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Centre for Public Policy Research

MARCH ‘07
MIND
TEXT
MINDTEXT MARCH‘07
Volume-2
Issue-3

CPPR is not responsible for the


views expressed in this journal.
Authors own responsibility for their articles

Editor : Hariprasad R.C.


Layout & Design : T.V.Vinu

SEARCH
RE
Y
LI C
L IC P O
PUB
R

O
CENTRE F

Centre for Public Policy Research


Vaikom Road, Cochin
Kerala, India - 682 301
www.cpprindia.org
E-mail : program@cpprindia.org
CONTENTS

EDITORIAL 4

EXCLUSIVE 5
THE MAKING OF A LEGEND

REALITY CHECK 9
INDIAN EDUCATION POLICY AND CURRICULUM

VIEWPOINT 13
ENLARGING THE FIELD

RAW 18
A LETTER FROM INDIA

WAKE UP 20
JAM 20

REPORT 21
ONE DAY INTER-COLLEGIATE SEMINAR

PHOTO GALLERY 22
REFLECTIONS 23
REVERBERATIONS 23

MINDTEXT
MARCH‘07
EDITORIAL
“WITHERING HEIGHTS”
As the month of March marches by, it may very well go down in the history of
the most passionate game of the Indian sub-continent as a very forgettable
one. Clearly, an early Indian exit was never on cards at least in the first round
of the tournament. In fact, it has almost turned out to be a black month for
the game of sport as a whole with the murder of Pakisthan coach Bob
Woolmer.

The setting was grand and the occasion one of the much awaited moments in
any cricket lover's mind. The Caribbean was all set to host the game's most
prestigious tournament. But as seen in the past few weeks the early exits of
the two Asian giants from the world cup in the first round undoubtedly took
some sheen of the entire tournament. To compound the matter was the
nature of defeat which was at the hands of the lowest ranked countries
according to ICC. Bangladesh defeated India and Ireland defeated Pakisthan.
That spelt doom to the world cup dreams of both the nations. Fire replaced
garlands on the postures of the cricket fans. The idols were shattered and
reality stared starkly in the face.

But the game received its worst shock when Pakisthan coach Bob Woolner
was murdered the very next day of Pakisthan's forgettable defeat to Ireland.
Media reports have been making all kinds of speculations and media trials
carried out in many channels. Preliminary investigations have confirmed
death due to strangulation. The investigating team is also seriously looking
into the possibility of the involvement of someone very close to Woolmer.
And questions over the possible links of the murder to match-fixing are
raised by many. In short, the Woolmer murder has overshadowed the world
cup hype and excitement.

For a nation where cricket is a passion, these developments are clearly not
the happiest signs. And after the initial shock and confusion its time for the
people responsible to sit down and think over the present crisis that has
gripped the sport. Considering the fact that BCCI is the richest cricket board
in the world and comparing this with the level of competence displayed by
the players and the team there's surely a need for serious introspection.

It is time we did something to redeem the game from its withering heights.

Love

Editor

MINDTEXT
MARCH‘07
EXCLUSIVE
THE
LIVING
LEGEND
A VIBRANT DOCUMENTARY
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep
- Robert Frost

A tiny window into the remarkable, extraordinary, kaleidoscopic


personality of a living legend who even today at the age of 91 spends all his time
and energy in the service of the people. A homage to a living Indian who has
embodied in himself the best values of the rich, variegated, fabric of Indian
ethos, culture and philosophy and who at the same time has absorbed the best of
what is generally described as western civilization. A tribute to a man who has
been a thinker and a doer, a judge and a companion of the common man, a fighter
and a writer, a pundit as well as an egalitarian, a teacher as a well as an ever -
learning student. An effort to capture on celluloid the rhythm and the melody of
the extraordinary flow of a river of wisdom and compassion, which started on
15th November 1915 in the serene hamlet of Vaidyanathapuram in Palghat
District. The flow goes on as vibrant as ever.

THE
MAKING
OF A
LEGEND

Honorable Chief Minister of Kerala, Sri. V.S. Achuthanandan releasing “The Living Legend”

(The documentary is based on the research work carried out by Team CPPR )
MINDTEXT
MARCH‘07
The life and contributions of Justice Krishna Iyer are truly many - splendoured. Perhaps there is any
other judge in the world who has left the footprints of his genius in so many fields of creative
endeavour and expression. There is perhaps no other judge whose every decision has carried the
imprint of a deeply humanistic, philosophic, poetic, liberal and at the same time revolutionary
personality. If Justice Krishna Iyer had only been a judge, his path - breaking judgments would
certainly win him an indelible place in the history of jurisprudence. He would certainly be known as
one of the greatest judges of the world. But the greatness of Krishna Iyer lies in the fact that he is
first a humanist and then a judge. His judgments flow from his humanism. He has truly lived
humanism with all the passion of his heart not only as a judge but also a human rights activist in his
youth, as Lawyer, Minister in the State Government, High Court Judge, Member of the Law
Commission, Supreme Court Judge and a great public figure who is universally respected.

Krishna Iyer's is a remarkable, extraordinary, kaleidoscopic personality of a


living legend who even today at the age of 91 spends all his time and energy in
the service of the people. He is possibly the only living Indian who has
embodied in himself the best values of the rich, variegated, fabric of Indian
ethos, culture and philosophy and who at the same time has absorbed the best
of what is generally described as western civilization. He has been a thinker
and a doer, a judge and a companion of the common man, a fighter and a writer,
a pundit as well as an egalitarian, a teacher as a well as an ever - learning
student. There is no aspect of human endeavor and creative expression which
Krishna Iyer has not involved himself in, spoken or written about law,
literature in general, specially poetry, music, philosophy, religion, history,
politics, economics, world affairs, mathematics, sports, nature, environment,
THE animals and so on.
MAKING The greatness of Krishna Iyer is that he has always looked upon himself as a
OF A
LEGEND seeker into life and beyond. He did not stop with the achievements in the
domain of public affairs including law. He was not content with having broken
down many barriers in the path of justice and fairness. For him accolades and
state honours and public acclamation are of no consequence. His spirit is like
an eagle flying higher and higher contemplating the vast expanse of reality. His
enquiry into death and beyond is but the natural flow of his spiritual quest. To
many, this may be a puzzle, but to him it was simply human.

