Category Archives: education

What school is like for many of our students

Imagine this:

You are a student in a government school who sits in a classroom of at least 80 students. You may be lucky enough to be sitting on a bench, but there are only enough benches for 40 students, although if everyone squeezes in really tightly you might be able to fit 50.

Maybe the teacher is there but chances are she’s not because on any given day, 1/3 of all teachers are absent. Even if she is there, if you are sitting in the middle to the back of the class you can’t hear anything she says.

There is a blackboard but there may be no chalk because 90% of educational resources are spent on teachers’ salaries. The last budget will raise teachers’ salaries despite the fact that teachers in government schools are never evaluated and can never be fired.

In your English class you are discouraged from speaking English because the teacher is so critical that you are punished if you make even a small mistake.

Computers are part of the West Bengal curriculum and you will learn about computers from a book but chances are you will never even see a computer because only 3.47% of schools in West Bengal have computers.

And unless you are extraordinarily bright or incredibly tenacious, you will probably drop out of school because 80% of all kids in India drop out of school before they reach Class 12.