Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The 3 idiots- lessons learnt

The movie 3 idiots have created furore in the box office, breaking all the records which previously other movies had made. The rating and reviews in various News papers and website also suggests the same story. Apart from the business it has made, the most interesting question the movie raised is worth noting. The question mark posed on our educational system, the traditional approach in selection of any career, and the unbearable pressure laid down to any student both from both the educational campuses and our parents puts on our young generation and so on and so forth. The whole movie has something or the other to teach, how the menace of ragging wrecks havoc in colleges, the unending pressure leading a student to commit suicide failing to meet the deadlines and the mismatch of one’s zest and career chosen.
The whole script of the movie kept revolving around the character of Rancho played by Aamir Khan, wherein he kept trying to make people understand that, the real education is not gaining marks to pass for a job, but trying and getting the required skills which the course is suppose to develop in you, rather being a Rattu Tota (one who mere memorizes everything and anything like a parrot) of the course syllabus, we have to understand the dynamics of things covered in the course. The right tempo and aptitude should be developed while undergoing through the course opted and the most important point is avoiding the common trend of the mismatch of the course opted and the nature and zest of the person. So let’s try and look into these questions raised by the movie one by one.

Education today – pressure factory

Ironically, most of the colleges here do not serve the purpose of the education for obvious reasons. Education unlike other domains has emerged to be an industry in our society, off late countless educational institutes have mushroomed in the country; however their purpose has been nothing but making good and easy money. Undoubtedly, the growth of education in India can be ascertained from the fact that starting with only 263,000 students in all disciplines in 750 colleges affiliated to 30 universities in 1950, the numbers have grown to 11 million students in 17,000 Degree colleges affiliated to 230 universities and non-affiliated university-level institutions in 2005. According to NASSCOM, India had a total of 650,000 IT professionals in 2002 and by February 2005, they rose to 813,500. According to Brainbench Inc., India ranked behind the US in the number of certified software professionals with 145,517 against 194,211. India produces 400,000 engineers a year compared to 60,000 by US.

In addition to this there are about 10 million students in over 6500 in vocational institutions. The enrollment is growing at the rate of 5.1 % per year. But beneath these figures, we have a darker side as well, In order to place their kids the parents are entangling themselves into a lethal cobwebs of loans, we may take note of the fact that very few people are aware of what the “Report to the People” of the UPA government for the year 2004 – 2007 states according to it, the outstanding loans disbursed by public sector banks have been increased from 4,550 crore in 2003-04 to 10,005 crore in 2005-06, hence, greater chances of getting a loan for higher education. Pained by a number of suicide cases among the students, the Madras High Court has recently suggested a permanent mechanism to offer counseling in educational institutions. Emphasizing on a more friendly and relaxed environment at home, the report says that until and unless the parent-children relationship changes, the goal is a far cry. According to the National Bureau of Crime Records, the total number of suicides in 2005 was 113,914 as compared to 108,506 in 2001. In this suicide epidemic, which is afflicting the nation, Maharashtra's share was 12.7 per cent. The Bureau also noted that suicide deaths in Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have consistently risen in the past few years.

The Mismatch saga

When we look around in our society, we see countless souls, wandering with a career which doesn’t suit them, or people with different background end up doing all together a different task. In my circle only I find numerous cases, wherein a person is of a Chemistry background tried and tested his life and time in Hardware and Networking and doing wonders with the MNC’s, a person with a Mechanical Engg background landing up into Media and writing career, a person with an finance background who has an ample experience of working in this domain end up founding a school and running the show since it was his dream from his childhood. So we have number of such cases, wherein we under some peer pressure do opt without even judging ourselves wrong thus putting us into a different world which is certainly not our cup of tea. Even our parents and guardians needs to understand this basic thing that they cannot ask their children to carry forward their so called legacy which they have kept doing in the past. They need to know with all due respect, that their children’s career cannot be worked out as per their whims and fancies; they being the parents should have the best understating of their children’s nature, aptitude, zest, flair etc. Hence the onus falls on them at the end of the day, if the child is unable to do the things which they plan and think. So it would be more appropriate to encourage their children to opt for courses which the children find themselves comfortable with.

The road ahead

Despite all odds, education is still a mandatory for our children; however, certain reforms in the educational system could be instrumental in bringing up students with correct and comprehensive approach in life. The following things could be done so as to achieve the desired result.

1. In the first phase, Government should concentrate from Kinder Garden to the 10th Class for the next 20 to 25 years, or till literacy levels of above 98% have been achieved, whichever is sooner
2. Enterprise Skills and Education or ESD needs to be started from Class 1st to Class 10th. This will impart to the youth a view of how the real world works and help them to choose the profession of their choice and aptitude, by the time they are 14 to 16 years of age.
3. Pre-vocational courses should be started from Class 7th to 10th.
4. Councilors and student advisors need to be available to all students in the secondary schools. This network needs urgent implementation.
5. All funding for higher and Technical Education should be diverted towards Primary and Secondary education.
6. License Raj in Higher & Technical Education, including Vocational Education & Training should go. Reservation for up to 25% of seats for merit and merit-cum-poverty to be reserved in such institutions at very nominal fees of say 25% of normal fees
7. Private capital from Citizens and NRI’s should be encouraged to set up world class facilities for all forms of educational institutions, to make India an International Hub for education. World wide education is 500% bigger than I.T. and software.
8. Like in private tuition and in the education of I.T. and software there should be no interference from the government, for private institutions of Higher Education, eg…
• Selection of Syllabus
• Salary levels of teachers
• Appointment of the head of the Institution
• Appointment of staff and teachers
• Fee structure of different courses
• Introduction of new courses and scrapping of old courses
9. IIT’s and IIM’s should be allowed to start multiple campuses any where in India with or without private partners who bring in finance and other expertise
10. Indian Universities and colleges should be allowed to upgrade their infrastructure by bringing in Indian or other partners, provided that they always have full management control of their institutions
11. A dynamic relationship between Teaching-Research-Industry-Enterprise-Government, is required
12. Education & Training worldwide, as an Enterprise, is 500% the size of I. T. and software. The MHRD should do whatever is necessary to promote India as an International Hub in education & training. This alone can propel India to become a ‘World Power’. This alone can remove and reduce the menace of Capitation Fees!

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