Bengaluru (Aryavarth): For many centuries, education has been seen as the cause of dissent and road to power, thereby depriving the majority of the population its benefits. This mindset has been in India from ages immemorial, and the caste system gave further impetus to this mindset of exclusivity. Most governments have paid lip service to education, the sector has been strangulated for years, so a minute increase in budgets does no good. Run-down buildings, no toilets, or illiterate teachers did not deter millions of poor from latching on to the dream of getting educated.
India has a demographic dividend. However, our primary education system is completely broken. In India, most of the government schools are no better than cow sheds or barns. This is in sharp contrast to developed countries, where public schools offer excellent alternatives.
In the last few years, the divide was reducing, and the poor could at least feel that they were being educated. With the coronavirus, the digital divide has come to the fore. The poor, underprovided kids can no longer be taught as they lack the gadgets and connectivity that symbolizes the rich.
For four months now, education has been stalled for needy kids; the rich can continue getting educated as they can go online. Right to education is as important as the right to food. However, the politicians of our mother India, have not done much to get quality education to the deprived sections of our society.
The only ray of hope is Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, his model of upgrading government school infrastructure has been appreciated widely. It shows that if a CM wants, there are enough resources to educate Indians for a better future. If we educate them, the need for food subsidies or the spend on MNREGA will not increase at the same rate. But, this will make the voters educated and aware, threatening the vote bank of many political parties. They will no longer remain loyal followers of Whatsapp university. The Delhi education model of Kejriwal should be an eye-opener for all the CM’s of India, instead of having a “not invented here” syndrome; they should learn from it and make a plan to implement it in their states. The subsequent generation of India will not forgive us for this sin, we are doing a big disservice to the future of our country, by not investing in education.
A strong India does not mean having all modern weapons like Raffaele only; it means having an educated workforce that can create world-class products from India. All schemes like Digital India, Startup India or Make in India will not see the light of the day, if not backed by an educated workforce. Unless our vision of Atma Nirbhar Bharat means selling pakoras and teas. I love Bhaji as an evening snack; however, the whole of India cannot be laced by Bhaji and cutting chai stalls.