MINDTEXT
MARCH‘07
FREEDOM, EQUALITY, FRATERNITY
Freedom, equality and brotherhood are the very essence of
Krishna Iyer's credo and daily life. Every word he wrote,
every judgment he delivered, every sentence he spoke,
every speech he made holds aloft the banner of freedom,
equality and fraternity. Suffering humans are dear to him.
Every human being is his brother or sister. He is at home with
the poor and the naked as well as with statesmen and judges,
thinkers, poets, philosophers, writers and scientists. The
poet Walt Witman would have found a kindred spirit in
Krishna Iyer. He belongs to the world and the world belongs
to him. The earth is his, the heaven is also his. India and the
world has in Krishna Iyer a living incarnation of all that is
truly human. He is indeed a world citizen and a visionary of
all times.
KALEIDOSCOPIC
The beauty and greatness of Krishna Iyer's life is that it is kaleidoscopic. He
started his life as a student of English Literature, then took law following the
footsteps of his illustrious father who was a leading advocate in the small town of
Tellicherry in Kerala, became a defender of peasants, workers and political
activists, became a legislator first in the then Madras Legislative Assembly and
later in Kerala Legislative Assembly, became the Minister of Home, Jails etc. in
the first democratically elected communist ministry known as EMS
Namboodiripad Ministry, in Kerala, after the dismissal of the Ministry by the
Central Government came back to legal practice, then became a judge of the
Kerala High Court and then a member of the Law Commission of India and finally a
judge of the Supreme Court of India and then a sensitive, eloquent public figure.
As a Judge of the Kerala High Court he gave some seminal judgments on human
rights and particularly on Muslim law. He opened up Public Interest Litigation and
gave a decent burial to procedural shackles on justice by treating a letter as a writ
petition. As a judge of the Supreme Court, his prodigious jurisprudential genius
flowed like a mighty river. Many age old banks were demolished, the values
enshrined in the Constitution of India, and particularly in its many - splendoured
preamble and chapters on fundamental rights and directive principles, were
hammered into fighting weapons of human rights jurisprudence. In Krishna Iyer's
inspirational judicial hands, the democratic, republican, socialist, secular and
humanist constitution of India became the shelter and refuge of the dispossessed,
the exploited, the weak, lowly and lost. The rights of the vast masses of people
condemned for centuries to life in social ostracism, economic exploitation and
political domination, the vast multitude of women doomed to wail under the
atrocious rules, customs and laws made by a male dominated society, the millions
of children, denied the inborn right to grow and express their full potentialities
moved the heart of this passionate judge and for him law had to become an
instrument of revolutionary change. There is hardly any aspect of law which
Krishna Iyer has not brought into focus for his judicial attention and action be it
prisoners, workers, peasants, industrial labour, casual labourers, scheduled
THE castes and Tribes, women, children and so on. During a period of seven years he
MAKING reinterpreted and through masterly judicial craftsmanship, almost re-wrote the
OF A
LEGEND law of the land in terms of the values and principles laid down in the Constitution
of India.
In the process he indeed donned the armour of a Soldier for Justice. For him law is
not weak. For him the courts are not to be cosmetic attachments to the executive
and the legislature. For him the courts are temples of justice justice in the widest
and deepest sense of the term, justice which preserves and adds to freedom and
dignity of all human beings.

MINDTEXT
MARCH‘07
After Krishna Iyer was elevated to the Bench in the Supreme Court it did not take much time for him to
conquer the hearts and win the minds of the entire legal fraternity. One after another came intimations
and luminous expressions of profound legal insight and deep human compassion. India and the legal
fraternity world over were dazzled. Krishna Iyer's performance during a short period of seven years was
indeed superb and more so as it came from the heart and brought to the open the enormous gifts of his
mind enriched by inspiring familiarity with the thoughts and insights of the best minds in the world. A
master craftsman, a sensitive soul, a passionate heart, a creative inspirer and embodiment of the
concept of Dharma, diamond cutting razor like mind, language which was fragrant with the nectar of the
English language, lionine courage which could stand up to the powers that be, the conscience keeper of
the nation, a walking encylopedia, a challenger of traditions and at the same time a proud inheritor of
the best in all the cultures and traditions of all lands, a votary of peace and non-violence, a proud son of
India who never fails to proclaim the family of man - Krishna Iyer is all these and more. He cannot be
classified or categorized. He belongs to one and all.
Justice Krishna Iyer has lived the quintessence of the Buddha's teachings “Be a lamp unto thyself”. His is
indeed a Vedantic approach, Let knowledge come from all sides. He has accepted light from whatever
source it came - the ancient wisdom of India, European Renaissance, modern science, Marxism, Fabian
socialism, Gandhism or whatever. He has been like the butterfly, which sucks honey from every flower
irrespective of its colour. He is a truly universal man.MINDTEXT

GLOWING TRIBUTES

Dr. Manmohan Singh


Prime Minister
Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer is acclaimed in the country and outside as a legal
luminary, eminent Judge of the Supreme Court, activist for the cause of
human rights and above all an outstanding human being. In the annals of
jurisprudence Justice Krishna Iyer's judicial pronouncements constitute a
landmark expanding the scope of freedom and rights of human beings. His
tenure as the first Law Minister of Kerala will be long remembered.

Justice Michael Kirby, President


Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of Australia
“Incontestably one of the great spirits of the common law of this century”.
This is a man, through his long life, has remained for ever young. He still
champions the causes of justice with the optimism and idealism of youth.”

Justice Y.K Sabharwal


Former Chief Justice of India
A jurist, scholar and man of words, Justice Krishna Iyer changed the face of
law and 'discovered' the constitutional imperative for the protection of
human rights to bring the law to the rescue of the common man. Gentle in his
interaction with the downtrodden yet unabashedly bellicose in his quest for
justice, his erudition enabled him to walk the tightrope of public policy with
élan, holding the state and its instrumentalities accountable to a larger goal
the actualization of the more humane democracy that was his vision. In all
THE
MAKING these endeavors, he made the Constitution beautiful in action and reminded
us of the nature of the document that we had sworn to protect.
OF A
LEGEND

To be continued...
MINDTEXT
MARCH‘07
REALITY CHECK
TRENDS IN
INDIAN EDUCATION POLICY
AND CURRICULUM
- D.Dhanuraj -

“…by the year 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able
to complete a full course of primary schooling and the girls and boys will
have equal access to all levels of education.”
-Millennium Declaration, UN Assembly

Twenty first century India is an emerging economic power.


