A tale of two countries

Recently read an article about The Japanese Government where it decided to run a train for just one girl so that she can easily travel to her school. “For years, there’s only been one passenger waiting at the Kami-Shirataki train station in the northernmost island of Hokkaido, Japan: A high-school girl, on her way to class. The train stops there only twice a day—once to pick up the girl and again to drop her off after the school day is over”, says an English newspaper.

After reading the article I was overwhelmed by the Government’s initiative. Putting education over anything is something that India can only think about. Well, people might say that Japan has lesser population, well equipped railway facilities and give million reasons as to how and why it is hard to get implemented in India. It is apparent that India lacks in basic infrastructure and is overflowing with population; but the point is not about the effective governance, but the mindset. I wonder if our government could prioritize education like the Japanese.

People might say RTE (i.e. Right to Education Program) is one of the best work of Indian Government. Agreed! Let me put some light on one of the aspect of policy. It says that a child has to clear all his exams till standard 8 or let me put in this way that teachers are supposed to pass all children till grade 8. Teachers call it a “No Fail Policy.” Here students who cannot even read or write start to think that they have got some superpowers to crack the code of success without putting much effort. Suddenly Karma hits in class 9th and gives a reality check.

The whole purpose of No fail Policy is to motivate kids, but is it the motivation or spoon feeding that we are integrating in our kids? On the other hand there is one country in the same continent as ours, which is ready to spend freely so that not one child is left behind. Just imagine the amount of motivation the girl must be getting everyday to go to school with such an ease. I don’t think she ever missed a day at school because a whole god damn train is coming to pick her up and drop her back. Are we ready to take that extra mile?

If you are running a secondary school, it is mandated to have a science laboratory, a library, a computer lab and definitely a playground. I don’t know how seriously government follows its own rules. For instance, the school where I teach is a secondary government school and it should have the above requirements. Well, suddenly one day, we see that our huge playground getting fenced, all the trees are being cut, bulldozers are being brought to make holes and most baffling news that government has started a water treatment project on a school playground. Isn’t it ridiculous? Government suddenly decides that treating the sewage water is more important and learning space can be compromised. Anyway kids have got all the superpowers!

Well, they didn’t stop at the playground and went on to damage the science lab. I personally like the science lab of my school because it is one of the cleanest places with marble flooring. Two too big things for any government school to maintain! But government is on an agenda of distributing purified water by treating sewage water and dare a pity science lab should hinder. Well yes, they destroyed the part of science lab at this crucial time when 10th standard students are heading towards their boards.

These may seem very small problems to anybody else. But the way I look, students do not have any hope for sports hour. I remember how much l liked the times during my schooling days, where we had a separate sports period in our schedule. As the so called urban development project is on, school can no longer have an assembly or a sports day and I cannot teach kids under the tree on any winter morning which was one of my small dream.

Now that’s our government and an instance of its urban development schemes. I will not talk about their failures or deficiencies of the government. Enough! We are done with that a long time ago.

The point here is what kind of mindset the government works with? Also, what kind of a mindset are we building for our future generations, by letting them be complacent easily and not being industrious. Is it the mindset that says it’s okay to take a school to build a project where you are keeping around thousand of future human resources at stake? Is it okay to let a school suffer so that government can show new projects on balance sheet and then extol over its urban development scheme? What kind of mindset do we want?

It’s all up to you now. Decide!