A coaching centre in an area dominated by migrant workers and daily wage earners, caters to a specific group of women students – those who come from financially poor backgrounds and have dropped out of formal schooling due to familial pressure as well as financial issues. The girls come from such families who will marry them off if they don’t study and pass their exams.
However, the centre has always struggled with poor finances for many years and lacks basic infrastructure and facilities such as laptops or Wi-Fi. Moreover, after a nationwide lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, teaching has become more difficult. The teachers at the centre continue to teach students even when their salaries stopped coming due to the financial crisis that the centre faces. Not only the centre but the students also do not have laptops/mobile with a proper internet connection. Also, the students as well as the teachers are not very well versed with technology.
You are the manager of the centre, identify the various ethical issues of the given case. Based on your understanding, suggest measures to deal with the crisis. (250 words)18 Sep, 2020 GS Paper 4 Case Studies
Stakeholders Ethical Issues Female students Whether they continue to study or they will be forcefully married. Families of students Maintaining gender parity in providing equal opportunity to education Centre and State Government Accountability of the governments to help the needy students in availing education and fulfilment of constitutional obligation: Right to Education. Manager of the coaching institute
Objectivity, probity and responsibility to optimally utilise the resources and in balancing the education and safety concerns of the students.
Teachers Empathy and moral obligation to carry out their duties selflessly Course of Action 1. Spend your own financial resources and run the coaching. 2. Start physical classes with necessary precautions of social distancing. 3. Appeal to the Government authorities and organisations for assistance. 4. Collaborate with any NGO willing to help. 5. Admit students who can pay more and then rationalise the finances to help the poor students. 6. Stop the classes till the lockdown is over.
Pros and Cons of Courses of Action
- First step: It will definitely help me to run the coaching for a short while however in the long run it is unsustainable and it will put me and my family under financial stress in the period of lockdown as I myself don't have a stable source of income now.
- Second step: It would definitely help to continue the classes and help the students completing the syllabus on time however it will endanger the life of students, teacher and their families as there will be more exposed to the food infection inside and outside the class, plus it is illegal to violate the Government orders of suspension of the classes in during lockdown.
- Third step: It would be done at all the levels, I will write to the district administration, the Women Welfare Ministry at the state and the centre level and also try to seek help from the local legislatures and leaders representing the people.
- Fourth step: I would search and seek assistance from any such Non governmental organisation (NGOs) for financial or other assistance they could provide.
- Fifth step: It can be adopted as an innovative financial model. Such a model has been adopted by some coaching institutes across the country like Super 30 in Bihar.
- The advantage would be that the coaching would become self-sufficient. However the challenge is to find such well off students in such a crisis and even the inequality of fees among students may make some of them feel being discriminated against.
- Sixth step: It would stop education of the poor students and would hamper their academic growth however life is much more important than education. The missed syllabus and opportunities can be recovered in the future, however loss of lives is Irreversible.
- Thus, by rationalising all these available options and taking the steps accordingly I would be able to take best decisions in the best interest of the students as well as the coaching institute.
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