This is now a perennial problem. We have been talking about it for many years now. Once again it is needed that the problem is brought to light. This is about the violation of the rights of the children. No, we are not focussing child labour or other dangers to children. It’s about how our little children are made to carry heavy school bags on their tender back. It’s one of the grave concerns of the parents, and the concerned departments must take it seriously. The administration, apart from making a legal intervention in this, must dig into the deeper reasons of why the school bags are getting fatter by the day. Why we have these many books, notebooks, and stationary items to be daily carried to school. Is it driven by the sole motive of making profit, regardless of how it affects our education, and how it weighs down the shoulders and minds of our children? Isn’t it true that the education has been relegated to a back seat and materialist consideration has superseded everything else? The entire scheme stands turned upside down. Every single ingredient is tailored to the needs of crass capitalism. The state government continues to remain silent and oblivious on the issue. What does it take to thoroughly check a student’s bag and find out the unnecessary books, copies, and other material in it? What does it take to tell the school administration to create space for students to keep the extra material in the classroom itself? What does it take to ascertain which books are actually not needed, and are added just to make extra bucks? If there is a will to do it, nothing can stop the officials from doing it. It is not that difficult to lighten up the weight our children carry daily on their shoulders, if only there is a will to do.
At the same time, it is apparent that half the student population is unaware of the real cause of their activities of studying and schooling. Today studies have converged merely to the goal of attaining a respectable job, forgetting that higher education also embodies the universally accepted objective of building character and vision among the student community that is about to shoulder the responsibility of carrying forward the task of building the nation. In between the schools and the university there are various colleges apparently busy imparting education to the students but in practice they merely keep records of the enrolled and conduct exams as the session end. The teaching-learning processes also creep in but not the way it must have carved a space otherwise. It is the usual classroom teaching with the teachers busy in writing on the blackboards/whiteboards and the students busy in jotting the lines down. The oral teaching is just the same as the telling of grandmotherly tales. Moreover, the opportunities for the curricular and co-curricular activities are always limited but biased at the most. All this helps breed a generation of such an educated youth that hardly can perform in practical life outside the campus. Apparently what we study today is not the experience for life but just some study matter to deliver in exams. The setup of society is such that the only goal that a common student is imitating is that of preparing for either technical or administrative services and one who is able to achieve all this is crowned as successful person and pampered all around. This seems to be a mockery to the real cause of education which is completely contrary and a different experience altogether. The real cause of education is to develop in us a formative effect on the way we think feel or act. The word education in itself means ‘breeding or bringing up’, it is the bringing up of the talents in us, it is the bringing up of our own thoughts that we ourselves master. We should not merely converge our ideology of education to job and exams but to a broader concept by connecting it with our lives with a realistic goal. Indeed what we need to ask is two simple questions – the goal of one’s life and the talent one possess. We need to start solving them because they contain the secrets of life and real cause of education.