Educating in Australia- Fad or Necessity

The stories of assaults on Indian students in Australia did shock me like many. I have a neighbor, Grover here in Noida whose both sons have studied and now working in Australia. While the elder is married, the younger is not. Grover is retiring by the year end from his government job, but wants to get his younger son married before that. And then he has a plan to go and live with sons. Grovers have been going to Australia almost every year and have developed fascination for the place. He meets me almost every day during my morning talk and many a times, on his own talks about the superiority of the quality of life in Australia. I was talking with him about the current assaults and asked if he would change his mind to settle there. Grover was forthright and put the blame on the students assaulted.

Anyone who goes to a different place other than the one where he has been living for a long time must take precautions against such eventuality. What happened in Melbourne, Australia can happen anywhere even in Mysore and Bangalore. Why should we forget the stories from Mumbai and how the goons of MNS assaulted their own countrymen from the provinces in North?

Migration of the students, rather young educated youths to the all the green pastures of the world has been growing over the years. With increasing globalization it will grow further. One of my friends in Indore has son and daughter- both working in New Zealand. Both the couples are doctors, earning decent remunerations, and have all the amenities of a rich country with large houses and good cars. Even those working there know what precaution they must take to avoid all the racial feelings.

When I look at the recent stories in media, I couldn’t but infer that many of the students are pursuing regular courses for which there is hardly any dearth of facilities in India itself. Most of the colleges that the students join may not be one of the best. The reasons of migration these days have been the possibility of employment after studies that ensure much better quality of life. Other reason is certainly the failure to get entry in the colleges or institutions of choice. In India today, if I go by the media reports, the admission in a large number of private professional colleges for various courses is not difficult. But majority of them lack the infrastructure for good education, particularly related to hostels, teachers and labs. What needed is the improvement of the quality of education at these institutes. It can come with some sort of mandated ranking of these institutes and its courses at state and national level by some credible agencies. The joint ventures and collaborations with highly ranking institutions and universities of the developed countries can also improve the quality of education. May be the new government can take soon some action in freeing education from its control and permit the FDI in education sector.

Today Indian students from all over the country are not only going to USA, UK, but even to the countries such as China, Singapore and even Ireland. With all the initial advantages, India has failed to develop its education sector to the level it could have. A good education is a universal necessity and so good business proposition too. If Australia can have the third highest earning from education, and Singapore is investing in developing its educational institutes with that intention, why should not India.

I get really elated and amazed with our youth who are ready to go anywhere in the world for a good education and career taking all the risk. It is good that they got together and took other communities along with them to raise their voices with peaceful protest and made the media and the governments listen to their problems that must end. However, they must shun any violence under any instigation. I only sympathize with many aged and incapable parents, particularly the mothers, who still in Indian traditions keep on worrying about their children. Unfortunately, many can only pray and keep blessing.

PS: My daughter-in-law, Shannon, a US citizen, was working in Australia’s CISCO office. She told me once that her house there got repeatedly burgled. As I know the early settlers in Australia were the vagabonds from all the European countries. Perhaps it is the DNA background that is behind the stories of brutal attacks on Indian students in Australia. And as it seems some in the Australian police are racists. Why can’t India threaten Australia and advise against the tourists and students going to Australia for a year? People of the country on their own can take such decision.We could have seen a faster action from the Australian government. Afterall with a little trouble in India many so-called developed countries keep on issuing advisory against visiting India to their citizens

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