Hey! Government! Leave them Kids Alone

Parents and teachers; not bureaucrats, politicians, and judges should decide what is best for our children.

Recently, in a widely criticised move, the Maharashtra government decided to introduce books on Chacha Choudhary and Prime Minister Narendra Modi as supplementary readings for school children. Meanwhile, following a verdict from the Madras High Court, the Central Government is planning to outlaw homework in standard I and II.

The interesting thing to note in all of the above actions of the government is that the opinion of parents and teachers, who are primarily responsible for the education of children, was missing. Sadly, our bureaucrats, politicians, and judges think they know what is best for our children. Sitting atop Mount Hypocrisy, the very same people send their own children to study abroad because they do not trust the government to decide the future of their children.

Like food, the choices with respect to the curriculum and reading material should ideally be with parents and teachers. If not completely, at least they should have some say in what is going to be taught in schools. Of Course, you will argue that the parents do not know what is best for their children. Well then, who does?

Do you think a bureaucrat or a politician is better suited to decide what our children should study? What if they choose to advance their political agendas? Can we trust politicians to do what is the best for our children?

We know that politicians are guided by political considerations, their interest is in ensuring that our children vote for them. Whether they learn something valuable at school or not is immaterial.

But what about multiple curriculums and no uniformity in the educational system? At some level, we already have that. We have the choice to send our children to a preferred medium, be it CBSE, NCERT or state board. Uniformity in an education system is not a virtue, why can’t different kinds of flowers grow in the same garden? We as a nation can live with 700+ languages, why not 700+ curriculums?

For uniformity, we do have the board exams at regular intervals and national level entrance tests for admissions in various colleges and universities. The same system could continue while we choose what to teach our children.

The purpose of the education system is to teach children to think things for themselves. We should let it be so by letting the parents and teachers, who have the best interest of our children at heart, decide for them.

Read more from our daily section