Population is no more an ulcer but tangible in terms of demographic
dividend. Half of the population is in the age group of 15 to 40 years. The
unleashed potential at the economic scene is best tapped only by an
educated India. Alas! the lack of quality compounded with the lack of
opportunities in the education sector make the situation provides little
scope of the sector. The poverty alleviation and better quality life are to be
ensured to all the citizens irrespective of there social background from they
emerge. Education is the tool for affirmative action to uplift the
downtrodden from their misery and helplessness. Unfortunately, the
various schemes and policy initiatives by the central and state governments
have not borne the fruit as they have aimed so far. There requires
introspection into the various schemes before envisaging another one.

Recent statistics shows that our enrolment figure has even though
grown fast, the drop out rates is still very high as 68.58% 1. The percentage
wise enrolment of girls have increased but not to the satisfying levels. The
central government's own figures indicate that many as two-thirds of those
eligible for secondary education remain outside the school system today. A
Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) committee estimates that
88,562 additional classrooms will be required in 2007-08 and over 1.3 lakh
2
additional teachers . The gross enrolment rate for elementary education in
2003-04 was 85 percent, but for secondary education, the enrolment figure
stood at 39 percent. The ratio of upper primary to lower primary schools in
most part of the country is still around 1:4, as against the official
commitment of making it 1:2. The ratio of secondary to primary schools is
around 1:6. This is far from the norms achieved in the developed world or
3
even with the situation in many developing countries . In order to solve
these issues, one must understand the various influencing which enact as
the deciding factors in the outcome.

1.Selected Educational Statistics, 2000-01


2.Deepa A, Government staling secondary school reforms, September 5, 2006.
3.R.Govinda, NIEPA, 1998
MINDTEXT
MARCH‘07
Two oft repeated names in education scene are; Lord Mcaulay and
Kothari. If the former is known for the advent of English education in
EDUCATION
India to train Indians to serve Her Majesty, the latter is quoted for his CAN PLAY
commission report on the vision of education in the post independent
era. Both are milestones and noteworthy from the academic view point.
A CRUCIAL ROLE
It shows Indians were exposed to the need of the education and that too IN
on the quality provided. Kothari commission report discussed the need
of revisiting and restructuring the education section especially at the
THE DEVELOPMENT
primary level to the various needs of the country. The emphasis was on OF THE SOCIETY.
ensuring education facility to the all the children of this country and the
syllabi to be prescribed at the various levels. This was followed by
Operation Black Board in 1986 and Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA), a few
noted schemes to mention. In the post independent scenario everyone
understood the significance of education that can play a crucial role in
the development of the society. One thing that has been overlooked in
most of these schemes has been how to tackle the various elements that
hinder the provision of the education in a multi diversified society
where the need and necessities of education are defined at multitude
ways. In albeit, the government tried the rationing method as the
solution. Not surprisingly SSA has been implicated for the poor
performance and plan diversification.

Education was treated under state list till 1976. It meant that the state
can formulate the guidelines and effective implementation of the
schooling and overall education policies. Later in 1976, the amendment
was brought the education under concurrent list which was aimed to
cohabitate the interest of the state and centre at the larger interest of
the nation. But it has become the rule of the day that the central
agencies play the major role in formulation and implementation of the
policies concerned. A pragmatic evaluation of the present system shows
that education as a core has lost its identity and parochialism.

Caste and economic status play an important role in every life in this
country. The chances to open up are often misled and confiscated by the
greedy vote bank centred politicians. When they play an active role in
the implementation of the policies, one sect always looks at retaining
the illiteracy class as an untested ground for their cranny idiotism.

In one of the recent studies held Hyderabad, James Tooley has found out
that even in the slums, the private schools are preferred over the
government schools 4. Another major find out is the higher achievement
of the private schools and definitely the quality imparted in these
unaided schools. This has led to the high satisfaction limits for the
parents even for the higher fees they pay for the service. This is an area
where the Government should introspect the failure of the polices and
suggest changes mandatory.

4. Private Schools for Low-income Families: A briefing paper James Tooley, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne,
England.

MINDTEXT
MARCH‘07
Most of the government schools lack the basic amenities like desks, tables, black boards, toilets and
some times the teachers are also missing from the scene. The scholarship schemes have not been so
proactive except a few states in India. Kerala, the leading literate state in India has achieved this
stupendous task in 90s itself as the end result of public private partnerships accentuated by various
scholarship schemes at various levels for more than a century.

Another clutch acting against is the regulatory means that govern the schools. It has been turned out to
be an example for licence permit raj. The situation is so worse that even a charitable organisation or an
individual wishes to educate the poor by starting a school, it has to overcome the red tapism prevalent at
Bhabu level. Tax benefits and regulatory relief are paramount to the universal education. The
essentiality certificate has to be done away with.

There is an urgent need for prioritising the sector and its requirements. The Government can provide
vouchers (scholarships) to the needy students so that the parents and the students have options in
selecting the schools; be it private or public largely based on the quality of the service provided. The
increase in GDP has been argued as the better remedy for scaling up the quality of the education. But
many studies showed that an average comparison of the salary drawn by the teachers in private and
public schools has at least a gulf of five times yet the academic quality is far better in the private schools.
But the Government cannot be wished away from increased spending in education provided that it is
used efficiently

State cannot be the sole proprietor of the school education. As in the very other cases, the monopoly will
lead to the dearth of options that will lead to the natural death of the provision due to the lack of
alternatives. In highly successful states like Kerala and Himachal Pradesh, accountability of the
teachers led to the success story. Parents have the right to say and the teachers are accountable to the
management of the school. These issues cannot be tackled through mere policy statement but only by
collective community action. Public school teachers in particular form powerful unions to which
government cannot invoke any action against. But in the case of private schools government can play the
role of regulator and any distraction from the core values can be dealt in a transparent and accountable
way.

