Kejriwal made yet another pre-poll promise to Gujarat, in which he announced free and quality education for all government schools in the state along with auditing of private schools if Aam Aadmi Party was selected to power in the upcoming Assembly elections.
He has stressed that improving the quality of education in state-run schools is the primary step that can be undertaken to eradicate poverty. Kejriwal believes that he can secure the future of 53 lakh students who attend government schools in Gujarat, in the same way he did with the 18 lakh students going to such institutes in Delhi, where AAP is ruling.
He said in a statement that the government would not force anybody: If parents can afford to send their kids to private schools, they will do so . If not, money will not be a deterrent to them getting a quality education. AAP will provide the best education for free.
This speech took place in Bhuj where he was addressing a town hall in Kutch district. His declaration came in the middle of the ongoing national debate over freebies.
This has been Kejriwal’s fourth visit to Gujarat which has been ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party for more than 20 years. If chosen to rule, he has promised to improve the infrastructure of existing government schools, and also put up a good number of new ones across the state. He said that all private schools shall be audited and it would be seen that they return the extra money which they have collected from parents, just like his administration has done in Delhi.
The AAP government will also ensure that the business of selling textbooks and uniforms to students by private schools is also ended, the chief minister said.
He further added that all private schools will be audited and those who turn out to have collected a lot of money will have to return them to the parents. Even school laws will be stringent, if a school wishes to raise fees, it will have to get permission from the AAP government. Coming to the teachers` end, he said that a service of teachers working on a contract basis will be regularized and offered job security. He guaranteed job creation for teachers.
Kejriwal believes that the condition of government schools is poor, not merely in Gujarat but throughout the country. He says this needs to change if India wants to become a “Vishwa Guru” (world leader). India cannot become rich without improving its education. He said that by providing a good education opportunity to this generation, he will be ensuring that the next generation lives bereft of poverty.
He gave the example of two students who were from poor financial backgrounds and studied in Delhi government schools, and bagged admission in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). He said that the two students prove that when children of poor parents grow in their career, the poverty of their parents is eradicated. Hence, the next generation can live poverty free. This repeated will make India progress and flourish.