For Profit Education!
And the Not so – profit Education!
Yes,we seem to be living in a fast changing world! Very soon we have to learn to use the new planetary jargon of all sorts. From digital to Artificial Intelligence to Planetary changes whose fuller implications we are yet to learn and master the planetary realities!
And education in this welter of chaos may be no more than what we have been practicing so far. The thatched roofs in the rural areas are to the new tuition style teaching and the new generation of edutech money making education ventures. Some of these new age edutech companies which thrive in billions operate in more than one country. One this morning we read that twenty five countries operate! Why,even closer at home in many states of India. The neorich count among themselves.
The new generation of education rich class is a new class in itself. They count themselves. As the new upper class, they count themselves as one of the new powerful classes. They, have the edu-class new aristocracy. Also they wield enormous political pull, they are able to get elected themselves to the legislatures and Parliament, some had become ministers too and given the current political atmosphere prevailing in the country, the unaccounted money power and social influence, such acts like negotiating the capitation fees and other concessions place them, the new education businessmen on all above the real and genuine pure businessmen.
Of course, the businessmen, especially these days, are not so educated to put them or count them. As one of the elite, unless you fall for the new professionals like event managers who can declare on public platforms. As the new stars and confer on them all sorts of titles and awards.
Yes, the new sociology of the new successful classes has to do much new research to classify. The new classes that are coming about so fast and so confusingly in our times. Yes, there are newer classes everyday. The migrants class in a new such class. There are others, like the new generation of college students who now seem to overrun. The very fabric of existing education institutions, universities and colleges. This very year we saw how, for instance, the Delhi university colleges were inundated. With an over supply of students, for every Delhi university college there are three or even more number of students admitted.
Where is the infrastructure, the class rooms and other facilities. The only saving grace, yes, it is how we have to say and escape is thanks to the deadly Corona Virus attack the schools and colleges are closed indefinitely. And so on no one cares to ask more inconvenient questions!
So, we have to desist from asking further inconvenient questions and let the education confusion drift further and let us leave the inconvenient issues at this stage and dwell on some other related topics. We seem to be a bit disappointed at the fact that the new education policy (NEP) is almost forgotten except at the fact that politicians take up the NEP only on ceremonial occasions.And here again we see it is the newcomers like the new private universities, another new phenomena, invite high dignitaries, they don’t want to strain themselves further except to invite the bigwigs and confer on the visiting dignitaries the honorary degrees for their august present on such stages.
What the dignitaries do? They mention the NEP and say the document aims to achieve the many impossible!
If the dignitary is a state Governor or the central dignitaries they refer to all sorts of names and goals and cast these burdens on the NEP document which, one wonders, how many of these bigwigs must have cared to go through
The NEP now is a document that promises to achieve many education goals. One wonders whether our fundamental goals of Indian education are well-served by the new education document.
Every year lakhs of well groomed Indian youngsters, boys and girls now travel abroad for higher education. There are enough data of the exact number of Indian students who travel abroad, mainly to the UK, USA and Australia and Canada and other countries. They shell out on average something like two crores as the annual fees and such a vast outflow of precious resources are sent out just for the tag of a foreign education. After 7O years of freedom our education system hasn’t tried to stop or reverse this outflow of foreign exchange.
Our higher education planners never thought or spoke out about this drainage of foreign exchange. The new private universities, some endowed by some big business houses or otherwise, these private universities are established sometimes by totally unworthy persons, no offense meant at any one but made as a general observation and the fees collected here is also very unreasonable.
Some private establishments are established in clusters and so their profit or surplus generated is also plouged back in other businesses like politics, TV channels and sometimes in plain unworthy activities. The important point here is that someone big enough to talk on these topics, some of which are very sensitive issues, has to come out and talk boldly and create a debate.
What should be the long and short-term goals in the Indian system of education? How to go about it?
India is big country and also a big ancient country with a great education tradition. So, the education reform has to be seen in a long distance way, in the long-term visionary manner. The impact of westernization on modern day education is real and it impacts on our educated classes.
The British impact and influence and the continuing impact has to be directed in a new fashion. We are such a big democracy, that education has to cater to different classes. There are many fundamental problems, the children still outside the class rooms.The right to compulsory education, comprehensive education.
Higher education. What about the declaration of excellence in some select institutions?
After much fanfare we seem to have hushed up the matter! There are so many other, sensitive issues.Please encourage freedom to talk about these issues. Also, we have to become a mature country, and must play an international role. We have to open up our education portals to invite and accommodate refugees, children and even distressed migrants to come and study in our education institutions.
In Pandit Nehru days, many foreign students from Asia and even from the West were accommodated at Santiniketan! We have to reach out to the outside world and ask the rich private institutions to offer scholarships to talented foreign students and also those who like refugees and migrants to find a welcome atmosphere in these otherwise materially affordable residences.