Date: 31 July 2012

The passing of the proposal to allow public-private partnership (PPP) in the management of BMC schools by the standing committee of the civic body does not present a permanent solution to the challenges faced in running these schools. According to various estimates, at least 4.5 lakh children annually attend the 1,167 primary and secondary schools run by the BMC.

It is the duty of the government to provide free, equal education. It should not be ‘outsourcing’ this task to the private sector through the PPP model. The authorities should focus on improving the quality and accessibility of the government’s own free schools.

The need of the hour, in fact, is to expand and improve government schools because they are public resources – they belong to the people of this country.

There are a large number of government schools such as the Kendriya and Navodaya Vidyalayas that offer excellent education, comparable to the best institutions in the world.

If the Kendriya and Navodaya Vidyalayas, with adequate investment, can be great institutes of learning, there is no reason why other government-run schools cannot do the same with adequate investment,  accountability and quality parameters in place.