Over- schooling is killing students and teachers!
Bureaucratisation of school education had reached its limit in India.So too the minds of students,teachers and parents in the unshakeable government fixed school texts,exams etc.
The other day we visited a well-established school in a district suburb.There was also a National Award won Headmaster in the car.When we wanted to visit the senior teachers in the school,the very gates were tightly shut.The watchman,there were more than two or three, all in forbidding uniform came and blocked the car and told us the teachers were not inside.But when we protested they opened the gates. Teachers were all there right inside! The school buildings were in a row of barracks-like and the very teachers were frightened to come near us,they took time,got permission before they could say hello!
It is the same everywhere in private schools these days.The education entrepreneurs are all not angels, there are so many shady elements in commercial education. Whenever you visit a school, they invariably say they are busy with exams! The students are burdened everyday with mind-killing tutions.
The bureaucrats are too happy,the CBSE,ISCE are as serious about their business as the outside society imagines! There is intense hostility to any new knowledge,they don’t read any journals,or buy books ,they are simply busy with their jobs.Or,with their existence?Yes,there is this survival,servile existence in our education,as we practise today.De-schooling the society is a desirable ideal. But then,given the money-driven commercial education,where is the opportunity for education change in this country?No chance!
Every report on education shows that only those countries succeed when there is innovation and bold change.All the top 100 universities,science universities,engineering and IT universities are not mentioning India in their top 100 lists! But for Stanford university,the electronics, IT revolution would not have taken place.So too the many new education policies in UK and USA to reform their schools. In India,there is just only more bureaucratisation,more regimentation and more slaves we are producing in our schools! Teachers are slaves,they are treated so by private managements, governments and the society.Students come out as thoroughly inactive for doing anything on their own.
We simply forget the children outside the school,we forget the 5O percent who fail in the exams.They are not the concern of educators or society or politicians.That is why the ideal of”education for all”would remain unreached in our ifetime.Because we don’t seriously ask questions. There is an editorial in “The New Scientist”magazine about the New Year 2005.Unless we have a rigorous scientific questioning much of our life would remain unhappy,anxious and our children won’t see the benefits of education.We hope at least some among the serious educators,there would be questions as to how to make schools inculcate a spirit of freedom,activism and adventure of the mind in the students.