Commercialization Of School Education – Growth Of Corporate Schools

The importance of proper education for children can never be overstated. It is the responsibility of the government that the school education is provided at minimal cost, if not free. Even in extremely capitalist countries such as the USA, no school fees are charged for schools up to 10+2 grade.

But when we take into consideration the corresponding scenario of India, things are rather unpleasant. There has been total commercialization of education with the corporate schools emerging as powerful forces exploiting parents and children alike.

Corporate schools are like ‘education mafia’:
The way the corporate schools are operating is in stark contrast to the educational institutions of the bygone era. These modern-day private schools feel no sense of social responsibility and are driven solely by the profit motive. Even after paying a huge amount as fees, there is no respite for parents and students.  These schools are also guilty of coercing them to purchase items like books and stationery at prices that are twice the actual cost in the market.

Gone are the days when the school books were useful for students of several generations. This is the age of the ‘corporate school mafia’, a term commonly used by aggrieved parents. Even the syllabus and books are changed every year. The only reason for this is the commercial motive of the corporate schools, which have long discarded the concept of service.

Corporate-like hierarchy:
The managerial hierarchy of the corporate schools is such that, people who are in no way connected to the avenue of education are holding high positions. They interfere in educational matters and are in a position to dictate terms to the teachers. In most such cases, these managers take decisions that are against the interests of students and their parents.

Government remains a mute spectator:
It is indeed sad that when the corporate schools are looting the parent with exorbitant fees to this extent, the government is just remaining as a mute spectator. The government has brought out many rules aimed at regulating the activities of corporate schools. But these regulations, unfortunately, are confined only to paper. The situation is making several common people opine that even the governments are helpless in the presence of the powerful lobby comprising corporate schools.

Misguided approach of parents:
To a significant extent, the misguided approach of the parents is also a contributory factor towards the unscrupulous approach of corporate schools. Despite being fully aware of the financial implications of enrollment in these corporate schools, a large section of the parents still prefers these institutions. While another section of parents, don’t have another good choice and are forced to send to these corporate schools. They mistakenly feel that if their kids study in corporate schools, it becomes a status symbol for them.

By the time a child completes their first twelve years of education in a corporate school, the financial resources of the parents get depleted. Based on the type of school enrolled in the parents end up paying 10 to 30 lakhs per child till 10th class. Consequently; parents of corporate schools are left with little money for higher education.

Adverse impact on tender minds:
Kids studying in these corporate schools see their parents struggling to pay for their basic education. Apart from that, the schools do several extra-curricular activities that disturb the academic calendar. These activities help the school to market the school to new joiners. These extra-curricular activities don’t help the child, and not only that is a burden on the teacher by disrupting the academic training.

Moreover, the approach of these institutions imprints on the tender minds that nothing is more important in life than posh things and high brands. The child grows up into an adult having a very money-oriented outlook and with a biased understanding of people and the world. They will grow up feeling that making money by hook or crook is only the goal of life, as well.

It is high time that the government realizes the gravity of the situation and intervenes. Strong restrictions need to be imposed on the functioning of corporate schools. Or else, the future of the country could get seriously affected, for the simple reason that today’s kids are tomorrow’s citizens.