Wednesday, May 19, 2021

On crossroads

We are aware of the shortfalls in the societal system and other aspects of life. For finding the answer to such stressful situations, it lies in knowledge through quality education. Here outright complaining about and criticizing the private education sector will be unfair. Private educational institutions in the past have contributed a lot, and many establishments continue to play a vital role in reforming society through better and affordable education. However, a substantial section of the private education sectors are out there to fleece money. Undoubtedly new research-oriented education mechanism cannot run on charities. In the contemporary era, tools of education, infrastructure, and human resource require considerable investment and efforts. So education comes at a cost. But commercializing education and turning it into money-spinning industry degrades the quality of teaching and size of knowledge. Earlier, even the private institutions were confined to fewer aspects of moral, physical, and intellectual schooling. Venturing into transportation, books, and stationery selling and also tailoring uniforms does not auger well for any educational institution. At least there should be a very distinctive line (barrier) between the true educationist and a typical trader. Imparting education (even if against price) is a noble profession that not only will be rewarded in this materialistic world, but the celestial voyage will also be satisfying. Here is it true that most of the best human resource available with government educational institutions are either lazy or take their assignments lightly (exceptions can be and are there). Enjoying good perks as compared to private school teachers, the government teaching staff never feel contended the way their colleagues earlier used to be. Again denying the contribution of the state-run education system in character and nation-building outright will make no sense while dissecting the state’s overall education scenario. However, trusting this system for the betterment of our future generation blindfolded anymore will be high risk. Politics and red tape-ism over the period has plagued the public education system and rendered it crippled. Defective human resource management and weak infrastructure have further complicated it. Ill-conceived education promotion schemes marred with inefficiency and corruption has lowered the quality of education in these institutions by several notches. Presently the state-run education sector is on crossroads! It is a fact that there is no comparison between private and public education systems in the state. Lines are drawn; private sector caters to the elite, and upper-middle-class and the state-run education system left for the lower-middle-class and poor. So, our existing education set up is an indicator of our class (economic and social status) structure. The more affluent and elite are hooked to commercialised education and the poor destined to be with the state’s poorly run and withered education system. A class-war in the making that too on the steps of temples of learning! The earlier Gurukuls and Madrasas were better than present-day institutions where students were brought down to a level field and then made to rise to their capability. When the name and size of seat of learning becomes a status symbol and a point of prestige, the students are not taught but cast into moulds of materialism and arrogance. The choice is ours! The money-oriented traders are always on the prowl to exploit the public mindset. And that is how during the last few decades almost every trader tried his or her luck in the education sector and stuck gold. We are left with only two options to have a justified and equal education system. Either the state should surrender before the private sector and allow it to run the education system with the government having exclusive monitoring authority. Or the whole education system should be state-owned with the private sector providing only the limited logistics having no role in policymaking, planning, and refining students.