The short-term and the long-term in education!
What do we, the general public, think of education as parents and citizens?
We are deeply moved to see that in Britain school children marched with placards to say: politicians! don’t spoil our future! By your
narrow, short term agendas! Save the planet, save the future, save the future of mankind! Adopt sustainable goals and future!
How nice it is to see the school children getting sensitised by the climate change and polluted environments!
Yes, that is right. But then times come when we see our leaders get on the platform and hold forth when they get an opportunity. When it comes to education, none seems to me at any rate, they have any serious idea of education.
Indian education in today’s world doesnt count in the world. The world talks of education in the USA and UK, also even education in China, South Korea and why even the tiny island Singapore, where in all these countries we are told they teach very good quality education. Why, the tiny Western country Finland is very much praised for their schools, why even for general society’s happiness, as the supreme purpose of education.
Why Indian schools and colleges are not rated high? Why don’t foreign students choose to come to India for education?
These are some of the questions one has to ask and if possible one has to try to find out answers.
The Indian society and history are very different from other countries. India is the only country that was always under attack and invasions. India is the only country that became a country suited for foreign occupations. China was never an occupied country.
It was never an imperial power. But India was an occupied and invaded country for a very long time, from 10th century or so we were under one foreign occupier or not. After Babur, came the Portuguese in 495 A.D., then very soon the British came. First as traders and then as occupiers. We became a colony. It was, now looking back, a shameful past for Indians. Then came their ideas of occupation and rule and we learnt to speak English and do the chores of humble clerks.
If now we read Indian history, for this generation, I am not sure what is being taught as the British occupation periods. Even now, in England, at Oxford and Cambridge they teach Indian student researchers that the British colonialism was largely beneficial to the Indians!
And the English language?
Oh, that is the very different legacy. The Hon’ble Venkaiah Naidu, our Vice President is a wise leader and he recently told in Bangalore that our education system hasn’t risen above Macaulay! Well said. We are afraid the same thing might not be said by his valued colleagues.
The BJP hasn’t said anything on our English-rulers-given education system. Instead of calling for new ideas and thoughts for reforming
education, our current bunch of leaders want us not to get a modern, science-based and technology driven education.
They have ridiculed modern sciences. See our Science Congresses! Nor is there any realistic thinking on education based on world trends. This is an age of globalisation and wide migration of people. The world is changing fast. May be only in this generation there is such an unprecedented changes.
So, education for Indians of this generation must be radically changed, jobs have to be created on a large scale and all this is possible only with a job-oriented education. Education must encompass many facets of modern life, careers in a thousand odd areas has to come about. All this is possible only with a robust thought process.
Culture for a country like India is so vital and critical. Where is this wise-range education? Our large number of schools and colleges are government funded and yet we see a heavy commercialisation and there is this growing inequity and also inequality in the access for quality education. School drop outs is a great issue! Unesco’s Global Education Monitoring Report 2019 says 80% of migrant child in seven major cities don’t have education access near their work places.
That is why Acts like the Right to Education Act to impose their 25% quota on admissions to nearby quality schools. Drop-out of children in
the simply charging heavy fees some schools create a bad impression in the minds of parents about the ideas of quality education. Let our students go anywhere in the world in their pursuit of education.
Our education ministers in the States and at the Centre must be qualified persons, with proper education and experience. This is not seen happening. Our populist politics and quota-based admissions have created a situation that many of the education ministers are school-dropouts!
Please at least save and resolve our current contradictions in education policy. Yes, give more incentives for mother-tongue based schools and also give more education subsidy to writers and publishers in mother tongues.
There are a range of policies deficies, you know? Do you know that in many states, except Tamil Nadu the public libraries Act is not implemented. How can the local languages grow and flourish?
There is lot of corruption in education, specially in self-financing colleges. There are some very offensive practices by the self-financing colleges, they start TV channels, why even political parties and they ruin the minds and public morals!
Yes, education ministers must have high ethical calling. One big education trust, for instance in Tamil Nadu, the centuries old Pachayappa’s Trust is publicly scandalised by the high corrupt practices of the Trusties!
How can a state and society would feel? Only the Chief Ministers, past and present can take up such issues. So, the current contradictions in education and employment policies,the question of medium of education etc,. can be solved only if public spirited men and women are brought forward and entrusted with such public-recognised high offices.
Education is a question of honour and trust. The public perception and the public opinion needs to be sensitised.
Let more schools and colleges come forward to discuss and debate education and culture issues!