The crisis was foreseen by the Kothari Education Commission (1964-66) which unequivocally recommended the Common School System, with neighbourhood schools as the National System of Education, for all children of India. The most important feature of the Common School System is its equitable (not uniform) quality of education for all types of schools—private, private-aided or government. It has six essential and non-negotiable attributes:
(i)minimum physical infrastructure, including library, teaching aids, playgrounds and many other features (eg, early childhood care centres and pre-primary schools attached to primary/elementary schools);
(ii) professional quality of teachers and teacher-student ratio;
(iii) diversified and flexible curriculum to reflect the geocultural plurality of the country, while emphasising certain core curricular features of nationwide significance;
(iv) pedagogy for holistic, child-friendly and liberative education;
(v) pedagogic and social empathy for the Dalits, tribals, cultural and ethnic minorities and the physically- or...