Students want the government to ensure that education is made affordable for all, as even a large number of non-BPL families cannot afford quality education because of the costs involved
GUWAHATI, March 15: With political parties leaving no stone unturned to reach out to the voters with myriad promises ahead of the Assembly polls, they would do well to listen to the voice of children who want overall good governance from the incoming government.
An interactive assessment of the expectations of school students facilitated by the North East Society for the Promotion of Youth and Masses (NESPYM) revealed that corruption-free and unbiased governance that can meaningfully implement the various provisions of the hallowed Constitution of India was what the students wanted.
“All government schemes should have focus on children and children’s input needs to be taken and incorporated before the schemes are finalised and implemented. On the education front, computer labs in all educational institutions with competent teachers, functional and student-friendly libraries in all schools and students should be allowed easy and regular access to the same,” the participating students felt.
The students further opined that what the teachers teach should be of high quality and teachers should devote more attention to the class-periods allotted to them and to the students they teach.
Another significant observation was that the Government has to ensure that education is made affordable for all, as even a large number of non-BPL families cannot afford quality education because of the costs involved.
The students also urged the Government to accord adequate thrust on skill-based and vocational education. Some other suggestions included assessment of aptitude of school students and to link those to necessary skills and stream of education; prompt implementation of various provisions of the National Education Policy; authentic and regular updating of information provided in the textbooks – particularly those of the social sciences; and effective inclusion of adolescent education in the school curriculum.
“Basic finance education needs to be provided to students to enable them to do effective finance management in the future,” they said.
On water and sanitation issues, the students suggested that toilets in schools should be readily accessible to the students and those need to be clean and useable. “There should be availability of sufficient safe drinking water in schools and good quality sanitary napkins should be made available to girl students at affordable price if not free. These should be available in schools also. Proper garbage and waste management should be ensured in schools and communities and strict penalty should be enforced on any violator,” they observed.
For protecting child rights, there should be among other things easy access to 24x7 children and women helplines and the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme should be implemented in the true spirit across Assam.
The students also advocated prompt justice to victims and survivors of harassments and exemplary punishment for perpetrators of crimes against children and women.
Stressing the need for prioritising mental health of children, the students said that nutritious midday meals should be ensured in all government schools.