A few days back I was in a conversation with a friend of mine regarding the education system in our country. Similar to all the young people of India, who are desperate to change the country without even thinking of whether it needs a change or not, both of us were discussing that the country’s youth should come forward to change the educations scenario of the country. We were thinking of how poor people can’t afford education since they don’t even have means to fill their hunger. We also discussed around how many young people of the country are working in the field of education to help the underprivileged children. While we were discussing all these things, a small boy of around 4 years passed us. He was along with his father who was busy on his phone and the kid was having an i-pad in his hands. At the first instance, we both smiled at the kid but then realised how the country has actually changed. With modernisation and development, the problem of education has become even wider for the academicians and the government.
Is our society educationally divided?
There is one section of the country where kids start playing with laptops and other electronic gadgets as soon as they are born, while on the other hand, there is a segment where kids start helping their parents to earn money some through begging and some through selling cheap items. Whenever we discuss education problem of the country, we consider the whole country as one and alike. However, there is a vast schism spread in the two sections of the country. How can we think of giving one solution to all the diverse problems? This is the peak time when this divide has to be understood and practically put under the eye of consideration so as to put forward the ideation that can work to improve both the sections equally. The stronger section of the society needs to be guided properly in order to bring a meaning to their education while the weaker section is required to be uplifted and given the right direction towards their financial and personal growth.
Firstly, we need to ask a question- how are we capable of providing educational benefits to both the sections?
For weaker section, the first thing that comes to our mind is providing free education to the students. However, the Indian government has already made provisions for free education in all the government schools until the age of 14 so that a student can at least receive the basic education. Moreover, education after that is also provided at a minimum fee yet a big segment of these students leave their studies well before finishing their high school to help their parents in earning money.
For stronger section, the set of problems is quite different. A greater percentage of students finish their graduation level of studies; however, the frustration rates are increasing rapidly among this section of students. At times, they are not satisfied with what they are studying, some do not want to do their job and others have a frustration of being restricted to what they are studying. Also, there is pressure among these students to excel in different fields and prove their worth and fulfil their parents’ dreams. This is also giving rise to a large number of suicide attempts by the students.
So, what is actually required here?
I believe our country is at the stage where the problem is not lack of educational facilities but definitely of failing badly at providing the ‘Right Education’. Even when hundreds of education-based policies are there in every State, a boasting of almost 96% of school net enrolment ratio in the schools and availability of several financial support programs, there are still children we can see on the roads during school time asking for pennies. On the other hand, even after the availability of high-class education facilities in schools, premiere faculty and vast opportunities; we can read the news of students from different parts of the country dying out of pressure from studies.
We can definitely not ignore these problems of the country. One of the solutions that can contribute help in solving all the problems of education and that too for both rich and poor is Career Counselling. This is the time when students are needed to be guided what opportunities are available to them. Here career guidance does not refer to only helping students towards choosing the right career, in fact helping a child for the overall growth of him.
What all we can achieve from career guidance?
Information on government aid
Definitely, there are thousands of students who have no idea how government provides financial support through scholarships and loan for studies. These students often remain in an illusion that higher studies are very costly and they won’t be able to afford it. This lack of awareness pushes them towards leaving their studies in between and take up a job which is not even as per the calibre. In fact, many students leave their studies after 12th standard considering college fees to be very high for graduation. These students are needed to be guided at the school level about the opportunities that they can avail with the help of government policies.
Selection of right career
There is no dearth of professionals in India who don’t like their jobs and are frustrated. Even at the school level, many students get caught in the traps of anxiety and depression. One of the major reason of this is having a career in the field which is not fit to their talents and skills. This is the time when students don’t only need a motivation to continue their studies and make their career but also guidance on what field to choose. In many metro cities, career counselling has been adopted as an integral part of the school curriculum but still it is yet to reach all the students in the country. A professional guidance is needed to the students which can advise them about the scope of different career fields and motivate them towards the career best suited to them.
Awareness of opportunities available
This is actually heart rendering to read the news every other month about graduates and post-graduates taking up class 4 level jobs. This news actually screams for attention towards a significant problem taking place in our education system. It is to be understood that all this is happening either because our education is highly flawed and graduates don’t have the capability or another reason could be that our system is not able to provide jobs in the number comparable to the number of graduates. It has to be understood that students are first needed to be guided that there are many more fields apart from engineering and medical science. It is required that students are guided properly about what career fields to choose instead of following the herd and taking up admission in engineering colleges and making it difficult for the country to provide as many jobs in a single field.
At the current stage of our country, there is more need of investing in providing the right information to the students instead of building more schools. We can’t educate our children unless they find a meaning of their life in their studies. It is of high importance that students get an opportunity to shine in the field where their talents and skills give support to them.