Skip to main content

Education policy and students going abroad for under-graduate education

Indian Express carried this story last Sunday on how students faced with high cut-offs are opting for foreign universities. Srinath Rao, who wrote that article, estimates that 430 out of 930 students passing out of DPS R K Puram are going abroad to pursue their college education.

Assuming that each of them will spend at least $ 20,000 each year ($ 10,000 each towards tuition fees and living expenses. In reality the expenses would be much higher). These 430 students alone will spend $ 8.6 million each year. Assuming their under-graduate degree is for four years, it works out to $ 34.4 million or Rs 172 crore (at Rs 50 per dollar).

A lazy answer would be to pin point to lesser number of seats available because of reservation. This might probably account for less than 5% of why kids go abroad. I would trace it to the faulty education policy that we have, that only allows not-for-profit people to run schools and colleges. As a result, education providers float a two-layer structure: one which has the physical infrastructure and another which manages the day-to-day operations of the school like employing teachers and managing the infrastructure. The first company- which owns the physical infrastructure- will be not-for-profit to satisfy the government rules. The second company will get paid by the first company for the services rendered, and would be making huge profits. A check at some of so-called e-education firms in India will establish the two-tier structure. As a result, people who have genuine interest in running schools and colleges as a for-profit institutions are not willing to run. 


Unless the policy is changed to encourage an open and fair way of running schools and colleges, the government will never be able to meet the demand. Rules that protect the interests of the students and at the same time provide flexibility for private schools to innovate should be encouraged. Or else, we will end up like what's happening in private engineering colleges. 


Those who oppose opening up education sector should understand that if 430 students spend a fraction of that money in a college in India, it would create better job opportunities. Nobody is stopping the government from opening many new colleges. After all if state-run schools and colleges become good, there would be no demand for private schools and colleges. 


And finally there are many thousands of students who don't get admission in good colleges but are forced to complete in poorly run institutions, mainly because they can't afford foreign colleges. Not because they are less talented or deserving than the 430 DPS students. Having a local option- run by private capital- would not only make it cheaper than foreign education but could help them compete with better resourced kids. 



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How can you support a publication you like

When I shifted to my half completed (more on this some other time) flat in Gurgaon in 2016, I couldn't locate newspaper distributors for four or five months. Suddenly, from consuming four or five newspapers, I was completely dependent on digital media. I was going less directly to the news source (say, thehindu.com or livemint.com) but was getting my news from Facebook and Twitter, and from apps like Flipboard.

It became an experiment, as I was consuming interesting stuff but I was not necessarily getting informed. People whom I have met once or twice, or have never met are influencing what I was consuming via Facebook. If you're wondering why you often see posts by your most popular friends, that's the way Facebook algorithms work, unless you specify who's feed should come first. If Facebook promotes post of your not-so-popular friends, why would you read!

I searched hard to find a newspaper distributor and found one finally, after four or five months. So now I subsc…

What if government schools and hospitals attract people with money

I had this random thought (and I get this often only when I have 1000 important things to finish!)- what if people who can afford private schools and hospitals find state-run schools and hospitals good enough for them. All of my friends in UK and US don't send their children to private schools (its another matter that location matters on quality of state-run schools there) and those in UK, don't spend money on healthcare.

Just imagine if this can happen in India. People will be left with more surplus that they can save more or spend on something else. School fees in major Indian cities can be as high as Rs 2 lakh per child per year. The sheer confidence that we don't have to spend on medical expenses and the state will take care will give confidence to spend more money.

The multiplier effect of this extra money in the hands of the people will hugely benefit the economy, and can spring creative enterprises.

This level of expenditure (even Rs50,000 per child per year) is si…

'koil madu' and myself........

'Koil madu' is a Tamil term used to describe the cows that are tied to the temple. It is there forever. In literal usage, the term can be used on people who spend loads of time at religious place. I might fit that description well. Haven't missed many Sunday church services. If I have to put a number, I would have attended 39 out of 40 years of Sunday services.

Last Sunday, the preacher at my Delhi church was referring to Ecclesiastes 11: 1 and 2. In the last few years, I have started to like the Message translation of The Bible. This version uses modern day language, yet it captures the true meaning of the root language. So I referred to the Message version when the preacher was mentioning these verses.

These verses I haven't heard before and it was sort of like an eye opener on what the Bible says on charity. I have been a 'koil madu' but haven't found this verse for this long. It was profound. Check out the verses:

"Be generous: Invest in acts of ch…