“Education established and controlled by the State, should only exist, if it exist at all, as one among
many competing experiments, carried on for the purpose of example and stimulus, to keep the others
5
up to a certain standard of excellence .”
- John Stuart Mill

Diversification and multiplication of the avenues of the education is the need of the hour. No one can be
a sole custodian of the sector. The monopoly of this dominant mode is so powerful as to seriously
jeopardise the emergence of a pluralistic framework through apparently innocuous instruments such as
equivalence, comparable learning inputs, comparable length of learning, common public examinations
and so on. Creating an institutional framework of delivery and organising the inputs in meaningful
learning units are relevant only to the extent that they facilitate easy and effective transaction of
learning processes. In too many instances, education policymakers are viewing standards as just another
top-down reform, divorced from the needs and realities of the classroom. Moreover, they are paying too
little attention to developing the curriculum needed for achieving those standards. The professional
development and support required for children at risk are often either unavailable or of questionable
quality. Tests unrelated to the standards and curricula, like multiple-choice tests designed to measure
how well a person has learned a specific set of information, are being imposed with negative
consequences on students, teachers and schools. Even if schooling is considered to be a public good, the
community schools do not need the Government ownership but only government financial support. It is
the collective consumption of the good that matters and not the collective ownership. Government can
ensure social equality along the class and ethnic origins by offering travel concessions and sorting out
geographical limitations. By offering exit option, the parents can pressurise the poor schools to lift their
quality.
5. On Liberty, John Stuart Mill, 1909

MINDTEXT
MARCH‘07
The critical point is to understand is the importance of mass schooling and significance of education
and how to link them each other. It requires an official environment to support school education. To
ensure that government schools are more efficiently managed, a committee comprising members from
the neighbourhood could be asked to take decisions concerning the school and local government body
shall have a say in the functioning of the system. Even the Government schools can be handed over to
the private managements who already have a successful track record. Curriculum reforms,
examination reforms and large scale efforts for introducing progressive pedagogy and so on, are being
made in almost all the states. However, given the large size of the school education system, these
system level reforms seem to be making very little impact on the functioning of the school. This can be
better managed by the localised empowerment. A flexible and dynamic curriculum framework that
meets the varying needs and aspirations of the diverse profiles of children entering school education
can be set up in this environment. This is essential, if school education is to be made more joyful and
relevant to the lives of the people.

Inside the classroom, the regime of the test is gaining dominance. Learning is oriented to simply
passing the exam, rather than toward knowledge and personal development, or preparation for adult
life. This is to be expected, since a rigid “pass or fail” regime with financial carrots and sticks for
educators and institutions encourages (or scares) teachers into spending more class time drilling
students to answer questions, with little left to explore the substance of the curriculum and to learn
together. SSA has achieved the transit from the syllabus oriented to process oriented class rooms. The
scope shall be widened and teachers shall be more equipped to save the generation.

The challenge is to invest more energy and


resources to improve the system, both in its
outreach capacity and quality. We have to act on
this with a sense of urgency and earnestness, lest
education itself becomes a means of promoting
social inequality and a source of increasing chasm
between those who can pay for their education and
those who cannot. Provisions to the financial
support for the education shall be innovated
involving the State, Banks and the private
managements. Focus shall be on the targeted
outcomes. Policies seriously seeking to raise the
quality of learning and teaching must provide more
help and fewer sanctions, particularly to low
SUFFICIENT RESOURCES performing students and schools. If we want every
student to reach higher standards, education
MUST BE MADE policy-makers and governments must pay more
attention to proper implementation.
AVAILABLE Underperformance is rarely entirely the fault of
young people. Sufficient resources must be made
TO GET available to get the job done properly. Teachers (as
well as parents) must understand what the goals are
THE JOB DONE and how to reach them. They must be offered
opportunities for professional development that
PROPERLY. focus on knowledge formation, effective and
innovative instruction, and acquiring the
assessment tools necessary for helping young
people to make progress toward meeting higher
standards.

MINDTEXT
MARCH‘07
It has been postulated that the increasing prevalence of private schools is due to
the poor performance of public schools, but it has not been easy to COMPARISON
systematically disentangle the extent to which the creation of private schools is OF
reflecting demand due to poor public school performance as opposed to rising
incomes. The role of private schools cannot be over-stressed, nor the public THE
schools in their respective contribution to the education sector. But the role of FUNCTIONING
private schools deserves credence as a stimulator for the changing patterns
which we have witnessed in the last few years. There has been a significant OF
increase in the quality of education, the return values accompanying it and PRIVATE
benefits accruing from it to the people at large. Private schools have been
instrumental in enlarging the horizon of the young through the competitive AND
atmosphere it has developed even confirming to the international standards. PUBLIC
The employability of the students who pass-out from the private schools in
various fields is another positive dimension which one should appreciate. SCHOOLS
A comparison of the functioning of private schools and public schools is never
IS
easy keeping in mind with the inconsistency of both with reference to the various NEVER
states. It can be said that the efficiency of a private school in Kerala will never be
the same as in its counter-part in Uttar Pradesh. This may be attributed to the
EASY
+
way in which the system of schooling developed.

