Sunday, November 29, 2020

Failing education system

Greek biographer and essayist Plutarch while describing the essence and the real meaning of education has rightly said, “The mind is not a vessel to be filled (with education), but a fire (of knowledge) to be kindled.” But in the contemporary acquisitive world, minds of students are occupied with information but not knowledgeable enough. Our state for long is emulating the same pattern, and the teaching system is torn between two giants — the state and the education sellers. On the one hand with the huge organisation and well-qualified human resource the state education system is unable to prove its real worth. And on the other hand, the flourishing private education sector is making a big hole in the tight pockets of the common man. Private and the state-run education systems are two faces of the same coin but the antithesis of each other: one pumping money into the system to get no results and the other earning huge money out of the results. Both ways the system of education is suffering and the younger generation are the ultimate loser. Anyways, both state-run education system and the private sector are nowhere close to Plutarch’s knowledge giving and character building through teaching. Many people say we analyse our education structure just at the time of results, while as it should have been a continued process of assessment. However, education system these days is so devised and entangled that whatever little assessment is possible it is only on the D-day — the results. Take for instance the HSLC results, which always put a question mark on our prevailing education scenario. Every year some state-run schools have shown zero percent results. A simple question can be put not only to the state education bosses but the teachers as well. What do they do with their degrees and other training imparted at state-run institutions? The administrators have to come out of the cozy offices and administer the system beyond the old-style explanations, attachments and frequent transfer industry. They are to run a holy assignment of managing enlighteners and knowledge seekers with a missionary zeal. Education department should be headed by none other than passionate educationists, who can understand the system well and deliver to the best of their knowledge and experience. Educationists and education managers are not born overnight. It takes years to be a great teacher and decades to be a good educationist. State education sector cannot hide its face behind crumbling school buildings, faulty administration and mismanagement. Instead, it should openly take responsibility and introspect for its failures. The teachers who were till yesteryears considered builders of the nation have reduced themselves as cannon fodder for genuine and in-genuine demands of many. Earlier best leaders were shaped out of teachers, now worst politicians get designed at the cost of teachers. Teachers have to change and change for the good, for the best of our knowledge and education. If our teachers honestly and sincerely rise above political and materialistic considerations not only the pass percentage and education get well, but our society will turn better. The pass percentage picture of private education schools seemingly look rosy! But at the end of the day, they only churn out educated elites whose vessel minds are filled with tutoring about money, trade, science and very little with knowledge of compassion and tolerance to shape into better leaders and best human beings. Here it is not the intention or to disrespect or disparage the private education organisations. Because in their absence by now most of us would have been school going illiterates. Over the period the private education sector played a vital role in creating a competitive education system in the state. Without naming them, several pioneers played a vital role in shaping the state’s education system. However, at present, a substantial part of our private education system is thriving only as an industry. When materialism overpowers the missionary zeal, and education turns into trade, the minds get filled with words and not ignited with knowledge. Genuine private educationists collectively have to play their role in curbing the education trade. With better set-up, expertise and above all mesmerising hold over the mind and soul of the evolving middle class they can educate the society for the best and significantly contribute to imparting superior knowledge with character building. But for that, they essentially have to isolate and curb the bad patches.