A Disillusioned Tax Payer

I am about to write a rather clichéd post . We ( Husband & I ) are running around schools these days  as these are admission days in Delhi . Our little one is ready to go to school , Big school as he calls it . Parents that is us are anxious to give him the best within our limited resources . And so we sorted , ranked , prioritized , made First preference lists & the whole jazz. We have to now wait and see when the schools put up their list if we have made it to our preferred schools . Although I am told that school admissions in Delhi are now far more sorted and transparent as compared to what they were earlier ,but I feel so much more needs to be done .Education is the fulcrum of all progress , of society , of nation building . Though the pay commission has brought uniformity in the salaries to be paid to teachers , but there is no uniformity in the fee structures of schools  . Despite that , the facilities offered are not vastly different or the realty pricey  , the school fees range from anywhere between 80K-2.5 Lacs p.a . This is for nursery . Plus for the likes of us  , who cannot claim the benefit of any Quota , it is like a game of chance .

As an honest tax payer , I feel disillusioned and cheated with the systems . I cannot be assured of securing a seat in a school of my choice because it is a game of chance , despite  not claiming any subsidies and paying my taxes dutifully . I cannot rely on the public transport if I have to get anywhere on time barring the metro . God forbid if I fall sick ,I would not walk into a government hospital  given their state ….I do not go out after dark unaccompanied because safety & security is circumspect . Forget all that , I work in the Telecom sector . Given the pronouncements of the Courts on spectrum & the bungling of government (s)  I am not even sure how secure my job is…I seriously wonder what is the point of paying taxes … But that is a post I will save for later …

If a school is sought after , the management feels no scruples in charging a premium .   Increase in the remuneration of the staff is easily passed on to the parents who are burdened with even higher fees . It should ideally be a public-private enterprise & not just left to the machinations of missionary institutions /private trusts for whom it is a money-minting exercise  . Education should ideally be a shared responsibility of the state & the people . All must have equal opportunity to education . It is high time that caste based quotas be done away to retain only Income based quotas . The current system of reservation engenders reverse discrimination towards those who can’t claim any . What is there to suggest that a low income General caste family is not as deserving of reservation as SC/ST/OBC  . Besides why should reservation be availed by 3rd generation -4th generation SC/ST/OBCs who have already availed & enjoyed the benefits of reservation . Once you have availed & climbed the social ladder there is absolutely no case whatsoever for subsequent generations to claim  special treatment . A well-off SC/ST/OBC merits only as much reservation as a General Caste applicant

The inequity between state run schools & private schools needs to be corrected . The state has to step in to ensure that Government schools & private unaided schools maintain more or less the same standards in imparting education . Government schools currently suffer from rampant  teacher absenteeism & ramshackle infrastructure . These are issues that need to be fixed with ownership & accountability being brought to state –run schools . The staff of government schools should not be roped in for  other activities like that of Census /Elections /Polio Abhiyaan etc . School teachers should be incentivized to upgrade their knowledge & skills & an appropriate environment should be created . Only then will we be able to attract & retain good talent in this sector . Currently very few take up school teaching as a profession of their own volition . Only those who are not able to become Engineers /Doctors look at teaching as an alternative . Primarily because teachers continue to be paid lowly and burdened with other non-academic pursuits . Academic excellence in educators should also be a non-negotiable requirement . The  State investment in  Education sector needs to go far beyond fiddling with textbook content .

Kudos to the Delhi government & the court for bringing in some transparency at least in the nursery admission processes . Fixing the form charges at Rs 25 ensures that the parents are not fleeced at least for filling forms . Had all schools accepted online forms , our task would have been simplified further ..So far so good , but we are a long way off from what our goals as a Nation should be ..

One thought on “A Disillusioned Tax Payer

  1. Well described the plight of the common man and education system. As the current budget leaves the common citizen more disillusioned, lets hope the sacrifices made by the common tax payer now, will benefit the future generations…

    Keep writing !

    Liked by 1 person

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