Monday, October 29, 2007


The Education Department of Chennai has a list of objectives set for its corporation schools. Some are being implemented partially and most are just ignored altogether. Books are a source of knowledge. The absence of a library in a primary corporation school is one in a long list of missing educational basics in the corporation schools. The government has said that a library facility is a must, then why has it not been implemented? Are the funds allotted for this being siphoned off for ‘other’ purposes? Does the government have the soul to look into these fine flaws and take corrective action? We are talking about the future of young children who are the tomorrow of India. There are many other flaws in the system.

All students are promised free uniforms for all but only the ‘white’ uniform is provided by the government, which is worn only once a week. The students buy the ‘blue’ uniform which is worn more often and two sets of the same are bought by the students. Is it really necessary to have two uniforms? Why doesn’t the government supply these too? No footwear is provided by the government. There are children who walk bare feet to school over long distances. Bus passes which also come under the government scheme for corporation students are also not implemented by all schools. A lot of these students walk a few kilometers everyday to get what is rightfully theirs – education.

The government promised free textbooks and notebooks to all the students but then ONLY the SC students are given free note books, the others are asked to buy their notebooks. Why this caste rift? Do these children understand what a SC is? When they make friends they don’t ask what and who you are, but it does get them thinking ‘Why am I not given free books, why only them?’ Is it right to embed such caste issues in children at such a young age? Why can’t free notebooks be provided to all children? After all they too come from a poor background and their parents are also working like the rest.

Most corporation schools don’t have a first aid box, so where is all the free medicine meant for the children under the Health and Hygiene scheme promised by the government? These schools have poor or no laboratory facilities at all. No step is being taken by the government to change this. An empty classroom for a lab exists collecting dust and cobwebs.

The mid-day meals scheme is the only scheme of the government that is carried out impeccably in most places. It is heartening to know that the children are fed well at least once a day, but then again not all children benefit. What happens to the many children who sleep on pavements and die of malnourishment?