Bhopal:Monday, October 6, 2008: In a special initiative, the state government has started confabulations with experts over introduction of Public-Private Partnership in school education. Experts including those from the World Bank and D.I.D, England have favoured introduction of reformative methods in the present context. With the state government committed to ensuring quality in education, decks seem to have been cleared to pave way for a better tomorrow. This scenario has emerged during the preliminary session of the two-day conference convened for this purpose.
Addressing the session, top education expert of the World Bank Dr. Sam Karlson laid stress on a pilot project for ensuring quality in education sector. In the light of his studies in the Indian context, he pointed out that private schools, which did not avail government assistance, have fared better in the board examinations. He noted that though the unit cost of these schools is less, they have come out with academic results at par with other schools. Dr. Karlson also favoured introduction of Public-Private Partnership in the context of cost effectiveness. He was of the view that this system will also help in ensuring quality satisfactorily.
Dr. Karlson argued that efforts to ensure quality in education are meaningless without improving methods and ways of teaching and there is unlimited potential in Public-Private Partnership in achieving this target. To buttress his argument, Dr Sam cited examples of America, Latin America, England, New Zealand, Australia etc. where various successful experiments have been undertaken in connection with this system. Dr. Karlson said that for achieving this target, the state will have to adopt a special strategy and will have to work on different models of improvement of quality.
Education expert of Department of International Development (D.I.D), England Dr. Michael Ward threw light on various aspects of Public-Private Partnership in middle school education in England. He said that these experiments have proved to be beneficial in improvement in studies and its impact on the society as a whole. He said that the World Bank and D.I.D. also took prompt action in making financial help available as a result of which encouraging results were yielded by Public-Private Partnership in middle school education. Both Dr. Sam and Dr. Ward described this experiment as necessary for Madhya Pradesh pointing out that some good works done under Sarvashiksha Abhiyan here have paved the way for the successful implementation of this system.
Commissioner of Rajya Shiksha Kendra Shri Manoj Jhalani, while throwing light on the importance of this discussion, said that the state government is eager to ensure improvement in the school education in the present context. He informed that many a work has been undertaken in the primary education sector with a view to laying a strong foundation of this system. The difference between girl and boy students’ number has almost been ended and the number of students belonging to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes has increased at a rapid pace. Now the state government is eager that analytical and conceptual capability of primary as well as middle school students should be increased by introducing methods for improvement. This will help the society face the challenges of today and tomorrow. Efforts are also being undertaken to ensure improvement in education even in remote areas of the state. It is in this context that further possibilities through Public-Private Partnership are being discussed. He made it clear that this system will not be adopted with a commercial outlook.
PPP Madhya Pradesh Cell incharge Smt. Pallavi Jain said that the state is moving ahead in this connection with a expanded and well thought-of process. For this purpose experiments implemented at international level are also being studied.
Those present at the inaugural session included Principal Secretary School Education Shri M.M. Upadhyaya, Commissioner Public Instructions Shri B.R. Naidu, former secretary of Union Human Resources Development Department Dr. Kumud Bansal and officers of Union and state governments and representatives of voluntary organisations.