uniforms and geometry boxes: a recipe for good education

Designers uniforms for Government school children screamed the news headline. There must be something wrong was the thought that sprung in my mind. But no, I had read it right government school children in Delhi would soon have designer uniforms and geometry boxes which in the words of the man in charge of education in our city would ensure that they should not lag behind: they being the poor students!

Something must or should be wrong. The idea was puerile and hare brained more akin to a chapter in Alice in Wonderland or a Groucho Marx movie. A deluge of thoughts crossed my mind. Wow a new way to line pockets had been found and that on a day where a leading news channel was busy highlighting the abysmal failure of the (ill)famed midday meal. What about drinking water, toilets, proper classrooms or at least teachers who teach Mr Minister.

And talking of uniforms themselves, the reality today is that kids rarely get their uniforms in toto and in time, or their school books and all else that is promised. maybe one should first ensure that was is meant to be functions properly before launching new schemes.

But is this the tale of all development programmes in India. They look good only on paper or in speeches but never truly see the light of day. It is time that we as civil society and tax payers ask some hard hitting questions.