Commercialisation of Indian schools looms
Villagers in Rajasthan – India’s largest state in the country’s North West – have staged sit-ins at government schools set to be commercialised on a pilot basis of 10 years.
300 schools will be commercialised through a competitive bidding process where private businesses will be empowered to appoint teaching and support staff.
There are approximately 80,000 government schools in Rajasthan which employ 300,000 teachers.
Criticism has been levelled at the government by villagers and teachers’ associations for abandoning its commitment to providing government education.
A key concern is the potential for school costs to be greatly increased by the commercialisation.
IEUA-QNT Assistant Secretary Rebecca Sisson said the news was disappointing but not unexpected as many developing and newly industrialised countries continue to turn to commercialisation of education.
“Commercialising schools and placing them under the control of for-profit entities has been shown to threaten students’ access to education,” Ms Sisson said.
“Yet despite this, we still see a growing trend of commercialisation occurring – particularly in countries where people can least afford to pay for schooling.
“Every person should have the right to free, quality education.”
Education International (EI), the peak international union body for educators, has named growing commercialisation as the greatest threat in achieving quality, free education for all.
EI continues to work with the broader union movement and a range of like-minded stakeholders and civil society organisations to monitor, analyse, raise awareness of and fight against the commercialisation of education in all its forms in order to protect public education.
To become involved with EI, visit their website at www.ei-ie.org