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There is a high profile event being organised by famous media house India Today at the City Montessori School in Lucknow to present sanitation awards in which the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, two deputy CMs, Vidhan Sabha Speaker and State Minister for Law and Justice, Mayor of Varanasi and film personality Shilpa Shetty are participating.

City Montessori School has been defying the order of District Magistrate of Lucknow for admissions of children from disadvantaged groups and weaker sections for free education from classes I to VIII to its various branches under section 12(1)(c) of the Right to Education Act 2009. 13 Valmiki children were admitted in its Indira Nagar branch in 2015-16 because of a Supreme Court’s direction. But the school has not admitted a single child on its own after that even though orders of admission of 18, 55 and 296 children for the academic years 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18, respectively, are pending.

CM’s visit to CMS will provide legitimacy to a school which doesn’t honour the orders of his government or administration and flouts the national law openly. Yogi has made a pronouncement earlier that he’ll improve the quality of government schools to such an extent that people will not have any need to get their children admitted to private schools. He has also said that everybody should get their children educated in government schools. It is noteworthy that there is a 2015 High Court order of Justice Sudhir Agarwal in U.P. which has directed the U.P. government to make it compulsory for everybody receiving salary from the government to send their children to government schools. The previous Akhilesh Yadav government didn’t implement it and neither has the Yogi Adityanath government given any indication that it is serious about implementing it. Yogi has only made a statement once supporting the spirit of the judgement. But he’ll join hands with the lobby of private schools so soon in his chief ministership was not expected. He was expected to not give any importance to private schools.

The Bhartiya Janata Party government, like its predecessors, too has become a patron of the private education mafia. Maybe it is politically expedient for parties to protect the interests of the capitalists. Jagdish Gandhi is the most gross symbol of commercialisation of education and questions will be raised about any government which hobnobs with him. Akhilesh Yadav government awarded him with Yash Bharti award. After Jagdish Gandhi opposed the admissions of children under section 12(1)(c) of RTE Act in his school in 2015, the Akhilesh Yadav government also awarded his wife Bharti Gandhi with Rani Laxmi Bai bravery award. Was the bravery of the Gandhis in opposing the admissions of underprivileged children? Now the Yogi government also seems to have come under the influence of Jagdish Gandhi.

The BJP is a pro-capitalist party anyway. Narendra Modi has said that the government schools which are not being run well should be handed over to the private groups. It is not difficult to imagine that privatisation of education is a sure way of damaging the quality of government schools and making good education out of reach of the poor child. The process of privatisation is in general anti-poor. The basic premise of privatisation is to carry out activity with the sole motive of earning profit. When schools will be run for profit making, as is already happening, how are the poor children expected to have access to them? The section 12(1)(c) of RTE Act had opened a window of opportunity for underprivileged children upto 25% of class strength in private schools for free education. But the manner in which Jagdish Gandhi and other owners of private schools are out to scuttle this provision of the Act it doesn’t appear that underprivileged children will gain much from this.

A local businessman and BJP leader in Lucknow Sudhir Halwasiya has also denied admissions under RTE Act in his school Navyug Radiance. When a BJP leader is also openly violating the Act it can be imagined what the state of affairs of its implementation would be. The parents whose children have been issued orders for admission under section 12(1)(c) of the Act are running from pillar to post but their dream of getting their children educated in good schools has been grounded. Some are approaching the Court but it is not within everyone’s means to take that course.

People like Jagdish Gandhi who were running their schools like fiefdoms are averse to any government interference in their school in the form of 25% of their admissions being thrown open to public. In a way this is 25% nationalisation of private schools which private schools are resisting. It is upto the government to take a stand on whether it’ll allow private schools to have their way or will enforce compliance of the national Act by securing admissions for underprivileged children who too now have a right to the same education as the children of rich receive.

In UP corrupt politics has made an alliance with education mafia. People who were under the impression that corruption will decrease if not be completely eliminated under the BJP rule should at least be disillusioned now. In reality corruption under BJP regime has increased. There is a simple reason for this. BJP needs more money to contest elections than other parties.


By Sandeep Pandey

A-893, Indira Nagar, Lucknow-226016

Ph: 0522 2347365, Mobile: 9415022772

e-mail: ashaashram@yahoo.com

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