January 18, 2015

Education is a burden in India, travel light to enjoy the journey.

The Charlie hebdo tragedy once more brought onto centre-stage the ongoing struggle between the power of the ideas versus the might of the gun. Three french citizens from a minority community took to the gun to forcibly silence those who they think had hurt them with their views.  The war between ideas and sword have been continuing without abatement since the big bang and may never end till the eternity. Socrates had to die at the altar of the truth. Galileo was made to retract his opinion due to threat of violence. Sikh Gurus and millions of ordinary Sikhs had to endure torture and death just to propagate the philosophy of Universal  brotherhood which at variance with that of the ruling class in Mughal period in India.

But generally there is universal consensus on the power & impact of the ideas over the material word. Ideas are like tiny droplets of rain that emanate from nowhere drenching the earth caressing its ruffled surface softly most of the times. But some ideas leave their distinct mark on the world, just like the torrents of rainwater gushing from cloudbursts  eliminate significant chunks of the earth forever and simultaneously make new magnificent relief features for the future to admire. Pen is generally touted to be mightier than sword but wars are often won on the ground than the drawing board.

In the current post modern world marked by the information revolution, the education continue to be seen as critical tool of human development. Governments  are busy improving the quantity and quality of education so that people could lead a better life on earth. But can education actually change the life of an individual and make it better? Questions are many. How much education is necessary for a meaningful living? Is higher education a luxury or the pursuits of education is akin to that of money, more the merrier? Is thinking a critical skill which can be taught in classrooms? If the answer is in the affirmative, then what percent of people in a society need that skill? Manual skill is certainly core human skill without which a citizen is like a challenged person. A person who can not use limbs with dexterity won't be able to enjoy life to the fullest.

Is all education good, an elixir for human development and beneficial for a person to live a better life? I am not sure. Govt of India and most educationists don’t seem to think so. Despite three decades of privatization & expansion of education in India, its often said that human resources of India lack the critical skills needed to employ them gainfully. People are scoring higher marks in exams  each time but the chorus of lack of employability skills seems to be rising like a crescendo. Why?

Actually India has never given education a higher place over the pursuit of material wealth since the ancient period. Education, in Hindu society, had been made a preserve of the few brahmins ordained with the task of metaphysical pursuits.  The Hindu class groups, called castes, who were assigned the task of running the real world, like fighting wars, finding food and making products were not supposed to write books (vedas) to document knowledge for next generations. Therefore few books (Vedas) that are accused of containing details of making wondrous planes and solving pythagoras theorem are written by Brahmins involved in the task of making gods happy than serving the humanity.  Therefore the twenty-first century Hindus are pained to refer to ancient texts rather than later day literature in order to showcase glory or lack of credibility of their culture.

Education in present day India have become a burden as those with proper degree diplomas are accused of lacking skills & attitude needed for employment. Millions of youth with scintillating professional degrees obtained with enormous investments of money and precious time struggle to find a job under those who are often less educated than them. If the higher education can’t help a youth to get more benefits, than those who didn’t work as hard, why would s/he be motivated to pursue it? Why would anyone be motivated to pursue higher education in India if a genuine scholar like Dr Manmohan Singh is seen as less intelligent than Narendra Modi, who didn't study hard enough? 

The youth of India need to wake up and stop wasting time in expensive college campuses funded purely by tuition fees contributed by their parents if the higher education fail to ensure them some rewards and improve life. Why would someone study for years together only to take orders from those who have limited or no education? If you disagree, look around and you will find people who have/had ordinary education have more wealth and recognition than their genuinely educated peers. Majority of private universities are run by those who themselves failed to pass entrance tests for higher education. If a qualified engineer, doctor, manager have to run errands for partly educated guys why waste time in studies, go to work? Education is a burden in India, travel light to enjoy the journey. 

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