Why is Maharashtra Closing Govt Schools and Allowing New Pvt Ones?
<p>A representational image of students in  primary school.</p>

A representational image of students in primary school.

(Photo: Reuters)

Why is Maharashtra Closing Govt Schools and Allowing New Pvt Ones?

In a recent proceeding, the Maharashtra state government has cleared a bill in the Assembly on Wednesday night which now allows private companies to open schools in Maharashtra. This action from the government comes right after the decision taken to shut down 4,093 schools, which had 10 or fewer students. According to me, this is by far the most ridiculous decision a government can take.

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The primary objective of the government is to improve and maintain the quality of education. Contrarily, the state government is shedding away all the responsibility from its education department to private companies. This puts question marks on the priorities of the state government. In this case, I have a few questions to ask the state government and school education minister Vinod Tawde.

  1. What will be the role of the education department after shutting down 4,093 schools and giving clearance to private companies to build their business models in the education sector?
  2. Is it not the state governments’ responsibility to make sure every student gets his Right to Education?
  3. If so many government schools are being shut down, who will assist poor children to pay their private school fees?
  4. What steps are taken to accommodate all the students that are affected by your decision of shutting down 4,093 schools?
  5. Does the state government have any record of students affected by this decision of yours?

The school education minister Vinod Tawade has assured that there will be no compromise in the quality of education and these schools will purely be based on ‘no profit-no-loss’ basis. I wonder, which private firm aims towards zero profit?

We all know that the government has only compromised and has done nothing to establish a strong education system. As per me, the decision by the state government is nothing but a business model that is being set up to help private companies make profit. On a side note, we are all aware how the political and business nexus runs in India.

The hurry the state government showed to shut down schools just before this decision clearly shows us their intention.

In my open letter to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, I had requested to take back this harsh decision, but I instead got to know that they have paved the way to build business models to help private companies. Being an educational and social activist, I protest this decision taken by the government in favour of private companies keeping aside the rights and interests of a poor student.

The duty of the government is to consider the last person while making any decision, but it is clear that the Devendra Fadnavis government has not only ignored the last student but also never thought of considering even one student while making this decision.

To conclude, I would like to request the state government once again to rethink this decision and the risk factors they have ignored to make some private firms happy. “Let’s Make Education and not Break Education” is what I always say and I hope that the government takes into consideration this article by me.

(This article was first published in Youth Ki Awaaz and has been re-published with permission.)

(The writer is a social media coordinator for the Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) Maharashtra unit. He tweets @NihalKirnalli. This is an opinion piece and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)

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