Basic education minister Ram Gobind Chaudhary has come up with a simplistic solution to improve the enrolment rate in the schools run by his department. He feels adding a tie to the school uniform and providing adequate furniture in these institutions would do the trick.
"Why are the convent schools more in demand? If only we could provide an atmosphere in our schools that is similar to that of convent schools, I believe the enrolment ratio would definitely increase. That's what we are working on," the minister said.
He also took pot-shots at the previous BSP government, saying the centre's grant for making the state literate was left unutilised by the then government.
"That's very surprising. This government would take full advantage of such central assistance to help the state develop," he said. Asked about the move, Sunil Kumar, the principal secretary, basic education, said the department would definitely consider it.
However, there were some who felt that the minister had oversimplified the complex issue of checking the dropout rate in UP's government schools. "There are hardly enough teachers. Whatever little there are, don't take their responsibilities seriously. There is hardly any infrastructure in the government schools.
These issues are far more important than focusing on the tie. In fact, before thinking of the tie, the minister should check if all the students of government schools are getting their basic uniform," the teacher of a government school near the state capital said.