R came to the women centre two months ago. His parents wanted him to spend the summer holidays with us. He was in class IV in a government school. According to his parents he was not doing very well. We all know that there is scant teaching in government schools, particularly those around the Khader area. R seemed an intelligent child and was quick to learn. In two months he had almost come to level with the curriculum of class IV.
A few days back R stopped coming to the centre. We wondered why and set out to find out what had happened. A teacher was sent to his home and sheepishly the mother told us that R would not be coming to the centre anymore as he was now going to a private school. His father, a factory worker, had decided to give a better education to his child. We asked what class young R was in and were horrified when we were told that he was in UKG. R had been in class IV in the government school and was 11 years old. Now he had been demoted to UKG.
Our mind went back to early times at Khader where we had found many kids in UKG matters to the notwithstanding their age or knowledge. The story was repeating itself. We tried and explained to the mother but she asked us to talk to the father. We hope to be able to convince him to put back his son in the government school in class IV.
This is the dawning of a new age in education as we seem to have a Minister willing to make sweeping changes. We only hope that he also keeps in mind the plight of the children of a Lesser God and puts an end to the multitude of teaching shops that proliferate in the city and are simply money making enterprises. What is needed is sound government schools where all children can be given quality education.
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