Satya of 'Education in India' discusses the idea of school choice and the prospects for it in India with Parth Shah, President of the Centre for Civil Society (CCS) in this episode of the Education in India podcast.

Bringing the element of choice into education will make schools accountable to parents, and will lead to a more efficient schooling system, where poor performing schools are weeded out due to lack of patronage.

The Indian education system does not effectively promote the prior right of parents to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children. This column argues that the degree of freedom of not just parents, but also of school principals, teachers and education providers is a key determinant of quality and equity in education. It outlines reforms to promote the right to ‘education of choice’.

Quality education and skills training are two of the most critical ingredients for youth empowerment, for the demographic dividend, and for a prosperous and peaceful India. The access to education is now almost universal; we have built schools, provided mid-day meals, uniforms and textbooks to attract students to schools. And more than 96% of school-going age children are in schools.

The activists demand that the government of India must spend at least 6% of GDP on education. They claim that this is the minimum money required to assure quality education to all.

There are four specific problems with this mantra of 6%:

Thatcherism was based on a philosophy of the appropriate role for the state, markets and civil society. The state should undertake only those functions that the market or civil society effectively cannot. And free competition is a better regulator of markets and protector of consumers.

Written as a chapter of India Infrastructure Report 2012, this complete article talks about Private Initiative in India’s Education Miracle. Download the attached file to read complete article.

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