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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 simply beyond the means of 90% of population. Data shows that if per capital monthly consumption is Rs 5,000, then you're in top 5% of India. We really don't have a middle India. If you divide India in five baskets, the population in 40-60% bracket doesn't even have basic amenities. India's middle-class is in the top 20% bracket.

The other important issue is fair competition. There is not a chance that a child from a poor background attending a state-run school in Haryana (where I reside currently) will be able to compete effectively against kids going to a private school and coming from a stable income family.

The reality is the kid going to a private school competes effectively against 10% of other kids. Because of my ability to afford private education, I have successfully eliminated much competition for my sons. That's the reality and I hope my sons realise it when they grow up. Hard work certainly helps, but in the Indian context, parents affluence matters a lot for many kids where state-run schools don't offer good education.

So how can we make government schools and hospitals attractive for the people who can afford, so that quality of education and healthcare for the entire population improves. Any ideas?


Comments

monu said…
Qe need to change our culture of entitlement baswd on so many things other than merit. We need to change corruption so tax payers money could go to paying govt staff well... And making them accountable... But important, we need a lower rate of population growth

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