One has to gather the growth of private schooling with regards to the changing
social, economic and political changes in India. All educationists' are at one voice
in claiming the importance of the 1991 Liberalization policies of the then
government. It had paved way for a movement towards Liberalization,
Privatization and Globalization (LPG) even in the educational sector which was
rather concentrated on trade related issues. The private players though were
slow in taking the chance, schools managed by private players sprouted up
though centred on the main cities. But the chances of profit making (which is
their motto) grew up, the prospects of private schooling even in rural areas
increased. The mind set of the people at the same time had gradually changed,
with the parents becoming aware of the future prospects of letting their children
in private schools. The returns were high in the form of quality, because of the
competitive atmosphere created in such schools when compared to the public
schools. The regular attention of the teachers towards their students paid off and
performance levels increased while drop-out rates decreased. Though the
parents had to afford high fees for getting their children enrolled in private
schools, it never stopped them from enrolling their children in these schools. This
may be attributed to the increase in the standard levels, the returns from such an
institution, the possibility of getting good quality education easily when
compared to the rigid rules of admission etc. which made the parents favour the
private schools instead of the Government schools. This all culminated in the
sprouting of a large number of private schools both in urban and rural areas, and
at the same time led to the disappearance of government schools. In 1973-74
Government primary schools were 51% of the total primary schools in India. In
1978-79, 1986-87 and 1993-94 a large percentage of primary schools were under
local bodies but the trend again shifted in 1996-97 and 2001-02 in which the
percentage of Govt. primary schools was higher than local bodies. Government
and local bodies put together continued to own more than 90% of primary
schools. The contribution of private agencies has been small though increasing
over the years and was highest in the year 2001-02 (9.08%). The percentage of
primary aided schools has been slowly decreasing over the years while the
percentage of unaided schools has been increasing. A look at the table clearly
shows the trend. MINDTEXT
+ Kerala had developed private schooling even before independence, due to the work of Christian
Missionaries. The state has also been able to maintain its position in the literacy rate.
MINDTEXT
MARCH‘07
Reference:
1. Private Schools and the Millennium Development Goal of Universal Primary Education: A census
and comparative survey in Hyderabad, Centre for Civil Society, New Delhi, 2006 India.
2. http://7thsurvey.ncert.nic.in/national/categoryf.asp accessed on December 26, 2006.
3. Shah Parth, Address legality of for-profit orientation, Economic Times, December 25, 2006.
4. Now, Delhi Government clears way for more schools, Indian Express, May 4, 2005.
5. Ministry of Planning and program and implementation, Literacy and levels of Education in India, NSS 55th
round July 1999 June 2000, National Sample Survey Organisation, Government of India.
6. Larry Willmore, Education by the state, DESA discussion paper no 27, United Nations, November 2002.
7. C. P Chandrasekhar et al., Issues in school education in contemporary Kerala, Unicef, New Delhi 2001.
8. http://www.indiatogether.org/2006/aug/edu-secschool.htm accessed on September 5, 2006
9. http://www.oecdobserver.org accessed on July 12, 2006.

D.Dhanuraj is the Chairman of Centre for Public Policy Research.

VIEWPOINT
ENLARGING THE FIELD
THE NEED TO ENCOURAGE PRIVATE PLAYERS IN SCHOOLING OF THE FUTURE
- MADHU S -
The role of government as an institution for the furtherance of the common goals of a society had
emanated long before, at a time when the concept of state had sprouted up. The state in its ends of its
goals devised policies attune to the changing needs demanded by the society. The concept of a state as a
welfare state brought out the idea of the nationalization of various sectors in the “larger interest” of the
people. The field of education had by this time begun to be commodity of the Government. This was with
the ultimate aim of making a knowledgeable society free from the precincts of inequality, untouchables,
caste etc. ;there is no doubt that the control of education in the hands of the government has been
fruitful in reaching out education to the majority breaking the shackles of knowledge accumulation
confined to the elites of the society. It is noteworthy that the government had achieved small but
significant strides in increasing the knowledgeable levels of the population. But as times have changed
and the common goals existed earlier has either become archaic or has outlived its purpose; it needs to
be redeemed into new goals which limits the role of the government. (This is where the government
needs to re-look its functions in the society. When it comes to education the state, which had been
monopolizing the function of imparting it, has become defunct owing to its laxity in bringing changes to
the rapidly changing educational atmosphere created by the ever growing advancements in science and
technology. Neither has it been able to increase the quantity nor the quality in its true sense. Though the
various Institutions and Committees evolved by the government has pondered over the question of
improving the educational standards and had devised plans and policies to tackle it, nothing has changed
over the years in this area. This may be attributed to umpteen numbers of reasons such as lack of funds,
red-tape ism, lack of broad vision, delays in implementing many functions, etc. This is the very reason for
which the government's role in the education sector needs to addressed and also role of private players in
schooling of children be emphasized.

MINDTEXT
MARCH‘07
++
Percentage of Primary Schools Under Different Management
Year Govt. Local Body Govt.+ LB Private Private
(LB) Aided Un-aided
1973-74 50.88 42.47 93.34 5.01 1.64
1978-79 38.96 55.03 93.99 4.42 1.59
1986-87 41.37 51.71 93.08 4.34 2.57
1993-94 44.63 47.47 92.10 3.78 4.12
1996-97 47.78 43.88 91.66 3.34 5.00
2001-02* 47.45 43.47 90.92 3.07 6.01
*Provisional

The major hurdle facing the private schools or in other words the major disadvantage of
private schools is the exclusion of the poor students from their mainframe. This has been
the subject of severe criticism and calls for a ban on profiteering, directly related to it
were raised by the strong opponents of private schools. True, profit motive is the ulterior
motive of the private players who start schools, but we cannot rule out the financial
constrains of the setting up and managing of a private school. Private un-aided schools have
to cater to their daily needs only through the fees accrued from the students themselves;
which undoubtedly over-strains the parents of the children. The Government policy
towards such institutions stops them from getting funds from outside sources

The pathetic conditions in which each government schools are running makes one re-think
on the need to change the policies of these schools. The government neither have the fund
nor the transparency in managing the schools, be it government or aided schools. This has
in return effected the quality of teaching and the students, as the teachers rarely comes to
a government school when compared to a private school where a teachers permanency is
depended upon the his/her quality. This is in addition to the competition of the students be
it in academics or sports that tilts the balance in favour of private schools. Aided schools
are better when compared to the government schools but not better than private schools.
From this we can understand how autonomy in managing schools works. Higher the degree
of autonomy more returns one can get, as is true from a private un-aided school. Now it is
the very autonomy which is raised by some educationists in order to improve the depleting
+++
condition of state run schools.

Private schools have an edge over Public schools


It is interesting to note that it is areas with poor public schools as opposed to richer areas
that are more likely to have private schools. A survey conducted recently showed that
private-school teacher salaries in rural India are typically less than one-fifth the salary of
regular public-school teachers (and are often as low as one-tenth as much). This enables
the private schools to hire more teachers, have much lower pupil-teacher ratios, and
reduce multi-grade teaching. Private school teachers are significantly younger and more
likely to be from the local area as compared to their counterparts in the public schools.
They are 2-8 percentage points less absent than teachers in public schools and 6-9
percentage points more likely to be engaged in teaching activity at any given point in
time.*

++ Department of Education, Government of India compiled by IAMR


+++ Recently an advertisement for the sale of a government school in kerala had come up in a leading newspaper
which failed to get due attention. Malayalam Magazine
* Education in India-Prayatna

MINDTEXT
MARCH‘07
Combining the effects of a lower pupil-teacher ratio and a higher level of teaching activity leads to a
child in a private school having 3-4 times more 'teacher-contact time' than in a public school in the
same village. Private schools also start teaching English significantly earlier, which is something that
parents repeatedly say they value in interviews. Finally, children in private schools have higher
attendance rates and superior test score performance, with the latter being true even after
controlling for family and school characteristics. This should be seen in the backdrop of the
disciplinary attitude of the management on the part of both the teachers and the students calling for
efficiency in the whole system of imparting education**. The state run schools are on the other hand
less discipline, as attendance of teachers are not mandatory and not strictly viewed by the
Inspection Officers ( who rarely come)***. One can easily draw up the conclusion in favour of the
private schools as the recent trends towards primary education in the hands of private parties are on
the emerging.

