One of the centres that have been set up by the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIM-A) is the Right to Education Research Centre (RTERC). Recently, the centre had conducted a survey where they had visited various households in both urban as well as rural settlements, where they had asked questions relating to the education of the student and the concerns that the parents face in respect to the education of their child/children.
According to the survey that had been conducted by the team from RTERC, it was understood that all the parents had a universal disappointment with the Government Schools and the education that they were offering their children. The survey had stated that the parents were adamant in spending more and even taking loans for the education of their children instead of sending them to Government Schools. It was seen, as per the survey, that almost 35% of the income that the family earns was spent on their education of the children and that the parents were in a helpless state.
The survey also revealed that if the families had more than one child, at least one of the child would be sent to private schools as they had “high levels of distrust” with government schooling. Such was the case for almost 70% of the households that were surveyed. But most of all, the survey also showed that parents were not viewing education as a means of earning a livelihood and thus helping them have settled future.
As per the numbers stated in the survey, 65% of the families stated that the biggest worry that they face in their day-to-day livelihood was the educational expenses after health. Over 12% of the families had stated that they have had to take up loans just to cover the expenses that they incur from the education of their children. They also stated the interest rates for such loans that they had to pay was as high as 25% for one year. Some of the families have also stated that they have had to sell off the gold that they had just to cover the expenses for education.
One of the reasons that the parents preferred private schools over government schools was that they had experienced a high rate of absenteeism from the teachers of government schools, even though the teachers of government schools were better educated and had a higher qualification than those in private schools. Another one of the reasons that the parents had stated was that private schools were among the major options that they had for secondary schooling. They added that if their children had completed their primary schooling from a government school, it was often harder to take admission in a private school later on.
The average fee that the parents ended up paying for the education of the child was somewhere between ₹12,000 and ₹36,000. The parents stated that it is possible for them to miss out on one meal a day than to give up on education. The survey discovered this was a common passion among parents from the same community.
As part of the education that is being provided to the students from schools, the parents have also been giving their children private tutoring as well. The number of children who are being privately tutored in recent times has increased in the past decade. It was seen, that the families were spending anywhere between ₹200 and ₹3000 in one month on private tuitions.
Professor Ankur Sarin is the faculty from IIM Ahmedabad who works behind the project and had stated that the number of families that sent their children to private tuitions was a surprising discovery that they had discovered in their survey. He also stated that the survey had made them realise that education has become a status symbol among the families of India, so much so that parents now believe that sending a child to government schools is considered as bad parenting, especially among the parents belonging to the lower income groups.
Some parents had also explained that they believed the time allotted to a teacher at the school was not enough to properly teach a child. The survey claimed that there was a greater dependence on private tuitions regardless of where the student was sent for schooling, i.e. government or private schools.
It was also found out in the survey, that many of the parents tend to send the child to their teachers for private tuition. This revelation also stated that the parents were in certain cases forced by the teachers themselves to be taught in the private classes held by them after school. The parents had stated that they had seen the teachers were biased towards students who had been taking tuitions from them, which has forced the parents to get their children enrolled in the private tuitions of their teachers.