Educational policies must be reworked
EDUCATION BY TANVEER HABIB
I happened to see a friend after a long time. The last time he had seen me was some six months back, when I was severely jaundiced and he had come to my home to see me. After reaching the destination, I called him many times but there was no answer. Hay fever, caused by the wandering pollens, rendered me incapable of bearing the heat of an early April afternoon. Finally, he saw me from a windowsill and took me in a class where he was counselling a class of IGNOU students of MSW course. I sat in the back row and listened to an insightful lecture for the next half an hour.
The experience of sitting in a class and listening to someone as astute a speaker as him was gratifying. But as he lectured on, I grew restlessness because of my illness. I left the class after seeking his permission. Outside, another friend, whom I am indebted to, for he has once taught me poetry in the simplest ways, greeted and offered tea in the college canteen. As I sipped my tea out in the open, I saw a huge ground of students in the college. I have never seen this ground so full, except when there’re ‘republic day’ celebrations. IGNOU study centers, I thought, must be all alike, full of students pursuing various courses with varied interests and goals.
Education creates human resource. It does not just produce more and more products only, but also creates a sense of humanness in us. It serves as an investment, with dividends being in plenty. Forget about job prospects, it inculcates in us a sense of belongingness to a human species, a sense of identity as the ‘crown of creations’ amongst all the kingdoms of the world. It enlightens us with ethical and moral lessons and propels us in the right direction. In fact, education is the key to a classless, non-racial, non-violent world. The problem with the present scenario, however, is that we expect it to be an investment of a different kind, a material investment. And once we are in a job, the quest for higher learning vanishes. And as long as we are studying, our sole aim is to amass degrees in order to find a job.
The space for jobs, and even for higher education, is shrinking day by day. Even after you have passed a course with distinction, there are chances that you will be denied admission to a higher class, just because ther’re too many who have acquired the same degrees. Recently, the merit list for M. Ed (Distance Mode, University of Kashmir) had a cut off percentage as high as 75.89. It meant all those below this percentage would not be able to enroll themselves this year. Although, deeply flawed in selecting them on merit obtained in the B.ED, (because private colleges prefer to give higher percentage in internals, that ultimately leads to lesser number of the students of Distance Mode to be selected for M.Ed), the fact remains that competition has increased manifold both for higher studies and jobs.
Recently, interviews went on for days in the University of Kashmir for single posts, which tells us about the saturation almost in all subjects. Perhaps we have reached a critical juncture where our educational policies must be reworked. Educational institutes must not only produce human resource for jobs but also make people understand that education is also meant to change us for good.
(Tanveer Habib is a Ph.D Student in Department of Linguistics, University of Kashmir)
Lastupdate on : Sun, 15 Apr 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 15 Apr 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 16 Apr 2012 00:00:00 IST
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