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Issue No.: 570 | December 2014
 

Facilities Alone do not make for Good Education – A Personal Experience

Suresh C. Sharma
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A TV Channel displayed a picture of a school in Uttarakhand. The class room had a thatched roof and there was no provision for drinking water, nor was there any toilet. This brought back memories of my school in a small town. There were three schools. We joined the one which had class rooms with thatched roofs because its academic results and sports performance was the best out of the three schools. 

The parents believed that there was considerable effort towards character building. We took great pleasure when a holiday was declared due to heavy rains. On a sunny day some miscreants caused fire to the roofs. In spite of efforts by the staff and students the major portion of the building could not be saved. A small section made of bricks was left intact. The school management continued the classes up to the sixth class in this old building and constructed a new building in the sports ground in the suburb for the remaining classes. Surprisingly, there was no decline in the results of the school. The new building had tin roofs. The visitors would talk of the inconvenience due to tin roofs in summer. The students never noticed or complained about it. We had to travel a longer distance daily which was good for us. Incidentally, some of the students from the surrounding villages travelled five kms daily. They covered it at walk and run.

I wish to emphasize that the essential inputs for good education are committed teachers and keen students. Infra-structure is welcome but we should not be satisfied with facilities alone. It is alarming that only 5% candidates could qualify in the Eligibility Test for teachers in Maharashtra. 25% teachers are said to be absent from duty every day. Drinking water and toilet facilities alone will not give us good education.  

BRIG. SURESH C. SHARMA (retd.) 
sureshsharma236@yahoo.com
 
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