Narrated by Sumit K. Yadav
Accessible education still remains one of India’s biggest challenges. Far too many students are not able to attain quality education, despite several interventions by successive governments. Questions about how schools — especially public schools — can be made more accountable, efficient and simply better providers have been ever-present within our education system.
Today, we explore a possible fix to these burning questions — education vouchers. In this case, a student will receive a voucher from the government which can then be used to pay the fee or part of a fee of any school of their choice, whether private or public. The school can then use the voucher and receive the amount it promises from the government.
This system would also increase pressure on the schools to perform better, especially since their budget is decided by how many students redeem vouchers there. “Suppose in a government school you have 2000 students. Then, your budget would be 2000 times multiplied by the amount that is spent per student. Hence, the school’s budget is decided by the number of parents who send their children to that school, and not the Department of Education. Automatically, there is pressure on the school to attract and retain students every year. This could instil some accountability into the public education system”, advocates Parth Shah, the founder of the Centre for Civil Society.
Our education system needs to evolve with the times. A voucher system is the need of the hour where the conventional system has failed to impress. This is a step worth some serious consideration for a brighter, better, educated India.