The National Council for Educational Research and Training, NCERT is trying to dismiss the negative public perception, which has forced parents to turn to private schools increasingly, bringing down the statistics of enrolment in state-run schools. Read more to know how.
New Delhi, April 25, 2018: Government schools in India have been burdened by the problem of common perception that the education provided by them is believed to be low in quality, resulting in poor learning outcomes, their physical infrastructure extremely insufficient, making it difficult to enable them to focus past textbooks, and they are assumed to have too few, well-trained teachers . The National Council for Educational Research and Training, NCERT is trying to dismiss the negative public perception, which has forced parents to reach out to private schools increasingly, bringing down the statistics of enrolment in state-run schools. It aims to construct a brand new image and build up the reputation of Indian government-run schools. According to a report published by Hindustan Times, a parliamentary body asked the Ministry of Human Resource Development, MHRD why the number of new admissions to government-run primary schools had dropped down by 15% while the same had risen by 33% in private schools between 2010-11 and 2014-15.
Introduction of innovative learning and teaching techniques in classrooms, conducting regular parent-teacher meetings and beginning with pre-school classes are some of the steps NCERT is considering as part of a promotional practice aimed at improving the image of government schools. “Brand building should be accompanied by implementation of good pedagogy and critical theories of development. If brand building is accompanied by improvement in the quality of educational transaction then it is a great step but if it is devoid of critical pedagogy then it just becomes a cover-up for other things,” spoke Annie Koshi, principal at St. Mary’s School, Safdarjung Enclave, to HT.
NCERT organised a national conference last month on the theme ‘Branding of Government Schools’ to receive feedback on how to change the negative perception of state-run schools. “A number of papers were presented in the conference with many experts giving various suggestions, including starting pre-schools,” said NCERT director Hrushikesh Senapaty. A detailed plan of action is now being made, based on the recommendations made at the conference, which is to be shared with the states according to reports published in timesnownews.com
According to a senior official, government schools have more qualified teachers and infrastructure than private ones, but their image, especially among parents whose focus is on sending their children to English-medium schools, is negative. “Government schools today are better than many private schools but the image in the public is the exact opposite. They don’t want to send their kids to a Hindi-medium school. We need to highlight the fact that English, as a subject is taught in government schools through the medium of teaching, is in the mother tongue,” said a senior NCERT official. Another major disincentive for parents to send their children to government schools is the attendance of teachers, said another NCERT official. Focus on teacher pedagogy and innovative methodology will be maintained in order to strengthen government schools, further added the official.