branded... in free India

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Yesterday on the eve of R day, segregation in schools on the basis of performance was banned in Maharashtra.. strange that in a country where all children are deemed equal, such a practice existed for over half a century..

A child was branded A or B or C... at an early age, when he or she had not even had a chance to develop fully... many children interviewed by a TV channel on this issue shared the pain and agony of such an unfair procedure... and let us not forget that children often perform better when stimulated by their peers..

More so because a child branded as 'poor' or 'bad' will never get the will to do better.. because they will be marginalised by the so called 'good' ones..

All the above was in reference to up market schools.. but have you ever thought of the fact our educational system itself segregates children? In a country where every child has a fundamental right to education, there are two kind of schools and it is sad but true that those run by the state are not up to the mark and yet they are the only options for million of children in India.. it is from these schools that a large number of children drop out and yet it takes a simple option like pwhy to reverse the process and make failures into toppers!

33% gets you a school leaving certificate, but does it get you a place in university or allow you to apply for a government job... disturbing is it not, and more disturbing when you are told by a government school teacher that there was no need to complete the syllabus, as what they were taught would be sufficient to 'pass'...

In the nation's capital city there is talk of privatisation of education... something that makes my blood run cold... as in the best case scenario it would mean a parrallel option for the poor which would run into financial difficulties.. what it would lead to is many children just dropping out of the school system.

Many countries have a common school, where children from all walks of life meet and learn together and from each other.. it would be the right option for India one day, but are we ready to take that step..

Rang de Basanti realeased today and though one has not seen the film, a quote from its dialogue rings terriby true: there are two ways of looking at wrongs - accept them and carry on or take action and do something...

The children of India deserve better than to be assigned labels according to their performamce or social origin...

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