When Good Quality Education Remains a Pipedream

Amidst all sorts of dismal news, this story was such a heart warming read. Little Lakshmi, all of nine years, ran away from home in November, in an effort to study in an ‘English School’.

Luckily for her, it all ended well. She finally got admission in a reputed International School in Bangalore under the RTE act. Which is, of course, wonderful. Of course, she has to travel a long distance, and everything might not be all rosy, but she’s got a chance that she so desperately wanted. And hopefully, this chance will make a huge difference in her life. And seeing her grit, she probably will grab this chance and really soar high.

Having said that, I can’t help wonder if it would have been the case had this case not got media attention. Also, why is the RTE so dependent on private schools? I am all for private schools chipping in, but ‘chipping in’ must be what it is. I can’t help wonder why we can’t have good government schools, so that no child needs to run away, or travel ridiculous distances to reach school. If Lakshmi had a good government school near by, I am sure she wouldn’t have felt the need to run away to a ‘good’ school.

Also, Lakshmi is one among many who yearn for a better education. She was lucky, or more accurately, she tried really hard to change her luck, and succeeded. Many might not, many might not be in a position to, many might not even know that they have the right to something better. And even private schools will have only a certain amount of seats reserved for RTE students. This whole dependency on the private schools would disappear if the government schools are ramped up and made just as lucrative. It makes me wonder why the government seems to be least interested in doing things which will actually make a difference in the long term. That’s it, isn’t it? ‘Long Term’. Why would they be interested in long term benefits when all that matters to them is the shortest of short term ones – the next elections!

All I can really hope for is that good quality education becomes a reality for everyone, and nobody needs to resort to desperate measures to gain access to it.