So many exams and entrance tests! Yet no substantial intellectual inputs NEET-I and II, ComedK and CET and many more!

chairmanThe Supreme Court is now actively engaged to untangle the issues and fix some critical questions. There are issues like PUC question papers leaks and the involvement of the police to fix the criminals. The Supreme Court has appointed a panel headed by a former Supreme Court Chief Justice to reform the medical education and professional standards in a country that suffers seriously in terms of number of adequate doctors and access to medical services. Besides for tackling the endemic corruption in medical graduate and post-graduate admissions.

There is reckless profiteering in private medical education for so long. Of course the contours of Indian education are changing. For the good or worse? Who can ask such questions? And, who can dare to come out with satisfactory answers. Is the political environment right now good? Where are the daring minds and morally competent voices?

Then we have our own private channels to success through various tuition routes. Then, there are periodic mishaps, tragedies of students at high profile and high cost tuition centers at places like Kota. In fact, lately, there are more and more commercialized schools with fancy names. Call them by very foreign and unpronounceable names, the more fancier and difficult the more attractive to the gullible parents! Every day I catch some such new names. One is in fact called Oakridge!

Another PRIMUS! What do such names contribute to education? It is really not all about real education; it is all about branding and attracting the high paying parents. The latest growth area is pre-school kind of education. Here it is all about fancier offers. There are now more and more newspaper ads that advertise more about the franchise route to boost numbers. Number of schools as well as number of kids. Play schools with ISO certified, Rs.10 lakhs investment, then public schools, CBSE curriculum etc. And all these come in 100+ Schools, franchise enquiries solicited from all cities/towns of Karnataka and neighboring areas. 23 states, these schools operate, says one ad. And 1000 plus schools and in total some 2 lakh schools.

This is one part of the growth of education in India. There is another part of the education growth. That is the growth of tuition education. Oh, this is a big scandal, as other parts too look like scandal. How the tuition industry has grown over the years. Now, we can see many homes putting notice that tuitions in particular subjects, maths, and science are given.

Of course there is another, much more lucrative side of technical and professional education. The engineering and medical education is really a gold mine. Tamil Nadu took the early steps to open up any number of engineering colleges and now, here is a reverse side. Some colleges have asked for closure and some really closed. Some others, a good number, suffer from lack of students. Some have classes with hardly any number. If you happened to travel one belt, namely, the Salem -Namakkal road you would be surprised to see such giants buildings, look like five star hotels. They are all really secondary schools, many floated by group of teachers who developed from their private tuitions from their own homes, now to the present height of glories.

The sort of education they provide, they promise your ward a seat in medical college or engineering and you shell out the money. Then, the ward becomes an automaton. By drilling constantly into the brain the students become simply worthless at the end of their ‘education’!

Who cares? What is the use of education? Why such speedy commercialization of education?
We don’t have any answers. Perhaps the new education minister in Delhi might have some clue. The HRD ministry pursues its own agenda. Teach Sanskrit at the IITS! Yes, that may be a good idea! We are not sure. But what is sure is that with the coming of the Internet, online learning is growing in cities like Bangalore. May be some reaction is bound to come.

Quality education! That is another question. What is likely is that after sometime things might settle down. Some saner view of education might return.

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