The seed for growth – education and personal development – is not being aptly planted:
Academics and education play a pivotal role in our lives. Since that first day of school, when as a 3 or 4 year old, we enter into a new world away from known surroundings, leading to avenues of knowledge gaining, networking and more, almost every now and then mom and dad remind us the value and significance of education.
As a grown up now, we well know the value of education. Amid the commercialization of universities and institutes, peer pressure, and a society which craves for top rankers, the definition of education is somehow being deviated as we strive to shine in the crowded academia. More than knowledge or individual progress, education today is about marks and scores.
School days for me were mostly rosy with healthy competition. As I entered 10+2, known as Intermediate education in AP, things appeared alien to me. All of a sudden people were talking about ranks, weekend exams, special classes, state 1sts and 2nds et al.
And terms like art and creativity, sports and playgrounds, leisure or hobbies were alien to the college management. During the result and admission season, half and full page ads adorned the newspapers with numbers like 1,2,3,4 and so on written in elephant size fonts. They were ads of educational institutions boasting of the state and country wide ranks their pupils achieved in various entrance examinations. But that was what education all about. Achieving ranks and scores. Numbers mattered. Is the student being developed into a thinking man, a tomorrow’s leader, or a creative person? – None thought about this. Unfortunately, most of the parents too are not worried on this.
“These are important questions and prepare them thoroughly to get minimum pass marks. We need maximum pass percentage. Those who scored above 85% in recent exams, you’ll attend extra classes and practice everything as we guide you. We and our JLs (Junior Lecturers) are here to help you all the time. Once you’re through this, life will offer you the best on platter” This was the kind of guidance we got from teachers.
They were constantly worried about ranks. Achieving 90% was not good enough anymore. Knowledge was given least preference. They admitted every student who knocked their door, but concentrated on those who constantly scored well in academics. They were simply calculating Return on Investment. Which student can get ranks was what that mattered. Sadly enough that was the scenario 3-4 years ago which simply got worsen now.
Rarely were we guided on time management, gaining knowledge on various worldly matters, being confident, ethics, career opportunities or so.
Under Graduation level was no better, though we had no worries of ranks. It was a cakewalk to say the least. During the 5-6 hours in college, studies were the last thing on most of the students mind. We were either in the canteen checking out the day’s menu, gossiping on the staircase or roaming around the campus. I feel sad to say that our lecturers too took an active part in gossip. Even at this level knowledge was given the least preference. Syllabus was fixed and we knew what to expect in the exams. Most of the minds didn’t store anything beyond that syllabus.
If in 10+2 there was discrimination as to top rankers and ‘average’ students, entering into professional education like MBA is no easy. Even here we have many institutions showing off how ‘their’ students made it to top B-Schools. And frankly speaking all they do is give us bundles of books and mock test papers. At the end of the day it is the student and his/her hard work and merit that counts. But these so called coaching centers take the credit; publish striking ads, and encash the situation.
Here again a major challenge we face is ‘reservation’. Just as how top rankers and average scorers were discriminated, here caste based discrimination rules the roost. When we talk about equal rights and inequality among people, why do we have such legal and evident discriminations?
If we look at every step of our academics, many things other than knowledge and empowerment have been mattering to our teachers and schools. We can’t blame the institution alone. Parents are equally responsible to instill leadership values in children. They are the ones who can turn children into a shining example for others. And very few of us are lucky to have received right guidance from family or friends. We need to think and act beyond syllabus and academics.
Academics alone are not the education. Awareness of worldly affairs, ability to speak and voice views confidently, development of an analytical bent of mind, and honing creative talents are equally important. While doing all these things, a person will invariably gain time management skills, strategy design and efficient planning.
We, the youth, are the resources of our Nation. And today’s children are tomorrow’s youth. But neither of them seems to be heading in a right path as the seed for growth – education and personal development – is not being aptly planted.
About the Author
Harsha is a Social Media Analyst, an avid Blogger, a keen Photographer, a movie writer and a proud Leo. She loves reading, dreaming, movies, shopping among many others. She blogs at: