“What is really needed to make democracy function is not knowledge of facts, but right education.” -Mahatma Gandhi
Unemployment soared in the aftermath of the pandemic. India could see millions pushed into extreme poverty. It is the failure of a perverted education system that a family’s ‘ability to pay’ decides whether their children have access to quality education, yet IT IS every child’s fundamental right. Almost 24 million children’s future is uncertain as they may not return to school next year due to the economic fallout of COVID19. In the wake of this pandemic, the public outcry is forcing educational institutions to change their heavy fees structure or waive off the fees. Specifically talking about private institutions, they charge a hefty amount from the students in the name of tuition fees, activities fees, sports fees, transportation fees, alumni fees, caution money, and whatnot. Parents upheld this for the sake of quality education. But the incomes of India’s middle class have been worst hit by the pandemic. So here the question arises- Is it fair to collect fees even when institutions are closed and are operating remotely through online classes?
Every coin has two sides. An institution has certain liability towards its teaching and non- teaching staff, shareholders, and landlords as their livelihood depends upon the institution. How will it pay its liabilities if the institute is running out of funds? Hence at this point, it becomes necessary to draw a clear line of demarcation between the need of the institution and the greed of the institution. The institutes should only take an indispensable and affordable amount of money from the students to pursue their education. Since those students who are living in remote areas are even deprived of online education, demanding fees from them will dehumanize the education system.
Education is the most powerful weapon which can be used to eradicate poverty, to reduce unemployment, and transform the entire world. If the institutions continue to leverage the economic gains from students than it will discourage the masses from education as education will become a luxury, not necessity. A simple equation: If you can’t give X amount, you can’t get Y education. The unskilled, uneducated brigade of youths will lodge in unemployment. It may foster the socio-economic disparities.
So are we moving backward?
Contributed by Aakanksha content writer at Mitti Ke Rang