Monday, May 15, 2006

Of reservation and relevance

A social worker working for the upliftment of SC/ST (who I happened to meet in train from Chennai to Hyderabad) told me how difficult it is bring them to school. We all know about how bad India is in literacy. I think the case is stronger to push mandatory school level education across all social classes. But I don'’t see it being discussed anywhere at all. Reservation should not be handled as a separate issue. It is my opinion that if you get enough people from all across the society into 12th, and bring about reforms so that at 12th pass-out can actually earn his living, reservation based on any parameter (like social or economic status) can be made totally irrelevant.

I have seen this work in the US. If you see the percentage of high school graduates going directly to college, it was close to 18% the last I heard (about a year ago). But there is so many jobs a 12th pass-out can do to earn his living and save for college. A lot of people go back to college education (both bachelors and masters) after working for some time. So, the real question that we should as ourselves (or the govt. to itself) is "What reforms can be done to give jobs to high school grads". I wish I can answer this question. But it is worthier spending time on this issue. Of course, to stop at school level is a taboo today. But once relatively better earning jobs are available after school education this will change, especially if the worth (interms of earnings) of college education is projected, this taboo will fizzle away. Well the idea is arguable. That is precisely why it is brought to discussion OverTea.


Prakash Gomathinayagam said...

Education should be mandated at school level and eventually the need for "Reservation" will go away.

Reservation ?

Badhri said...

Exactly my point!

Anuj said...

well looks like I have got too deep into it :) But its good and I enjoy it .. wuld take that as a complement :)