Malice of Education

Imparting quality education has become really challenging. Simultaneously, it provides huge opportunity too for the country and its young population. If one goes by the number of ads in newspapers and magazines, perhaps the majority numbers of ads may be for a business regarding education.

The number of public and international K-12 private schools seems to be increasing exponentially. Competition is forcing these schools to expand and improve its infrastructures with world class play ground, swimming pool, auditorium, air-conditioned hostels and everything that one can imagine. A report in Crest, Times of India describes the job challenges for today’s teachers. “From being a step ahead of iPad-carrying students to making elaborate data sheets, from looking good in class to networking with paranoid parents, new age teachers (instructors) are working very hard to stay relevant in a constantly evolving smart classroom.”

And some questions start troubling my mind. What is the percentage of such fortunate students of its total population? Is it the reason of such high score in CBSE and board examinations? Are these schools training the students in just learning techniques to ace the examination without getting any significant real knowledge?

And then I come across another report of ‘India Today’-’95% and nowhere to go’, that provides a glimpse of the hollow performance of the students from the similar high-end schools.

“A Class XII English teacher at a Delhi government school says, “It is possible to score 100 per cent even in English with the current lenient marking scheme. My school has had an exceptional result this year, with more than 29 per cent getting over 90 per cent in English. This, from students who cannot string three sentences of English together.”

And then should not the country’s educationists and intellectuals know about the status of education in the rural India away from our metros and cities, where even as on today 70% of the population lives?

Many school buildings have come up. The government has employed hundred thousand or more teachers. Many students have got cycles for transportation. The students also get some sort of mid-day meals as incentive to come to school. But the performance of the students shows a dismal situation: “In August last year, Unicef, Patna, carried out a survey, where the learning level of students from classes II to V was evaluated, in select schools in 27 districts. While 82 per cent students of Class II were found unable to even copy sentences from their Hindi textbooks, 68 per cent of Class V students were unable to read Hindi prose in Class IV textbooks. Sixty-six per cent students in Class II were found unable to count from one to hundred and 96 per cent were found unable to calculate time in hours, minutes and seconds.”

Is it not shameful? The country must think of the system that is behind such performance. Unless we correct that, we are going for disastrous consequences.

Can we think of the government intervention? Not at all. People who matter are busy in saving their chairs or accumulating ill-gotten money as we keep on hearing every day.

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