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CSD Pitches for a Strong Common School System

Education NewsHyderabad: Expressing dismay over the failure of successive governments to implement the Common School System (CSS) in the country, former foreign secretary and president of the Council for Social Development (CSD) Muchkund Dubey on 4th September said lack of political will, politics, influence of international agencies and selfish interest were coming in the way of implementation of CSS.

Speaking at a public seminar series on social development in Telangana on the topic “Common School System in India”, organized by the regional centre of the CSD here, Dubey said most advanced economies, including the US, Britain and several European countries, have been built on the foundation of a fully-funded government school system providing education of equal quality to all. “Despite this, the Centre is not showing political will to implement CSS in the country,” he said.

The lack of commitment to CSS implies that India will never be able to provide education to all the children, he said and added the shift in commitment from the government to the private school system is the root cause of the lack of political, bureaucratic and social will to improve government schools. The fundamental reason for the national failure to develop a common school system is the lack of a political constituency for education, he remarked.

He said one factor which has been consistently ignored by our politicians and educationists is that all developed nations including the UK and the US have a very strong government-funded school network which is on a par with private schools in terms of infrastructure and quality of education.

“Implementing CSS should be on top of the national agenda. Only then will we be able to provide quality education to our children. CSS is not impractical and can be implemented in India successfully”, he felt. Describing the Right to Education Act as flawed, Dubey said the RTE Act has failed to deliver satisfactory results, particularly in improving primary education. Students in the age group of 6-14 were guaranteed free and compulsory education under the Act, but students till the age of 18 should be brought under the purview of the Act, he suggested. Even though a lot of committees have been formed for the betterment of primary education, not much has been done to build the system of secondary education, he pointed out. Prof D Narasimha Reddy of the CSD said though our leaders want to implement the Singapore model of development, they fail to notice that in that country, children are provided free education till 18, that too through CSS.

While welcoming Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s decision to implement CSS in the State, he expressed the hope that the Chief Minister would keep his promise and implement it in letter and spirit. CSD regional director Kalpana Kannabiran and former director of CCMB Pushpa M Bhargava were present.

Source: The New Indian Express


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