Friday, January 2, 2009

Education Bill - three critiques by Anil Sadgopal

Here are three excellent articles by Prof. Anil Sadgopal arguing that the education bill just tabled in the Upper House of the Indian Parliament is deeply discriminatory, and needs to be radically amended or replaced.

1. "C For Commerce", Tehelka Magazine, Vol 5, Issue 23, Dated June 14, 2008

A new Bill seeks to put the constitutional promise of free and quality education for all at the mercy of market forces, warns ANIL SADGOPAL

2. "Education Bill: dismantling rights", Anil Sadgopal, Financial Express, Posted: 2008-11-09

3. "The 'Trickle Down' Trick", Tehelka Magazine, September 2007

The Prime Minister’s promise of "6000 high quality schools" is clearly designed to divert attention from the issue of long-pending structural transformation in the school system, says Prof. Anil Sadgopal


गिरिधर | giridhar | గిరిధర్ said...

Vinod Raina, one of the Bill's drafters, lists 10 features of the Bill, and takes the view that yes, this Bill, as it stands, is imperfect, but that:

"if the essentials outlined above are retained, we should see that the Bill becomes an Act, while pursuing its improvements through related amendments in the Constitution and sections of the Act itself. In my opinion, stalling the Bill in pursuit of a 'perfect Bill' will only aid those market forces that in any way don't want such a Bill to be passed."

Anil Sadgopal continues to critique the Bill:

"We are being told by these advocates of the Bill that "something is better than nothing" and "take [the crumbs] what the government is giving". But no one is telling us as to what the Bill will give us which the children already don't have. The case of children below six years of age is an outstanding example of this farce. Where do we all stand and what stand do we take?"

गिरिधर | giridhar | గిరిధర్ said...

The excellent PRS Legislative Research site tells us that as of 11 Feb 2009, the draft Bill is with a Standing Committee.

PRS has also published a "Highlights" and "Key Issues and Analysis" of the draft Bill.

Well-worth reading, especially, the Full Brief.