The problem of poor students getting admission to private schools deserves mention, but it should
not be at the stake of the capability of the private school to bear the expenses of such children by
providing them free education. It is in this situation that the government should intervene either in
the form of providing grant-in-aids or by way of scholarships. In this respect the opponents of private
schools may say that such a step would be encouraging profiteering at the expense of the state. It is
at this juncture that one should address the consistency of public schools in truly been 'public'. The
situation of the education sector over the years has been grim, until the growth of private schooling.
Instead of encouraging them to built more schools, which in no way can be a process of profiteering
when compared to other business activities. The state should build a platform for the private players
to have a hand in the education especially in the rural areas where the public schools are
denigrating. Instead of putting obstacles in the form of stringent rules and policies the government
should promote such private players who are none other than the private citizens of a country in
setting up schools. This would be the greatest way of social service and this would stimulate a
process of social engineering in the educational sector thereby contributing collectively to the
society. It would be worthwhile to note that if the Government change their policies regarding
setting up of schools, the business big wagons like Vijay Mallya, Azim Premji, Mukesh Ambani, etc.
may be interested in starting schools imparting vocational training. They would even absorb the
students directly to their vast empire which has the advantage of reducing the unemployment rate
and increase the specialized working population.

A look at the legislations

The recent Right to Free and Compulsory Education Bill, 2003 has envisaged the need to provide free
education to poor students even in private schools. The Bill mandates that 20 percent of its seats
have to be provided for poor students free of cost. This unduly burdens the private management in
meeting out the expected demand and this can cause great repercussions. It also calls for a strong
bureaucratic control over the admission of such students. This can only add fuel to the fire by
inviting corruption. The local government officials, who are less interested in a child's education
than parents themselves, are empowered to decide and impose their decisions not only on children,
but also on schools. Local officials will have to decide the percentage of seats (upto 20%) to be
reserved by private schools for poor children (those below the poverty line) with no fees charged,
and the very same officials will also get to decide which of the poor children will be admitted to
which school. Schools will want to minimize the percentage of reserved seats and parents will want
their children to be in the best private schools and both of them will look to achieve their ends by
influencing the public officials who have to decide on their behalf.

** Public-Private partnerships for universal quality education- Kartik Muralidharan, Seminar


*** As a result of low attendance in Government schools, they devised the policy of Shiksha Karmis or bare-foot
teachers who would personally teach classes unattended by absent teachers. This policy has been implemented in
Rajasthan since 1987.

MINDTEXT
MARCH‘07
The Right to Education Bill, 2005 which was brought into the educational scenario for achieving the
goals of Universal Elementary Education (UEE), and the enacting of the 86th Amendment of the
Constitution making it mandatory for the state to provide free and compulsory education to all
children between the ages of 6-14 years are undoubtedly noteworthy changes. By adding Article 21A^
into the Constitution the State has incorporated the noble ideal of Right to Education embalmed by
the Article 45^^, Directive Principles of State Policy, making it a duty to the state for providing free
education to all children of 6-14. But it has also interestingly made it or cast a burden on the poor
parents and guardians to provide such education as deems fit for their children (Article 51A (k)).^^^

Concluding solution

The role of Government in the education sector cannot be made perfunctory by privatizing the whole
educational sector, but a more practicable mode would be by inviting private players to start schools,
giving them the full autonomy to decide internal matters while at the same time reserving the role of
checking unfair competition likely to impede the growth of education to the government. Another
practical approach devised by some educationist's is the Voucher/scholarships method. The basic idea
of an education voucher is that the government would fund students instead of schools and that the
money would follow the student and get paid to whichever school that the child chooses to enroll in.#
In such a situation, even the poorest parents would be able to send their child to a private school if
they felt that it was superior to the public school, but would be just as free to send their child to the
government school if they felt that it was the best option for their child. Thus, the claim is not that all
private schools are superior to government schools. Rather, the aim is to think about ways of providing
the poorest and most disadvantaged sections of society with the same set of choices faced by their
better-off counterparts. This is exactly what a voucher or scholarship programme would do.

The programme's like Sarva Siksha Abhyan (SSA) deserves praise but need to be shrugged-off its
defects of poor funding and accessibility ##. This can be done only with the help of private players who
can reach out to all the sections of the society in the most efficient manner. Nothing can be as fruitful
as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in the educational sector. Neither of them should monopolize but
rather co-operate in the effective working of the mechanism of providing education to all. It is in this
juncture that one should recognize the 'Ernakulam Model', wherein Kerala Shastra Sahitya Parishad
(KSSP) an NGO involving governmental agencies developed the unique way of bringing awareness of
education to the people by personally going to their homes. This process of massive mobilization of
the community was by organizing kala-jathas and festives which was largely responsible for the
increasing literacy levels in the District. This Model served the platform extending this process of
mobilization to national levels by the creation of National Literacy Mission (NLM). It is clear from this
that the process of educating can be done more efficiently and systematically with PPP. From all this
we can conclude that while the Government has succeeded in building the foundations for the
education of all, the structures have to be raised by the private players with the co-operation from the
state so as to achieve the ends of an egalitarian and welfare state. Any future discussions on this issue
should be seen in the light of the current atmosphere prevailing and most importantly the effects it
can have on the children who should be trained to become the trusted future of the country. MINDTEXT

^ Art 21A Right to education. - The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to
fourteen years in such manner as the State may, by law, determine.
^^ Art 45. Provision for early childhood care and education to children below the age of six years- The State shall
endeavor to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six years."
^^^ Art. 51A (k) - “who is a parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child or, as the case may be,
ward between the age of six and fourteen years.
#
For the purpose of bringing awareness of the voucher system a School Choice Campaign has been launched by the Centre
of Civil Society with the motto “ fund students not schools”-www.schoolchoice.in
##
It has been found that it costs the public exchequer an additional burden of 2100 Crores every year.

