ByÂ Aarthi Sundaram:
Each year, millions of graduates flow into the market through the multitudes of ‘Institutes of Technology’ in India. But how many of these graduates are qualified for what they are required to do in the real world is a question yet to be answered. In states like Tamil Nadu, every politician owns at least one engineering college, so we see that even villages which have no schools have an Engineering college. The abbreviations used are in millions. “So where has your son decided to go?” “Ah, well he has written IITJEE, AIEEE, EAMCET, KEEET, VITEEE and he has a seat reserved in SDRK, but he actually prefers ARET…”.
Education has become a major profit making arena with no politician thinking twice before opening an educational institute in the South. Faculties are in great demand and are offered juicy salary packages. Despite their monetary incentives, they pick themselves up to teach only during inspection days and the poor students are left grappling in the mayhem. Eventually, when students come out of these colleges literally “out-of-breath”, clutching a graduation certificate, they don’t appreciate the satisfaction expressed by their parents. Parents are just happy with the letters ‘B.Tech/B.E‘ alongside of their child, but nobody, neither the child nor the parents, has any idea as to what knowledge it is that they have acquired or how they would put it to use.
Practical knowledge is non existent, and the result is that a major chunk of graduates in India are found without the real drive to actually “work” and put their past sixteen years of education into use. Students lack the enthusiasm to create or to research in their field of work. They can’t be blamed either. Most of the time, they don’t have a choice while choosing their field of study! They may end up choosing a path of study due to pressure from family and society. So, how can they be expected to have any genuine interest, which results in creativity and innovation, in their subject?
This puts our Indian education in a pathetic situation. Whatever hype the IIT’s or NIT’s have created, it doesn’t hold any value any longer. Getting admission into any of these institutions merely guarantees that you obtain bragging rights for the rest of your life. It does not makes you a scientist or a “world-changer”. You are just another degree-holder.
Educational institution heads, whether uneducated or educated, need to think the strategy of starting an educational institute though. They cannot be playing around with the academic lives of our youth. Being insufficiently or inaccurately educated is a worse than being uneducated.