Education is an ideology,you should know!
The oft-heard charge,rather reckless,by the IT,ITes captains about the “unemployable”graduates even from the best of the arts and science faculties for the BPO jobs,is rather crude and made by “education illiterates”!Yes,these super-rich It barons imagine they can speak anything and get away! Time, to correct them!
India,the best mind power?
Yes,says IBM chief!
Fine ! And yet there are other questions that remain to be answered.
No nation can progress(or progressed in history) with the wisdom of the”outsiders”.Nations had had barriers of borders,national and cultural barriers and outsiders were always barbarians in history!
This doesn’t mean we disrespect the visiting IBM chief but simply muse over the implications of the praise he had bestowed on the Indian brain power.Simply to remind Indians the burden that lies with us to think for ourselves and seek answers to our own problems and needs by ourselves.
IBM,the world’s largest computer software services company with an employee strength of over 3 lakes worldwide,in India alone with 43,000 as on March 31,2006 and poised to grow faster still has announced an investment of 6 billion dollars just in three years,held its biggest conference of 10,000 employees and the rest from all over India and abroad through satellite joing the conference which ermined the earlier Bill Gates of Microsoft show in the same grounds,the Balance Grounds in Bangalore. The meet saw the presence of India’s President Kalam,Sunil Mittal of Bharati Telecom and others.
What the IBM chief said was very momentous for India and the youth of this country.The visiting American company boss said that India is growing to dominate the global outsourcing industry.He said:”India presents a good opportunity in terms of skills and expertise.India offered the best mind power and its knowledge workers have proved to be the best in the world.India,as the fastest growing economy,would produce 21 million college graduates by 2010.That would mean the country emerge stronger in the next decade…”
What does this sort of announcements by the big MNCs in India mean to Indians?Indian policy makers?Indian educators?Indian political leaders?
One is not sure whether such betting big on India by the world’s MNCs for the Indian brain power could transform Indian mindset in any significant way?For building an India that would become stronger in terms of Indians themselves proving to be world’s inheritors of some of the cherished values and institutions?Indians would become role models for the others,other countries in the neighbourhood or in the larger world outside for a better world?
Yes,such questions might look far-fetched and irrelevant to issues at home.For issues of immediate relevance?
The point is that when big American companies come and invest and generate jobs for Indians,we,educators and leaders,might imagine that all our problems would be solved.This is a great illusion.That is the point we want to convey.
Indian problems,the same old tired themes of poverty,denial of basic essential needs,education,health and other basic necessities,housing,social security and much more important the inherent,built-in inequities in our society and politics,would only accelerate and not in any way go for a more equitable social order.
Education as such is still a brutal struggle for a place on the job map.So,the excessive obsessions with a sort of education that doesn’t produce a balanced individual but a more mindless middle class madness to get into a rat race that is the very negation of all principles of education,however you define that noble concept.
India,the bat mind power?Yes and no.Yes,in only one sense.No,in so many other significant senses.
India cant become another new age colony of knowledge workers for procuring wealth and profits for foreign companies.Nor even the educated Indians become cogs in the machines of larger Indian monopolies in the IT league of companies!
The problems of producing a more just and equitable India would persist and no one,believe,no one of the big companies,Indian or foreign would have the time or the brain power to solve or offer solutions.
For an India of the knowledge super power we need the same set of thinkers,policy makers,the civil society to worry about the thousand and one issues.
That makes education a unique concept.It is not just knowledge,it is also ethics,morals and wisdom and much else.
The power of education is not well-understood even by the most educated and the most rich and powerful.That is why education,culture and history matters a great deal for every educated and cultured society.
There are big and smaller issues of defining our own national goals and destiny.Even if we reject the entire premise of Marxism,it comes through other means,the issues of classes,the domination of the rich over the poor classes ,the class antagonisms,the monopoly capital are all words and concepts that resonate with so many historical and ideological meanings.
Yes,education is an ideology as well!
Why we say like this?Because Indians never stopped to think for a moment what sort of education is good for the country.We seem to be led by so many material forces when it comes to education.First is the perceptions of the already educated middle classes that imagine that education is just for a professional education like medicine or computers that pays a high salary.Next is the thought how to migrate and settle down abroad.Third,education is to be sought by all means.The latest OBC quota is one instance.Caste? Yes,if it can give us a chance to get admission into IIT or IIM! Such fractured thoughts only disturb us!
Education,as we never tire reminding our readers,is a much more serious concept that what it is today in the popular imagination!
There are 100 and more education journals published by one publisher in UK alone! Imagine the number of journals elsewhere,if you care to search!
Alas! In India no school or college or even our public library system stop to ask questions like whether India needs to know more about education issues?
Yes,we need a more in depth debate on education.For 1,000 years we were a slave India,right?For 300 and more years we thought education is just for a job before an alien power,right?Then,in what way our current conceptions of education is different?We have come to imagine again that education today is for lineup before the gates of IBM or Infosys?
Such are the questions that should trouble every educator worth his salt!
Education is about values,we study and learn values.We learn about hard work,dedication and commitment and moral responsibility.If in one word,education is to be defined,it is :an educated person learns to assume moral responsibility,for his own acts and beliefs,for his own country amend towards the larger world!Education is not about jobs or money!