The Delhi University cut off lists are out. A whole 1% higher than last year! You need 90% and more to secure a seat in a prestigious college, and at least 75% to find space in DU (Delhi University). Anything less than that leaves you with few choices: a correspondence course or if you family is endowed, a seat in the new kids on the block: the mushrooming private colleges and institutions that come at a hefty price.
Statistics show that over 100 000 kids passed their class XII Boards. However one wonders where most of them will go as the pass percentage marks remain frozen in time. 35% still gets you your exam and 60% still gives you the 1st division tag.
Something is not right. Or are we mute spectators to a system that pays lip service to education for all while ensuring that the spoils remain the prerogative of a few.
For almost a decade now we have been striving to ensure that children from underprivileged homes do not drop out of school and obtain the much coveted class XII Board. It has been a handicap ridden obstacle race. Practically no teaching in schools, illiterate homes, poor motivation of parents and more. And yet year after year we have ensured that all pwhy get the coveted pot of gold. I must admit that though we have had a handful of 1st divisions (above 60%) and a sprinkling of kids with 70% and above, the majority of pwhy children secure marks between 45 and 52%. This means that the doors of DU are closed to them. And as they all come form poor backgrounds, they cannot accede to private institutions. Somehow for them the journey ends there.
Boys may join some vocational course or the other and maybe a get a job; girls are condemned to stay home waiting to be married off and produce more children who will be destined to teh same fate.
The sad reality is that one cannot see the end of the tunnel. One may wonder where the solution lies or is it that we just accept that we are fighting a losing battle. We all seem to agree that education is the magic potion that would change India. But is it the kind of education that we see around us today?