The education dilemma!
Representational Pic

The education dilemma!

This private-public debate needs to be put in a perspective

A promising and creative satirist Anil Chingaree in hisrecent presentation demarcates the plight of the state's education system in avery artistic manner. In his imaginative story, Anil relates that while seekingadmission for his son to a prestigious private educational institution, he waspromised excellent products, but for quality education reminded of extratuition classes for his ward. On his protest, the management ridiculed him bysaying 'tohie Kushrean gatchi aasun soriee muftie' (Kashmiris ask for freebiesevery time). Making his story more meaningful and exciting Anil says,' Laterwhile approaching a government school, I found several students virtuallydragging a fellow towards the school. I advised these students to leave himalone and join their studies. The students were quick to say, how can we learnwithout this teacher?'.  This raw butmeaningful skit defines our education setup in its right form. On the one hand,we are fleeced to extreme depth with rosy promises, and on the other taxpayer'smoney practically goes down the drain!

Anyways, satire and skits can make us aware of theshortfalls in the societal system and other aspects of life. But for findingthe answer to such stressful situations, it lies in knowledge through qualityeducation. Outright complaining about and criticizing the private educationsector will be unfair. Private educational institutions in the past havecontributed a lot, and many establishments continue to play a vital role inreforming society through better and affordable education. However, asubstantial section of the private education sector fits well in Chingaree'sdescription.

Undoubtedly new research-oriented education mechanism cannotrun on charities. In the contemporary era, tools of education, infrastructure,and human resource require considerable investment and efforts. So educationcomes at a cost.  But commercializingeducation and turn it into money-spinning industry degrades the quality ofteaching and size of knowledge. Earlier, even the private institutions wereconfined to fewer aspects of moral, physical, and intellectual schooling.Venturing into transportation, books, and stationery selling and also tailoringuniforms does not auger well for any educational institution. At least thereshould be a very distinctive line[barrier] between the true educationist and atypical Baniyaa! Imparting education (even if against price) is a nobleprofession that not only will be rewarded in this materialistic world, but the celestialvoyage will also be satisfying.

Anil Chingaree's description of public sector educationsystem is no less close to reality. Most of the best human resource availablewith government educational institutions are either lazy or take theirassignments lightly (exceptions can be and are there). Enjoying good perks ascompared to private school teachers, the government teaching staff never feelcontended the way their colleagues earlier used to be. Again denying thecontribution of the state-run education system in character and nation-buildingoutright will make no sense while dissecting the state's overall educationscenario. However, trusting this system for the betterment of our futuregeneration blindfolded anymore will be high risk. Politics and red tape-ismover the period has plagued the public education system and rendered itcrippled. Defective human resource management and weak infrastructure havefurther complicated it. Ill-conceived education promotion schemes marred withinefficiency and corruption has lowered the quality of education in theseinstitutions by several notches. Presently the state-run education sector is oncrossroads!

 Satire aside, thereis no comparison between private and public education systems in the state.Lines are drawn; private sector caters to the elite, and upper-middle-class andthe state-run education system left for the lower-middle-class and poor. So,our existing education setup is an indicator of our class [economic and socialstatus] structure. The more affluent and elite are hooked to commercialisededucation and the poor destined to be with the state's poorly run and witherededucation system. A class-war in the making that too on the steps of temples oflearning! The earlier Gurukuls and Madrasas were better than present-dayinstitutions where students were brought down to a level field and then made torise to their capability. When the name and size of seat of learning becomes astatus symbol and a point of prestige, the students are not taught but cast intomoulds of materialism and arrogance. The choice is ours! The money-orientedtraders are always on the prowl to exploit the public mindset. And that is howduring the last two decades almost every trader tried his or her luck in theeducation sector and stuck gold. This nation is left with only two options tohave a justified and equal education system. Either the state should surrenderbefore the private sector and allow it to run the education system with thegovernment having exclusive monitoring authority. Or the whole education systemshould be state-owned with the private sector providing only the limitedlogistics having no role in policymaking, planning, and refining students.

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