We have to wait for an opportune time for things to change for the better
Education budget is now 3.71%, dipped from 6.15% of the Union Budget
between 2014 and 2017.Not just funds can improve education.Education can be improved only if we search for intellectual debate and freedom of expression for the and public intellectuals.Education has become big business in India.It is now becoming more expensive and also more questionable in terms of quality and job market. May be the education sector is also becoming more fast growing economic sector. The only beneficiary,it seems,are the education promotors. The sheer numbers would daunt anyone engaged in this sector. From the primary level onwards, education is also becoming so expensive almost everyday.
The very pressure of numbers is such that even the States and Central Government are forced to take note of the public discontent and there are any number of education issues,from the fees fixed for the LKG to UKG and also the medium of instruction from the very beginning, at the LKG level itself and also the medium of instruction.The teaching of mother tongue is also becoming an issue.Even for admission for the LKG the capitation fees range something from one to two lakhs, if not more.That is one reason why very many new fancy names for the schools crop up.
You can call them by any name, no more such traditional names like Montessori or something else.The edge in admissions is that the new names,new promises and new franchisees and what have you. The daily newspapers carry any number of education ads, many times in a week you have full-page ads and in multicolor. And next to full-page ads, there are also ads for tuitions and also for various competitive exams for various competitive exams. Oh, then you have the American SAT and GRE, GMAT etc.
Why, don’t you know many of the State governments, may be all the States have one education programme. That is they train youngsters for the much-sought after IAS exams. Ministers do promote these programmes as one of their education policies.
Now, even the daily newspapers, in the regional languages have a regular daily pages devoted to publishing the State level competitive exams, questions are published for the State government posts. Take one recent example of the Tamil Nadu Government exams for State government jobs!
It is becoming a scandal of the first order and you have such juicy information about who played what role and every day arrests are made and the so-called accused are produced before the courts and sent to jailfor a number of days. What a waste of time and energy and what a pass we have come to! Then there is higher education.Here every thing is in a mess! There are now separate ministers for higher education. Nothing wrong! We do need ministers to tackle the mess in higher education. Given the complexity in imparting various degree courses,from professional courses,say in medicine and engineering to general degree courses in arts and sciences there is a whole new breed of educationists, administrators to teachers, from Vice-chancellors to professors, a whole new generation of academics are now in great demand.
The only latest news we read is that for instance, with 40 Central Universities there are reportedly 6,000 and odd posts of university professors, teachers whose posts are empty, remain unfilled! If you are interested in higher education (May God bless you!) then you have the problem (or headache?) to get to know the latest developments in the appointments of Vice-Chancellors.In law, the State Governors are the heads of Universities,the Chancellors,they are supposed to be the appointing authorities, the Governors’ signature legitimise the appointments. Then, as we write there are some ex-VCs languishing in jail (or, are they out on bail?). Why this happened? The appointment of VCs is guided by the search committee names. These search committees themselves are problematic.
There are any numbers of illegalities. Only recently, as we know things in TN, some Governors have taken themselves seriously and appointed some names in a bureaucratic manner.One or two good names also have come up. But given the mess in which we have run into this sector we really need to radically constitute a new committee of competent persons who can also stand up to the new types of ruthless education entrepreneurs,whom we term as real adventurers(see the people who are now crorepathis in higher education as you can see them in the Southern States, it is next to impossible to reform this sector unless you assume some extra-Constitutional powers! Education promoters amassed money and wealth through very many devious routes. They are such diverse fields like films, even a Member of Parliament and also in many other fields like media, TV entrepreneurship etc. The final point we want to make is when India would retain its foreign degree seeking craze. The Universities in USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand are minting money by charging Rs.35 lakhs and above! May be we have to raise our hands in the air and say: Helpless in education reforms!