Futile school inspections

There was a different look than usual in our teacher’s staff room. Some of our colleagues were busy arranging books and setting chairs and tables. In the corner of the room, our school sister was mopping the floor. Everybody looked attentive. The reason — a party of the concerned municipality was coming to inspect our school. A party of five to six academicians from the concerned municipality showed up at the school at around 2pm, two hours later than we were informed. In the principal’s room, there was an-hour-long tea gossip, and then they walked out of the school.

In our general understanding, a school inspection team is supposed to take a peek into the classroom management, academic standard, teachers’ academic profile, physical infrastructure and so on. But they didn’t. There are some areas which need regular inspection. One is the teachers’ academic profile. The quality of education and future of the children rest on qualified and experienced teachers.

Second is the fee structure of the private schools.  Most of the parents are overcharged under different headings in the name of the school’s rules and regulations. Education is becoming too expensive for the common people. Some days ago, a 65-year-old grandmothers, who makes her living cooking for others, shared a heart-wrenching story. Her grandson had passed the Secondary Education Examination (SEE) from a private language institute. Now, her grandson is unable to get admission in a college due to the SEE certificate, for which she now has to pay Rs 3,000.

Parents being overcharged by the private schools for a certificate also came to light some weeks ago. Did the concerned authority take action against the school?  Most of the private schools as well as the mushrooming private language centres are overcharging the parents under different headings - be it for a certificate or others. But why are the authority staying indifferent to all this?

Regular inspection of schools is the duty of the concerned municipality. It helps in providing quality education to all, besides making the private schools systematic. But sad to say, the concerned authority is busy in tea-gossips, seminars and meaningless school inspections, which are no more than formalities, to receive some incentives.

Will the authorities look into the matter and prevent the exploitation of parents?