Madhu S is an intern with Centre for Public Policy Research, Kochi


MINDTEXT
MARCH‘07
RAW
A LETTER FROM INDIA
- THASNEEM -
Dear fellow beings,

"If I were to look over the whole world to find out the country most richly endowed with all the wealth,
power and beauty that nature can bestow in some parts a very paradise on earth - I should point to India.
If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has
most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions of some of them which
will deserve the attention even of those who have studied Plato and Kant - I should point to India. And if
I were to ask myself from what literature we, here in Europe, we who have been nurtured almost
exclusively on the thoughts of Greeks and Romans, and of one Semitic race, the Jewish, may draw that
corrective which is most wanted in order to make our inner life more perfect, more comprehensive,
more universal, in fact more truly human, a life, not for this life only but a trans- figured and eternal
life - again I should point to India.”- Max Mueller

I heard this quote for the first time when I was in school. My quick reaction or the initial thoughts were
full of glory and pride of being an Indian. But today these are words of irony. A real fantasy or to be very
precise a mirage. To feel something which actually does not exist at all? Or is it that we failed to keep the
treasures of the past for the present???

Being a country with population growing into fabulous numbers, it is not my prerogative or it rather does
not comply with the confines of my capability and potential to talk about the whole nation. May be
better luck next time..!!! But Kerala, the land of coconuts falls into the farthest ends of my purview of
things, taking up every venture to look and think smart. But again I am not very confident to talk about
this large space.

But yes, Kalamassery or very precisely Pathadipalam where I live, by all means is my place, with every
tree, every landmark, every cloud, every crow becoming a part of my perspective every day. Hence, I
have every right to talk about this place.

But before getting into this I would like to do the setting. I can rightly call India, a land of Civics and
History. Right from fourth forums, whether we like it or not, we are forced to make unemployment,
poverty, gender discrimination, population and many more such aspects the cells of our blood. Any
citizen, educated, at least who have done the preliminary levels, would have knowledge about the big
terms along with a definition for two or three marks and answers for essay questions for eight to ten
marks giving them a complete view about things. If educated lot learn them the uneducated the
experience is the same. Specifically, you and I clearly know what our pressing problems are.

But my point is very different from all these. Gandhiji knew poverty and hunger were the “immediatest”
(grammatically an error) problems that his contemporaries suffered from. He then gave the mantra of
charka. Though the results were not spectacular, though Tata's and Birla's were not made from charkas, a
difference, a change was evident. Forget charkas, we don't even remember Mahatma except for the
other slogan given by the academic pursuit, “the Father of the nation”. Even after 60 years of
independence, we should rather be ashamed to continue discussing what our real problems are and as a
matter of fact though we are in the process of losing our culture, heritage and other factors which total
up Indianess, we can be “proud” enough to say that we still stick on to the same age old problems. Now I
won't make a mistake to list out the problems, though being a part of the instinct of every Indian, I was
also tempted to list them out but to my own admiration I stroked them off. I hope you understood the
reason.
MINDTEXT
MARCH‘07
I simply wanted to say that it is not possible to go back to charka, but definitely we can draw a message
from the same, for Gandhi and his principles are universal and they cut across the times. Charka to him
was a suggestion to solve the then problems. Today we can't wait for the birth of another Gandhi to solve
our problems. But each can endeavour to become a Gandhi in his or her own way. What we need to do is
to give suggestions to solve our issues.

Now here is a scope for a real twist. When asked what is your ambition Indians often say a doctor,
engineer, district administrator, a minister as if life ends then and there. So though we think very small
about such things when it comes to our problems we take it really big and large, often reaching for the
sky. To us the fact that NASA is not in India or National Highways are not there in the villages or Bill Gates
is not an Indian is a real problem. But how can we forget that man should go through different levels to
reach for his needs and then his desires. The basic needs being food, shelter and clothing (with water
and air available free of cost in the present times). So as long as our base needs are not met how we can
think extravagantly??? Here an important point should be made. The development of India is not just my
development but your development too…it is not the development of the cities alone but that of the
villages too…hence, it is a comprehensive term taking in all the departments.

By god's grace my basic needs are met but I do find many around me who still dream for three meals a
day, a shelter and for decent clothing. So it is high time we start thinking about this qualitative aspect of
development where we can feel the difference. Because the reality for any common man is a crowded
bus and market place, a dirty puddle of water near his/her house, life ruled by the monthly salary,
beggar disturbing nap at noon and not space stations, satellites or atom bombs. I don't deny their
relevance but a good structure should have a strong foundation else a wind can play havoc.

So what can be the charka of the contemporary age? I would like to give a suggestion...a new
mantra…the mantra of stimuli, response and reaction. We should start responding to the happenings
around us, to the issues that we confront in our normal zindagi. This must start as a rule from the
individual level. From you and me. We live in the golden age of Right to Information Act. We should be
able to exploit this weapon to respond to our individual circumstances. We have every right to question
the concerned authorities about our amenities. Develop a positive outlook. Give up crying for the
problems and start crying for the needs. The world will see and feel the difference.

My Malgudi is a universal symbol. Every day when I walk down the road of Pathadipalam I see the canal on
one side of blocked waste… it is in fact a microcosm of dirt, waste, microbes, mosquitoes and stinking
water. One can see everything in that canal from plastics to what not…I saw this today, yesterday, week
ago, months ago and in fact right from my birth( evidently an exaggeration). I would like to know what
the concerned authorities planned to do, plan to do and will plan to do about the same.

Under the Municipalities Act, it is the duty of the municipality to cater to the civic amenities of the
residents. Since last few days we don't have water or electricity during day time and I would like to know
the reasons for the same (if some maintenance work is going on) and whether proper notice was
dispatched to give the information about the same to the residents which they are liable to do, so that
the people living here could make adequate arrangements. A point between Edapally and Toll junction
was in news few days back for the waste dumped there which make it hellish for the passers by and the
residents of the area…who live with sealed noses. I would like to know what the concerned authorities
are doing about this.

