Let us congratulate our Chief Minister (CM) of Province 7 Trilochan Bhatta for enrolling his kid in a community school. Finally, we have a politician who thinks his kid is better off studying in a community school than in expensive private schools. We hope our politicians and civil servants will also learn a thing or two from CM Bhatta. It’s about time our thulo mancheys worked together to make our community schools great again.
Most of our politicians and civil servants today are all products of our public schools. They all went to schools in their villages and probably came down either to the Capital or another major city in the country for higher education later on. They did just fine studying at our public educational institutions, but now they seem to have forgotten their past and where they have come from. If our politicians and civil servants provided financial support to the schools they attended then those schools would have adequate teachers, textbooks and other resources to teach the kids. The kids would someday be our hakim sahebs and netas and maybe they would turn out to be different and better leaders than the loafers we have gotten so far.
Most of us cannot afford to send our kids to private schools but somehow we seem to manage our budget be it from loans or selling our ancestral property or getting dough from our loved ones, who are working overseas. The government talks about regulation but never really takes action against private enterprises charging exorbitant fees for their services.
We seem to think that expensive schools, hospitals and anything that will make your wallet shrink must provide better quality stuff than the rest. Sometimes, it is true but most of our byaparis are here to fleece us with substandard work or services rather than winning our hearts and minds by offering quality products.
CM Bhatta is right when he tells us that the quality of education in our public schools will improve only if our thulo mancheys also send their kids to such schools. Most of our hakim sahebs send their kids to private schools in the Valley. Our politicians do the same as well. Our government thinks that we are better off if we no longer allow private schools to operate in the country. Yes, let us all get rid of private enterprises and let the government offer us free education, free healthcare and transportation. Then life would finally be a little bit easier in this land of ours but only if the government made sure that our public school teachers, doctors and bus wallahs showed up at work on time and did their job well.
Our parents spend more than what they earn to send their kids to private schools. Our private hospitals charge us more than our hotels for a night stay and our private bus wallahs fix their own routes and prices to prevent competition. But things are slowly changing. Our government tells us that the so-called syndicate system in our transport sector will no longer be entertained.
But we all know that it will be difficult for our politicians to shut down our byaparis who run the private schools, hospitals and the transportation business. After all, these three sectors provide billions of free money to our politicians and hakim sahebs. The bus wallahs provide free bus services to ferry cadres of our political parties during their conventions and during elections as well.
Our private hospitals and schools are targeted by political parties, underground political parties and criminal organisations masquerading as political parties whenever they need quick cash. When our Emperor and his courtiers were either hiding in Rolpa or Delhi during the so-called civil war, private school wallahs were the ones who were targeted for the fundraising drive for our comrades. So let us not only blame our byaparis for making a profit by running their private schools, hospitals and transportation businesses.
If our government had taken care of business in the first place then we, the people would not be at the mercy of these byaparis for health, education and transportation needs. Our public colleges were great back in the days. Some of us still remember the blue Sajha Yatayat and their timely and quality service across the country. Our government hospitals were doing their best with the resources they received.
But then the so-called economic liberalisation natak opened the floodgate for private investment in nearly everything which is not a bad thing but then our politicians destroyed our public schools and health institutions by hiring their own cadres and making it a place to make quick bucks on contracts and promotions and what not. Sajha Yatayat has now turned green and is making a comeback in the Valley and we hope someday our government schools and hospitals will give the private ones a run for their money.
Our incompetent government has yet to rebuild thousands of community schools destroyed by the earthquake a few years ago. It is the same story with government health institutions across the country. Our kids in public schools either never get their textbooks on time or don’t get anything at all. But our public school teachers get paid well even for not showing up or spending their days playing cards and drinking local raksi in our remote areas.
And it’s funny that most of our politicians were once public school teachers. But it seems that the real hardworking public school teachers then ended up getting nothing while the cunning calculative con artists who taught at public schools for a few months or years and then decided to get involved in politics full time made it big in this land of ours. Our public schools have been kind to our thulo mancheys and it’s time our corrupt chors at least gave back to the schools.
The Kathmandu Post .