June 29, 2017
While Tamilnadu Education minister Sengottaiyan is making evident changes – from announcing installation of sanitary napkin and incinerators in almost 5700 schools to introducing 3000 smart classes – in the education department, it is also true that the government schools in the state are not in their best form. On a similar note Madras High court Justice N Kirubakaran has posed twenty questions to the state government regarding the functions of government schools while hearing a writ petition filed by a Thanjavur middle school.
The questions vary from ‘why teachers using mobile phones during school hours should not be prohibited?’ to ‘how many schools have started English-medium education after 2012?’ But, the two major questions, among others that were raised by Justice N Kirubakaran, which need to be answered for the betterness of the education system has to be:
1. Why the government hasn’t made it mandatory for the government school teachers to admit their kids in government schools?
2. Why teachers of government/government aided schools should not be prohibited from starting associations or unions?
As we wait for the answer from the government, we wanted to know what the school teachers would have to say – Both private and government school teachers.
“I think the first question is inclusive of all the other questions. By answering the first question we will get the answers for all other questions – compromises in the standards of education in government schools will become more obvious, teachers will be punctual, and they won’t use mobile phone. But, a union is something that we need. Not all associations or unions encourage injustice. Unions have taken actions against corrupt officials and suspended them. We cannot generalize this” said a government school teacher.
On the contrary, a private school teacher said, “Parents can admit their children in any school according to their will or right. It is clear that people are trying to create an image that government schools are as good as private schools. What will a government school teacher do if a private school is closer to their house than a government school? They will go for the private school,naturally. Implementing such measures would be difficult. I am not sure about the teacher associations, though”.