Yes, we have to build a large education infrastructure.
More high quality universities. Reverse the trend of outward migration for higher education. Kerala takes a pro-capita list turn? one important change in its party ideology is to invite private players in education. to invest in private universities. Maybe in earlier times this sort of ideological departure, would have led to many repercussions. Not now, it seems!
While many states under the BJP dispensation have gone for very many radical changes in policy alternatives, many times more radical and crazy changes, replacing English with Hindi, even more crazy changes have been made often in Hindi terminologies and also totally incomprehensible.
Those who are familiar with the Kerala state and the peoples’ cultures, would know that Kerala is only falling in line with the changing times on larger global trends. Education is the very crucial index of the larger change, the larger world map. It has been tremendous. Changes and in one respect, namely, outward bound migration Kerala was a pioneer of sorts. Migration to Gulf countries started from Kerala and even today the state is the largest recipient of foreign funds and the state is called the money order economy!
Now, other states have caught up thanks to the IT revolution and the trend has caught up and more and more educated and highly qualified educated Indians go out to many developed countries. You see almost a mass migration of all sorts of educated Indians, from humbe jobs to highly qualified and the story only too well known to repeat further.
Frequent highlights of how the top world’s big tech companies are now headed by Indians and many theories and fancy construction of this story is repeated with what intention and consequence for the future.
We are not sure! Here comes the subject of education. There has been a sort of mass education everywhere, in other countries too.But India is a large country and a highly qualified educated work force. There are enough statistics in the public domain as to how many, first degree holders who migrate every year for higher education to the UK, USA, Australia and Canada and other countries.
As we write the war in Ukraine is still raging and tens of thousands, nearly 20,000 and odd Indian students are struggling to escape from the country.Usually, we used to read only about Indian students flocking to the West,the UK and USA.
Now, for the first time. We are starting to read more about the far off Ukraine a very dynamic country, once part of the Soviet Russia and now as the emerging acts and realities of a possible third World War with what Mr.Putin, the boss of the Russian Federation threatening with a “nuclear high alert”, whatever that phrase, means! As for the Indian students, it looks the Indian students body seems to be largest one in Ukraine and may be there are other country nationals caught up in their quest for higher education.
Let us now come to the very critical question of education in India today are we right or wrong when we say that education today in India, right now is in a mess. No one mercifully talks or mentions the word Education! Why? Everyone knows the ground level realities. The New Education Policy (NEP) is an unfathomable complexity. Every stage of education and that too after the two year long corona pandemic had disrupted the very fabric of the educational rhythm then prevailed in the country. Not to speak of also what came after wards under the guise of BJP Hindutva.
Even when the coming of the hindutva was on the horizon some early enthusiasts seemed to have some alternative. But very soon afterwards they all withered away and what we have today is the present confusion at all levels of education.
What seems right now as new education visions seems to be the new hype of EdTech! Educational technologies!
In simple terms can we say this is nothing else but high tech tuition. Once it was face to face. Now, maybe it is online. But also we have learnt to create billionaires in the tuition industry. This is one side of the story so far. But we can’t leave the story here. It has many other implications, mostly negative and character building and also the making of culture, peoples and nations. These are very serious issues and needs great deliberations and original insights. What our great educational centres Harvard and Oxford, why even great centres spread out in Europe and Asia, China and India have much to contribute and we don’t know yet right now whether any such questions have raised and whether the nation builders, like Prime Ministers and Presidents of great nationals have asked such questions.
recently, the Prime Minister of Singapore asked some hard questions, mostly directed at India and Israel. The hon’ble Mr.Lee asked What Happened in India the great democracy created by leaders like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Mr.Lee also cited the great Ben Gurion, the great economic leader of Israel who built up Israel (One point by the way of a reminiscence is that the writer of this piece a former student of Oxford recalls seeing the great Israeli leader at the famed Oxford’s Blackwell’s bookshop where he had come, we were told after meeting the British Prime Minister!)
So,what chance is there for any meaningful education reform?
Education reforms call for a great deal of thinking and reflection. Let us all think and deliberate. There are too many ideas. As for India, we have been a colony for a long time. We have to reverse some current trends. Yes, we have to build a large education infrastructure. More high quality universities. Reverse the trend of outward migration for higher education.
We have to create a make in India trends. Please decolonise Indian education.Reverse the migration and employ high quality foreign faculty and that the outward migration can be halted and reversed.
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