Thursday, January 20, 2011

Nothing says about outputs

All you really have to do is to get all children in school, make sure they are not beaten up, and promote everyone to the next standard till they complete eight years of schooling, he said. This way, you will have delivered RTE.

Those who toiled over the RTE Act will squirm at this anecdote and protest, but ultimately, something very complex does boil down to a simple representation far away from its origin. In marketing terms, it is amply clear that the product is the school with classrooms and teachers, price is zero, promotion is uniforms, books, midday meals and guaranteed promotion, and place is within 1 km of each habitation. The product was never promised to be learning achievement. Small surprise then that it was not delivered.

The resistance to outcome measurement of every kind is tremendous. We talk of the demographic dividend but cannot see that we are courting a demographic disaster as we sacrifice the possible good for the illusive perfect.

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