I was asked to sign a petition to save Deepalaya school
and of course I did. You need to do so too. Deepalaya, an NGO, has been running a low cost quality school for over 20 years and has an excellent track record. It is located in the vicinity of project why and I have passed by it on several occasions and been impressed by its achievements. Now the Government is shutting it down because according to some stipulations of the Right to Education Act, it is not recognised and it stands on land no owned by the school but by the slum authorities. One should point out that it teaches children from the slums. The very Act meant to give free education to every child in India is busy shutting down low cost schools because they do not meet some absurd stipulations. Needless to say, shutting down such schools will deprive innumerable number of poor children from getting a sound education. Perhaps, as I have always stated, education is for the rich.
In a city where state run schools are poorly run and pack hundred kids and more in a class, make it thus impossible for even the best teacher in the world to impart knowledge; in a city where boys, the so called preferred gender, is forced to go to school in the afternoon, when everyone knows that the morning hours are the best for learning; every school that imparts sound education should be celebrated and protected, and laws immediately amended if needed.
The Right to Education Act was meant to ensure that all children get quality education. Then why did it shun the concept of state of the art neighbourhood schools and come up with the most ludicrous and senseless option of reserving 25% seats in up market schools for supposedly the poor. Let me tell you that this reservation has been hijacked by the middle class who have worked out a way to get all the documents necessary to get their children in such schools for free. The poorest of the poor have not benefited from this reservation, or was it a ploy!
For the poorest of the poor the options are either and overcrowded state run school where you run the risk of dropping out or schools like the ones mentioned where quality education is imparted at an affordable price. Of course there is also the option we give at project why.
I can terribly angry when I come to know of such inanities. One wonders who drags fawn, specially those that concern children who are voiceless stake holders and depend on adults to be their voice.
I hope that the authorities will realise their huge mistake and some up with a solution. They always find solutions when they are affected, it is time they did something for the children of India.