These and many more are MY immediate concerns but your individual concerns might be or might not be
the same. Equip yourself with your duties and rights. While it is my right to walk down the road to draw
heavenly inspiration to write poetry about the beauty of nature and not about waste water it is at the
very same time my duty to react against all violating aspects. Lets start from ourselves for India is made
by you and me…let's stop blaming others and think what have we done?? MINDTEXT
I would be happy to receive individual responses about my letter to my email address
thasneemt1@yahoo.com. Drops of water make an ocean…so let's work individually to make Rome.

Thasneem is a final year student of BA Communicative English at St.Teresa's College, Cochin.


MINDTEXT
MARCH‘07
WAKE UP!!!
Ancient Indian Space Legacy (continuing)

Indian students of astronomy used various kinds of JUST


astronomical instruments for measuring time, the
altitude, and azimuth of heavenly bodies and for
A MINUTE
visually following the motion of planets and stars.
This was the practice even from the Vedic period. QM.7.
Aryabhatta, Brahmagupta, Lalla , Sripati, and Where were the earliest
Bhaskara described various astronomical magic squares (4x4) found?
instruments. They are named in whose
honor?
“golo bhaganashchakram dhanurghati
shankushakataykartharya:
pithak palashalaka dvadashayantraanisaha
yashtayaa” Answer to QM.6.
The mathematician who first
“Gola, Bhagana, Chakra, Dhanus, Ghati, Shanku, framed the rules of operation
Shakata, Kartari, Pitha, Kapala, Shalaka, and for zero was Brahmagupta.
Yashti” are the twelve instruments.
He was also to give a solution
Besides these twelve instruments, Lalla described to indeterminate equations
water instruments, the self-rotating globe and of the type ax2+1=y2 and the
shadow instruments also. founder of a branch of higher
mathematics called
-INSTRUMENT FOR MEASURING TIME: These were simple
water clocks and clepsydra whose cycle time were often 1
"Numerical analysis". No
Ghadi or 24 minutes. wonder Bhaskara, the great
mathematician, conferred
-GNOMON OR SHANKU YANTHRA: It was used for the on him the title of
determination of the position of the heavenly bodies and also Ganakachakrachudamani,
for terrestrial surveying. the gem of the circle of
-SHALAKA YANTHRA: It was used for determining the angular
mathematicians
distance of a celestial object.

-SHAKATA YANTRA: Variation of Yashti Yantra (cart


instrument).

-ARYABHATTA CHAKRA YANTRA: It was used for determining


the height of a terrestrial object.
Send in your answers to
-VARAHAMIHIRA'S CHAKA YANTRA modified Aryabhatta's edit@cpprindia.org
Chakra Yantra.

Courtesy: Awakening Indians to India


MINDTEXT
MARCH‘07
REPORT
ONE DAY INTER-COLLEGIATE SEMINAR ON
CHANGING GLOBAL ORDER
AND ITS IMPACTS ON INDIA
CPPR organized a one day all Kerala intercollegiate seminar on “Changing Global Order
and Its Impacts on India” on February 3rd 2007 at S H College, Thevara. It was organized
with the help of the Speaker's Forum and the Sociology Association of the College. The
audience included both students and teachers from S H College, Thevara, NUALS,
Assumption College, Chenganassery & Trichur Law College.

The seminar focussed on Entrepreneurship & Kerala Society, India's resurgence in


International Scenario and Kerala Society - Where are we heading to? The panel of
experts included Mr Jose Thomas and Mr Mohan Varghese

The seminar was inaugurated by Rev. Fr. A J Saviance, Princpal, S H College, Thevara by
lighting the lamp. The first session was by Mr Jose Thomas, a young and promising
entrepreneur from Kerala, on the topic “Entrepreneurship & Kerala Society”. He
handled the topic with the ease and conveyed his ideas in a simple and effective
language during his one hour talk from 10 am 11 am. His first hand experience in being
an entrepreneur brought conviction to his words. An open session followed the talk
when students and teachers who attended the session posed questions relating to
various aspects of the topic to him. Thus the session was a very lively and fruitful one for
all those who attended it.

Mr Mohan Varghese, reader, Politics Department from Thiruvalla Marthoma College


presided over the seminar's second session (from 11.30 am 2 pm). The two-hour long
session was both informative and interesting. The speaker gave an eloquent note about
our country's glorious past, brilliant present and a fantastic future. The talk informed
also about the power of India in nuclear and industrial fields, and of course, our
emergence in the world as one of the most powerful and richest countries on earth.

India, being the most successful country in following democracy, is blessed with the
privilege of best people as our national leaders. India has a growth rate of 8.5%-9.2%
per year, which, he says will help us overcome the economy of China and USA in fifty and
twenty years respectively. His personal views about the future of the country are very
optimistic and even his voice and expressions were simulative. However, the students
invariably interrogated many of his views during the interactive session. The audience
clarified their doubts and anxieties during the open session and those brilliant minds
were quiet satisfied with his answers. Their queries lasted for almost an hour, and the
session concluded after the interaction.MINDTEXT

MINDTEXT
MARCH‘07
PHOTO GALLERY

Mr. P Faziluddin, State Information commissioner of Kerala speaking at RTI Act campaign
organized by CPPR at D C international book fair. Ms Sheena Shukkur, Head of school of
legal studies, Kannur University looks on

MINDTEXT
MARCH‘07
REFLECTIONS
You came into my life
Like never before, I felt the light.
When you were with me
I never knew, day or night.
You smiled at me
Like never before, I felt life.
SILVER When you held me tight
I never knew, death or life.

BLAZE You showed me the way


Like never before, I felt a friend.
When you lead me
I never knew, beginning or end.
You went through my heart
You went through my life
Setting the trail ablaze
You…Silver Blaze.

-T.V.Vinu

T.V.Vinu is a final year student of Govt Law College, Ernakulam

REVERBERATIONS

MindText February’07 was a good reading experience. It brought out


some good response from the youth regarding the current-issues. The
editorial was bold and mature.

Best wishes to the people behind the publication. I suggest to increase


the reach of this e-magazine.
-Baalu M.V.

Send in your articles and suggestions to edit@cpprindia.org

-End of Document-

MINDTEXT
MARCH‘07