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Wednesday, August 12, 2015
One of the most frequently used words in India, corruption signifies a range of things. In 2005, Transparency International and Delhi-based Center for Media Studies, a research firm, undertook the India Corruption Study. The survey covered14,405 respondents over 20 states and included interviews with service providers & users on the spot. The survey is not based on perception alone; it includes the experience of people in paying bribes. The results, published the same year, showed Indians pay around Rs21,068 crore as bribes while availing one of 11 public services. While some of the highlights of the survey were published, many of the details were not. The study, however, remains the most recent and the most comprehensive report on corruption in India. Apart from calculating the extent of corruption, in Rs crore, it explains the mechanics of it.
Corruption in the Classroom
The schooling system is rife with corruption. Admissions are sometimes dependent on the amount of money people are willing to pay, and some schools try and charge students or their parents for everything they can charge them for and then some.
Although students are charged fees related to equipment and supplies, there is little accountability. Students (and teachers) have to make do with poor quality equipment, or no equipment at all. In government schools, teachers frequently do not show up in class. The local administration has no way of ensuring that they do. Those students who attend schools spend all their time there doing other things. The government provides free meals to school children under a midday meal scheme. The quality of food served is usually very bad—the good grain is routed to the open markets and poor, cheaper grain is used in its stead.
Teachers have complete control on whether a student fails an exam or passes it (except in examinations conducted by a board). Teachers exploit this fact to their advantage by forcing students to take tuition from them. A 1999 report said that as many as 70% of students in urban areas receive private tuition.
A common refrain among parents is that teachers do not teach students adequately in class. Often, the syllabus to be covered in a year isn't covered and students are left to complete it on their own. In some schools, one student is made to read aloud from the text book, while the teacher does nothing.
The government provides free meals to school children under a midday meal scheme.
The quality of food served is usually very bad—the good grain is routed to the open
markets and poor, cheaper grain is used in its stead.
Although students are charged fees related to equipment and supplies, there is little
accountability. Students (and teachers) have to make do with poor quality equipment, or
no equipment at all.
Schools that perform poorly could be given to teacher-committees to run. The fund allocation to each school by the government should be linked to outcomes such as: enrollment rate, attendance, drop-out rate, and grades or marks of graduating students.
2-Making schools accountable
Schools should be more accountable to their customers (that is, students and their parents). Every school should have a committee of parents. The staff should be answerable to this committee, which can look into things such as the standard of education, utilisa-tion of funds, and other issues concerning the quality of education.
3-Facilitating the creation of more private schools
Although it is the responsibility of the government to provide education for all, the private sector has a role to play. However, it isn't easy for a private firm or an individual to start a school. The government should ease regulations and requirements concerning the creation of schools. Only then can the current shortage in schools be met.