Education, ethics and money! A fatal combination?
Yes, it seems so. The state of Indian education is very depressing. There is a steady quantitative expansion of education at all levels. This is a positive development.
While there is a steady decline in quality, again, at all levels too!
Quantitative expansion has happened thanks to a very high degree of commercialization.
When education becomes a mass cottage industry, then, what you can expect? Only deterioration too. So, we see very many new big buildings for all money-spinning education enterprises, CBSE schools are a craze among parents. And so too the capitation fee-colleges, first in engineering now in medical colleges.
Also, many bigwig, even IAS officials and why ministers too are now charged with corruption, as in Pondicherry, a Union Territory, where some laxity of laws is possible it seems and so the easy way to make some money by the way.
There is no denying that medical education is becoming a big growth industry, with the widespread protests over NEET test gave way to falling in line to make the best use of the opportunity.
India’s education budget is also not big. Much worse if the Indian medical education and public health budgets.
So, there are serious problems in education sector. In this context we like to say that for such a vast education sector, there are no education media outlets.
Practically, there is no education commentary or criticism and what makes for education news or publicity is what appears as full-page ads about the students who get high ranking and these full-page ads make India a very poor country as far as education aspirations are concerned.
The newly emerging Indian middle class if so narrow-minded that this class wants English, instead of education in mother tongue, fees is no concern, fees are rising faster and also the standards are falling faster too!
The English language skills are so poor that in one of the oldest and well-known Public Schools, teachers are supposed to write to parents about the wards’ progress. These letters written by teachers are again corrected separately by the English class teachers!
So, what is the role of the English language in such a poor education environment?
The ministry of human resources (MHR/HRD) must in fact be renamed as ministry of education (ME), instead of human resources. It is a bit immature, even vulgar to call education as one instrument to turn humans into human resources! One immature leader thought so in no justification.
NO education thinker in India thought worthwhile to say this comment.
We are a nation of obedient servants of the government in whatever capacity we work in the country. Indians by nature either are bureaucratic or academic, not at any time an independent citizen, right?
We have no conception of what education means? Please look into the pages of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. There are 100 pages of write-up on education.
So, we have to dig deep into education history and evolution of education. We should start with Socrates through Plato and Aristotle and come to the modern Europe too.
Education should be all about ethics, ethical questions, the concept of good and evil and it should be about truth and hope, faith and love. The three principles preached by St.Paul in the first century AD in Corinth and elsewhere.
Now, there is no sense of hope, faith and love too. We seem to be becoming a society of insensitive nature, we are becoming more and more selfish and also very narrow minded, we don’t seem to love our neighbours, but hate and avoid the neighbours, we are driven by jealousy and restlessness, becoming more and more materialistic and hence the fast spreading of corruption.
Delhi, a hothouse!
Delhi is a hothouse. You are in a perpetual state of tension, insecurity and uncertainty! About your own survival, first and foremost! What sort of a society we are creating here right now, under the dynastic holds of families, both political and officials.
No original thinking is possible in such an atmosphere. May be outside the Capital you find some free air to breathe, a liberal air and relaxed environment. In Delhi, the talk, the very behaviour and the artificial aims you see, we only think of artificial people and a
See the way our islands of selfish elites, be it the New Delhi Lutyen’s bungalow zone or similar enclaves, all funded and supported by public funds. In such a hothouse environment we see only much cynicism, a negative mentality, a disbelief in any positive outlook and that is one reason, in my considered view for the growth of dynastic political hold on the utter disregard for truth!
What chance we can create an open society, a merit-based growth of talents.
As one senior Congress leader had observed that we have leaders who behave like sultants! But only there is no sultanate!
So, nobody in India retires gracefully or return to their native places gracefully either.
They hang on and on! No politician retires! We have only politicians, no statesmen!
Even one lives as pensioner! In India there are other bonuses, a free, almost rent-free bungalows! We seem to be creating an elite as a parasitic class!
Educators must emerge from this truth.
A liberal society, a democratic society, an open society must be born, baled to be born.
Our fundamental educational values must originate from the ancient Athens and must imbibe the values of basic ethical questions.
We need not reinvent the wheels. We can take them forward from ancient Greece and ancient Romes to Renaissance, to European Enlightenment and to the modern world where lots of new technologies make it possible to wipe out vast mass poverty, cure all the ills and diseases and also enable the people to live fulfilling lives.