Extensive piece today in the NYT about education in India. As one parent is quoted as saying: "Since ages, we are doing manual work..........Why should they........They should have a good profession." I smell Pele-Ronaldo. I'd be interested to know what Atanu thinks.
In this democracy of more than one billion people, an educational revolution is under way, its telltale signs the small children everywhere in uniforms and ties. From slums to villages, the march to private education, once reserved for the elite, is on.
On the four-mile stretch of road between this village in Bihar State, in the north, and the district capital, Hajipur, there are 17 private schools (called here "public" schools). They range from the Moonlight Public School where, for 40 rupees a month, less than a dollar, 200 children learn in one long room that looks like an educational sweatshop, to the DAV School, which sits backed up to a banana grove and charges up to 150 rupees a month, or more than $3. Eleven months after opening, it already has 600 students from 27 villages.
There are at least 100 more private schools in Hajipur, a city of 300,000; hundreds more in Patna, the state capital; and tens of thousands more across India.The schools, founded by former teachers, landowners, entrepreneurs and others, and often of uneven quality, have capitalized on parental dismay over the even poorer quality of government schools. Parents say private education, particularly when English is the language of instruction, is their children's only hope for upward mobility. Such hopes reflect a larger social change in India: a new certainty among many poor parents that if they provide the right education, neither caste nor class will be a barrier to their children's rise.