With education as a social identity, social issues are increasing rapidly

Posted by Aakanksha Aggarwal
May 15, 2017

NOTE: This post has been self-published by the author. Anyone can write on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Have you ever thought about the thing that makes up an identity of a person? One of the incidents that my grandfather shared with me today in the morning made me think about it.

My grandfather is a man of more than 75 years, he is not perfectly sure of his age. Due to his age or maybe sense of comfort, he mostly wears loose clothes unless there is a function to attend. Once, for some work of his grandson, he had to go to a school principal. Actually, the student was late by one day in submitting some school formalities and he had real reasons for that. My grandfather told me that as he handed over the form to the Principal, she thrashed him so badly as if he was a useless creature over there. Then, my grandfather gave his introduction that he is a retired Principal. As soon as he said this, the Principal’s tone was totally changed and she offered him a seat, water, tea.

Don’t you be surprised. It was a change of behaviour after knowing that the person in front of her was well-educated and was at a greater level of experience than hers.

Don’t you think, our education has simply become our social identity?

If you have to go for a job, they first see your education. Let’s go to a doctor, he will take your introduction and then advise you as per your educational qualification. If you want to marry, then your bio-data that is to be circulated among the pool of bachelors contain your education at the top and your hobbies only in the last line only if they don’t forget about it. Even I got to know that if you have to get admission in a school for your kids, you will be interviewed to know if you are well educated. With the social identity, it has become a pressure to the students and is creating several social issues that can severely impact imparting of education to the students.

Some of the social issues are:

Emotionally weaker generation

On one of the websites, I found a comment written by a 6th class girl about how frustrated she was with the expectations of her mom. She secured the third rank in her class and she was belittled by her mom. Definitely, I can agree that her mom wanted the best for her but too much competition already existing in all the academic related activities can create even a small thrashing from their parents as stressful. India has been quoted in several websites from USA and UK as a place where every day 6.23 students commit suicide due to peer pressure. I am not sure if this number is correct but in case, we are anyway near to this number, this is a grave situation for all of us. One way to attack the problem is to create greater ways to increase the access to emotional counselling and career counselling that takes help of psychometric tests to assess the personality of the students.

Caste and region based perceptions

I have listened to it hundreds of times that if someone is from Bihar, he will be hard working and intelligent or if the student is from Punjab, he will be more towards party culture. In addition to that students from specific castes are considered to be intelligent or dull. Are we not stereotyping? Is it correct? We put such things in the minds of students from the very beginning that they eventually become like that without evaluating the consequences. It is more like a doctor’s son has to be a doctor and a weaver’s son has to be a weaver. I have never understood how it actually fits in the logical sense and why do even educated people set their perceptions and burden the students.

Gender related issues

There is a friend of mine and she was doing her post-graduation when I met her. She was intelligent and quite bright, was also performing really well in her academics. Well, after her education completed, I was surprised to know that she was not taking up any job. Well, I did not bother much, I thought if she likes it that way, then it’s fine. I was shocked when I met her parents accidently and they told me that now she is a post-graduate, she will get a groom with an excellent salary and she does not need to work.

With this thinking, we are not only demotivating our girls but also pushing our sons towards societal pressure to study more and earn even more.

Lack of information

A big share of students in the country are not aware of all the opportunities they have ahead of them. Some leave studies due to lack of finance and they are never told about easy education loan and scholarship policies. Some other leave studies because they are unable to find a relevant subject of their interest but nobody talks to them and try to understand their interests and skills. This issue is being considered quite important by the government as well. State Governments as well as Centre government is working on this to provide career guidance and information to maximum number of students.

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