Recently, leading educationist and Chairman of Kunwar Global School, Rajesh Kumar Singh, joined NewsX for an exclusive interview. He shared with his unique and personal journey into the field of education. “I didn’t enter into education because of some wish to do this. I have worked in many industries, hotels, movies etc. After my son’s death in 2014, I wanted to contribute. I wanted to do something meaningful and impact the future of children, and that’s why I entered into this field.”

Speaking on the commercialization of education, Kumar shared with us his passionately held views on the matter. “The entire educationist and schooling community has acquired a really bad reputation. We’re viewed as shopkeepers, just trying to make the most money from people. We need to improve our image and be more like the police forces and the medical professionals.

He views the pandemic as a failed opportunity for the schooling community to have done this, and says, “We could have used the pandemic to change public perception, but instead you saw people raising fees, even in the times of coronavirus.”

Also Read: Need to bring in tech to make India Atmanirbhar, says Arjun Bajaaj, Director, Videotex & Founder, Shinco

Also Read: Working hard and keeping a positive mindset, Mr Pulin Vaidhya’s mantra to sail through the pandemic

This is where his school, the Kunwar Global School has taken a big first step and actually cut the fees by 25%. “We’re the first to do this, to cut the fees by 25% and to move forward with our work.”

The government doesn’t have a clear policy on education, he feels. He says that government hasn’t been able to decide between private and public education. “Supposedly, in our system, schools are built as not for profit organizations. Please explain why it is so then that as soon as the school is built the managers of the school try to get a franchise? Secondly, if the government wants to allow private education, fine, but then why don’t they just say ‘Ok, you want to run a business, run a business then’ and then just collect tax from it?”

Speaking on online education during the pandemic, Kumar feels that it is a necessity. “I don’t think its good, but we don’t have choice. I’m happy though that the government has decided to reduce the time of online classes. I still feel though, that we should give the students homework for a day or two, and have at least one class every two days.”

He doesn’t at all support the new ‘No school, no fees’ movement that has been coming up during the pandemic though. He says, “I don’t support that at all. The school has so many salaries to pay, and so many costs to bear, gardeners, teachers, etc. Now certainly I think many schools show one amount in their earnings and expenses and actually earn and spend another, and that is a problem that needs to be solves, but no fees is not an option at all.”

His advice for students is to prioritize their mental health over their studies for now. He says “we can catch up with the studies, but we need students to be in the right mindset, and frame of mind.”

Finally, speaking of the new phase of reopening of our economy and country he shares his opinion. He feels that “schools need to open’ and that currently, many boarding schools have performed their own ‘quarantines’, where “no one can get in or out”. “ Reopening the schools will be beneficial I feel, in the long run.”

Also Read: Future of the Nation: India’s young changemakers