Pune parents choose to send sons to private schools, daughters to public schools: state report
According to a survey conducted by the National University for Educational Planning and Administration, a central government agency, parents are willing to send their boy children to private schools while they are reluctant to offer the same opportunity to their girl children.pune Updated: Nov 06, 2017 18:08 IST
According to a survey conducted by the National University for Educational Planning and Administration, a central government agency, parents are willing to send their boy children to private schools while they are reluctant to offer the same opportunity to their girl children. According to the survey published in 2015-16, most public schools in Pune district have more number of girls compared to boys. The situation, as per the survey, is exactly the opposite in private schools where boys are in majority compared to girls.
At Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Urdu High school in Bhawani Peth, as many as 246 girls have been enrolled against 141 boys. When Hindustan Times contacted the head master of the school, Farida Mokashi, for her take on the issue, he said, “The reason behind this, to some extent, is the gender discrimination in schools. Generally, girls are hard working in nature and under any circumstance, want to learn more. Also, students in our school come from the lower economic strata and this is also one of the reasons behind the gender discrimination in schooling.”
According to Mokashi, parents who are economically downtrodden do not want to invest in the education of girls as compared to boys. Therefore, the parents generally send girls to public schools. "Many parents think that once their daughter gets married, they cannot depend on her. Instead, they think that they can depend on their son, who they think will take care of them and opt to educate their son better.”
In another school at Parvati run by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), the number of girls, according to survey, is 198 compared to 139 boys. On the other hand, private schools such as Ratna Prabhadevi school at Kothrud has 172 girls compared to 240 boys while P Jog Marathi school at Manikbaug has 209 girls compared to 360 boys.
"Such discrimination is mostly due to the financial constraints of parents. When it comes to investment on education, most parents select their boy child instead of their girl child and this is the mentality of a typical Indian. This is not limited to education but can also be seen while giving nutrition and health facilities to children.This is not seen everywhere but the number is not negligible. Such discrimination can be seen majorly in illiterate people.”
“Private schools are known for their good quality education, which is exactly what a public school does not offer. Many-a-time, public school teachers are busy with government works instead of teaching. That is why I send my son to a private school. These schools have different teachers for all subjects with many other facilities including computers," said Suvarna Kadam, who has two children. Her daughter Divya is studying in Chatrapati Sambhaji Primary School PMC school in Kothrud. Explaining why her son studies at a private school while her daughter studies at a government-run school, she said,"The Municipal school is very close to our house and it is safer for girls to not travel long distances. Also, because of financial problems, I am unable to send her to a private school. We cannot afford the fees if both of them are studying at a private school." Suvarna Kadam is working as a housemaid and her husband, Ramesh Kadam, is working at a medical shop in Kothrud.They say that they cannot afford the yearly fee of ₹15,000 for their two children.
Another parent, Mukund Devale, an autorickshaw driver and resident of Karvenagar said,"I know my daughter Sapana is very clever and I know that she can perform well under any circumstance. Boys who study at public schools in our area have a lot of bad habits.They influence other kids and I do not want my son to get into any bad habit." Sapana is studying in Samrat Ashok Primary School, Karvenagar and has two brothers. The elder one, Santosh, is studying in a private school while the younger one, Vikas, is too young for school. Mukund said,"My wife is a house wife and I only earn ₹15,000 monthly for the entire family. I cannot afford the education of two children if they are both in private schools.”
Niraj Shinde has three children including two girls and works in a private company in Warje. He sent her two daughters to a government-run school. According to him, his son Ravi has a ‘spark’ and to groom his ‘spark’ in the right way, he sent him to a private school where he can easily avail all top-class facilities for developing his career. Niraj has an annual income of Rs 2 lakh and says that he still cannot afford the private school fees of his three children.
Prof Nandkumar Kakirde, director of Bharti Vidya Bhavan, denied the discrimination among boys and girls at schools. Kakirde said, "I think only parents who can afford a private school send their children to a such schools. Also, the quality of public schools is also a cause for concern among parents."