


  31. July 6, 2010 11:36 pm

    a great post again!

    kanagu: Thanks Reema… thanks for reading all the posts 😀 😀


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