In ancient India, the ideology of Guru-Dakshina was followed where a student would offer dakshina to the guru, or the guru would ask for something according to the capacity of the student. But in the modern education system ‘Dakshina’ determines the Gurukul and the Guru. Like every other commodity being sold in the market at different prices, education is also being bought at rates fixed by the system for those born with affluent means. But the system alone cannot be blamed for this because it is we who support the system. Let us examine the role that money plays.at the different levels of education
The higher education sector in India is taking a new shape. Higher the degree, higher is its price. Gone are the days when education was only an intellectual’s forte. Now every Tom, Dick and Harry gets a desired (not deserving) seat by shelling out big money. You must be wondering how does that even matter? The meritorious will get a seat. But is it fair to give a non -deserving student equal status, on contribution of required money? Harshapriya, a third year engineering student,speaks out aganst this trend; “It is disheartening to hear my fellow mates say that we knew we would get a seat and so didn’t bother much about passing the test.” Harshapriya had slogged day and night to clear the test, and therefore students like her are acutely aware of the discriminatory nature of an admission procedure that acceptsalong with students like, those students who pay the desired amount but do not qualify in competition.
The commercialization of education starts from the initial stages of learning itself. Owning a school now is like minting money. Schools are mushrooming in every second lane; but is imparting knowledge their sole motive? Donations start from the very elementary stage of Kindergarden. To put it better, money directs the very first step in the field of education! Also there is a new concept that requires parents to contribute money in the name of various events being conducted at schools. From ‘craft day’ on Monday to ‘flower day’ on Friday, everything demands money which definitely is not included in the scheduled fee structure. But parents today are least hesitant to pay and often take pride in stating how expensive their child’s school is. The government schools where a nominal fee is charged remain vacant which is a problem that should be looked into by the government and public at large. Reasons for this apathy towards government schools should be found out and removed.
Remarks: Surabhi -cofounder, Mitr-your friend (comprehensive guidance programme ) and also a graduate of BITS Pilani, “When we see India’s population and growth of schools we can say ….the proportion is still not met ….but if the schools don’t meet the standards and basic understanding level of students ,then commercialization comes into picture. If integration of rigorous academic curriculum and positive pro-social climate is not taken care of in the school’s planning calendar then the school is not trying to build foundation stones for a nation but is making living money machines.”
Tutorials which were once meant to aid students in their studies have more or less been turned into a supplement to a teacher’s fixed financial gain. Teachers give tuition under the disguise of helping weak students but seeing the present scenario the truth looks like something else. More than being a helping hand to students these tuition teachers are helping hands to their pockets.
Keeping this gruesome scenario in view the question that arises is, “Are we selling knowledge?”And the answer is something that we all need to think about. Perhaps all these require proper scanning by a high powered committee appointed by government which should regulate the fee structure, education curriculum and allied matters. After all education is an institution which is the noblest, highest and purest of all and it is therefore it is on the shoulders of every individual to keep it fair, just, and equitable for all concerned (students, teachers, management of educational institutions and government) .Let this land where education is considered the mightiest power not get overwhelmed by the shine of money.
How I wish someday grey matter overpowers money matter!!