West Zone 2016 – Debate speech transcript

Given the choice, where would you ideally like to study or send your children to study? *fake scan audience* Would you choose an unreasonably expensive institution that prioritizes on fiscal profit or a centralized, standardized system that promotes welfare and development for all its participants?

A very good morning to the august house. My name is Prerna Somani and I stand before you to speak against the motion – Privatization of education is the ONLY alternate to promote inclusive education

I am against privatization of education on principle. The existence of a parallel system of education has not complemented but harmed the original governmental set up. In the race between the private and public education system, incalculable resources are being exhausted and wasted.

Education is a noble social service; a culture meant to be passed down from generation to generation selflessly. It’s interesting that my worthy opponent should mention Dronacharya here, because he was indeed the first teacher to privatize knowledge when he vowed to educate the princes of Indraprastha for a private and selfish purpose of taking revenge from King Drupad. Look back to what that kind of education did to the Kauravas, and look now, everywhere around us are Dronacharya replicas, who are dishing out “knowledge” from their lavish classrooms, in their sprawling campuses for the only, and only, and only purpose of PROFIT MAKING. Before following this glorified bandwagon of privatization my friends, stop and compare the per capita income of our country with the fees charged by institutions like Manipal University or BITS Pilani. With their fancy billboards and attractive advertising, these private institutions have nourished a delusional fan following in our population today. Of the wealthy, For the wealthy, By the wealthy – these institutions have reduced education to a marketable commodity. Can the question of inclusive education still co-exist? What a senseless abstraction!

Allow me to elucidate.

Inclusive Education is the keyword of this debate, I believe; and this term represents an idea much larger than mere variety in curricular and co-curricular activities.
Inclusive Education means easy accessibility.
Inclusive Education means equivalent opportunity.
And Inclusive Education means universalism. “Vasudeiv Kutumbakam”

How can privatization of education fulfil these goals? Sure, it’s a system is free from the limitations of caste, creed, gender, race, region, religion – all those things don’t matter here; what matters is the size and the girth of your pocket.
My friends, look closely and you’ll see that the only things promoted by privatized education are ghettoism, class division and mutual exclusion!
Is this how ‘easy accessibility’ works?

It is known for a fact that privatized establishments induct only the creamiest layer of the population, which has been privileged all their lives, always supplied with the best of facilities, best of connections and best of exposure. When private institutions concentrate all their efforts and resources only on the high spending sections of the society, where is the ‘equivalent opportunity’? How is this ‘universalism’ when there is blatant economic discrimination?

*fake audience scan*

Yes, our public education system has its many limitations, but the cure is not privatization, and it shall never be. It is only through the renovation, moderation and modulation of the public education system, inclusion in education shall be achieved. In conclusion, I humbly request the august house to reject and throw out this preposterous idea of inclusiveness in privatized education, lock stock barrel.


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