Wednesday, February 15, 2006

It's primary, stupid ...

... India cannot be the knowledge superpower it aspires to be as long as our fundamentals are unsound.

For that we need schools with teachers, blackboards and toilets. Let the education cess be spent on providing the basics.

From a recent ToI editorial that argues strongly for spending all the money collected under the 'education cess' (about 5000 crore or 50 billion rupees a year) for primary education. The immediate provocation is the appalling suggestion from the Planning Commission that some of this money be used for secondary education.

The ToI editorial also alludes to our rather un-stellar record in 'universalizing' primary education: about 8 percent of boys and 18 percent of girls are out of the education net.