Can India Prosper While Its Education Stagnates?

Posted on June 21, 2013 in Education

By Tanvi Sharma:

“A 17-year old student hanged herself to death due to unsatisfactory board exam results.”

A lot has been articulated with much eloquence and vehemence on this topic. But, the sheer gravity of this issue compelled me to voice my opinion and write yet another article.

Anger, despondence and despair are the only emotions that I feel when a young and brilliant student bids adieu to his beautiful world and inches closer towards death. Education that is supposed to give a new life to a person has become the reason for stifling thousands to their end. God’s precious gift ‘life’ loses its charm every time suicide is committed. Yes, nobody except the person who was weak enough to quit can be blamed for such a grim scenario, but at the same time can we afford to turn a blind eye to the factors that continue to push students to take this cowardly step? Certainly not!

branded education

It is that dreaded time of the year when balloons of hope fly high in the sky, when dreams get wings and students dare to fly. Few faces adorn smiles, many eyes shed tears. I am talking about admissions. Confused, paranoid students jostling in long queues to check if they have made it to the institution of their choice is a common sight nowadays. Anxiety and stress bother parents who want nothing less than the ‘best’ for their child. A seat in a college seems to hold more importance than anything in this whole world, be it the marriage of your sister or the death of your granddad! Nothing at all deters you from rushing to every college, exam centre, seminar, etc.

What if you do not make it to a top-notch university? Are you ready to bear the consequences? You will be mistreated and insulted by your family. You will be mocked at by your peers. You will be brushed aside from every discussion at the dinner table and will be constantly reminded of your failure. The burden of not fulfilling your parents’ expectations will slowly take a toll on your personality. Cut throat competition has paralyzed education.

What are we, as students, being served in the platter of education? How many good colleges do we actually have in India? Are there enough good colleges to accommodate every single student of our country? The only good colleges that we have now are the ones that were good even 25 years ago, that is, in our parents’ times. There have been no new additions to the list despite the ever-increasing population. We do not have enough seats to accommodate even the top 10 percent students (i.e. toppers of every school across India) of our country in renowned institutes. You have to drop a year because alas, the seats are limited. Limited seats lead to sky-high cut offs perturbing the already perplexed students who compete like rats in a race for admissions. Moreover, reservation in educational institutes proves to be the icing on the cake. Students run after institutes with a ‘brand name’. What will you acquire in life even if you graduate from a branded institute without the slightest knowledge of your course? What else can be expected in a society where success is measured by the amount of currency notes you have!

Refrain from judging yourselves and others by their marks or the institute that they have studied in. Do not push yourself too much. Learn from life’s lessons. Follow your own dreams and aspirations rather than succumbing to filial desires and expectations. Be valuable than rich. Be knowledgeable.

Most importantly, value your life. Think about it!