Education and the State
Prof. S.Muthukumaran

Education increases the earning capacity of an individual and moulds him into a useful citizen. Hence, every society is interested in educating all its members in order to increase its productivity and welfare. In every democratic country, the people choose a Government for fulfilling their aims and aspirations.

Educational institutions in this country now fall under the following categories:
  • *Government institutions.
  • *Government aided institutions.
  • *Unaided institutions.

During the course of years the number and variety of unaided institutions have been growing more rapidly than other types of institutions. This would mean that the share of the Government in the expenditure on education is decreasing. There is also another trend that is seen. Those in authority are openly observing that the unaided institutions are exploiting the students and they are working on commercial basis.

Presuming that this observation is true, what is the attitude that the Government should take in this regard? A superficial study of the numerous actions taken by the Government and the directions given by the courts would indicate that their actions are for guiding the institutions and their managements to the right path. But a deeper study will show the following.

The Government is treating them like commercial ventures and not as educational institution managed on a no profit a loss basis. It imposes a limit for fees like fixing the prices of commodities. It sends parties to raid the institutions just as the income tax authorities do on commercial institutions.

What are then the alternatives? The Government may encourage the managements of good institutions by providing incentives i.e., it can provide development grants. It can provide merit cum means scholarships to students joining unaided colleges based on criterion to be decided by it It can encourage the institutions to publish their fee structure and rules and regulations and at the same time making public the reasonable fees structure and model rules and regulations.. Such actions will lead to identification of good institutions as they will publicize their rules and regulations and their fees. These days most of the unaided institutions are unable to include the names of their faculty members in their prospectus mainly because of the high turnover of the faculty. Even the universities are finding it extremely difficult to retain their faculty. Therefore the Government may guide the unaided colleges in finding ways and means of retaining the faculty.

On the whole the Government must not treat these institutions as commercial ventures but deal with them as educational institutions engaged in supplementing the efforts of the Government in providing education to all. Thus, the Government instead of giving permissions, must identify places where colleges are to started and the courses to be offered and invite people to establish institutions or ;open new courses. It should encourage philanthropists, teachers and academics to come forward to establish educations institutions by assisting them financially if necessary and academically.


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