I attended one of the best university in India. An august institution which has an irreproachable image and standing in the academic circles of our country. For obvious reasons, I shall not be naming names, because the fact of the matter is, the said university did nothing to teach me anything in the three years I was supposedly a student there.
That’s a statement which would find many takers. Whether one attended the University of Delhi or a polytechnic in a corner district cut off from the country. Whether you have graduated today or a decade ago – it doesn’t matter, because the story remains the same.
Be it under Smriti Irani, Prakash Javadekar or Kapil Sibal, one cannot deny the slowly growing political nature of education in India. Where we have entire chapters missing from textbooks in Rajasthan, officials helping children cheat in board exams in Bihar, or the more colourful rumours you hear everyday. Be it the passing over of RTI from textbooks for the next generation to not have any idea of some of the most important laws of their country. Where we have religious camps being setup in government run schools and to give out arms training while wearing saffron cloth – all this goes on a regular basis with little or no reaction from anybody. The only logical explanation is that we have accepted this slow change in the fundamental duty of the country for the future. We have handicapped the education system in our country.
This situation becomes stark at the graduate level, where young men and women, having completed their schools and the basic of college degrees, step into the world with little or no clue as to their responsibilities to the country, society or to themselves in the slightest. They have no idea as to what is expected out of them at a work place, and even the most basic of education about the government system seems to be discouraged, only to be overtaken by rote learning.
A less gracious person would accuse the government of trying to make the entire population into mindless idiots to control better.
In a time when a graduate who steps out can’t expect half a job, forget financial stability and future prospects, things look grim indeed. Where we have toppers who think Political science is about cooking, there is definitely something wrong. Even the various industries have raised the issue that the freshers coming into the market are hardly employable, having little to no skills or knowledge relevant to the industry of choice.
Who expects better from a country which treats the ministry as a posting? A job like any other. After all, our last HRD minister was trying to defend herself by misrepresenting facts in the parliament. Who, having fallen out of favour, is now looking after the textile sector of the country, some have rumoured it is a punishment? Others will vy for the post, many will come and go. The question is, will anything change?
We are looking at becoming one of the largest economies in the world in a few years. But the politics of our nation have managed to even endanger the very system which is set to ensure a better tomorrow. A system which is supposed to prepare the next generation for life, is busy trying to indoctrinate or, worse still, ignore it. The slow rot spreading throughout this tree of knowledge is at long last showing signs and symptoms of a failing endeavour of having a malleable crowd.
Let us hope our leaders wake up to the folly they seem to be leading us into. That we get out future back, free from all forms of manipulations the previous generation might have put on us or the “traditions” which have hamstrung us.
Ranveer Raj Bhatnagar