It was a matter of “shame” that private tuitions existed at the primary stage of education in India, Nobel laureate and noted economist Amartya Sen said on Monday.
“It is unheard of in China, Japan, Indonesia, the US and in European countries which I visited. It is a matter of shame that private tuition exists in India only at the primary level of education,” Sen noted.
"Private tuition led to social discrimination, and there ought to be a strong awareness about the status of primary education in other countries “where this is rather unheard”, he said.
“We have a social responsibility in the field of primary education which has to be performed with clarity and commitment with stress on due honour to the teaching community,” the renowned economist said, calling for serious efforts to bring all children within the purview of primary education.
He was speaking at the launch of a 15-point programme for the improvement of primary school education in West Bengal. The programme was launched at the instance of the West Bengal Primary Teachers’ Association in technical assistance with Amartya Sen’s Pratichi Trust and Unicef.
Stressing on the importance of midday meals to encourage school children, Sen said “I always emphasise on the midday meal scheme since it helps meet the nutrition need of poor students.”
Sen suggested more financial allocation to the primary education sector and more school buildings for the spread of elementary education with better facilities for both teachers and students.