Ravish Kumar’s recent episode of his “University Series” was a revelation.
Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Avadh University, a university in Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh saw a staggering 80% fail percentage in the B.Sc results that came out last week. From the six lakh students of around 83 colleges that come under this university, only 20% managed to pass the examination; nearly four lakh students failed. The university, in a press release, tried to mislead and manipulate by segregating the colleges into government colleges and private colleges, and showing their pass and fail percentages separately, to reduce the effect and gain less attention, so that it escapes the eyes of the media.
The reason for the same is being attributed to the administration’s decision to be strict with the examination process for this academic session. The administration installed CCTV cameras in exam centres with strict invigilators and ensured proper checking. Because of the aforementioned, many students did not even appear for the exam, and the rest failed, leaving a mere 20% successful.
Students of the university were furious about the same and held the administration responsible for incorrect checking and failure to provide teachers. While some of them were appalled at this low a pass percentage, some complained of not being awarded even a single mark despite attempting complete papers.
Furthermore, as per the university revaluation criteria, a heavy amount of ₹3000 is to be paid for revaluation. While ₹350 is the initial amount required to get a copy of your answer sheet, a further amount of ₹3000 is to be paid if the student, after inspection of the copy, decided to give it for re-evaluation.
The above-mentioned facts are deeply disturbing on account of the following reasons:
First, the absence of many students from appearing for the examination because of apparent ‘strictness’ is something that cannot be ignored. Yes, the ‘no cheating’ agenda is appreciated and welcome, but students not attempting the examination is not quite in alignment with the agenda.
Second, it highlights how we, as education imparters, are going wrong. Not appearing for examinations because of not being able to cheat tells a greater story – students’ lack of confidence, and their lack of knowledge, which results in the third reason. While these universities promise qualified faculty during admissions, they are unable to recruit even a minimum number of teaching staff, let alone qualified ones. And worse, in smaller universities especially, these faculty members exist only on paper, leaving classes empty and students left to fend for themselves. There is no one to take responsibility for the mammoth fail percentage.
Lastly, charging a hefty amount of ₹3000 for re-evaluation is preposterous. There are colleges which enable students to finish their graduation in the same amount! Charging ₹3000 for one paper is looting the student, and, making sure those papers won’t be given for revaluation.
This is one instance. The list is long. According to a recent survey with top-level MNCs, around 94% of IT graduates are not fit for hiring. Many CS (Computer Software) graduates don’t know how to code. More than 60% Engineering graduates are unemployed. Around 90% graduates do not contribute to the Indian economy.
Furnishing concerns on the lines of “graduation ka yeh haal hai, toh aage jaake jobs kaun dega” (If the state of graduation is in shambles, who is going to offer jobs?), and closing that argument there is not going to help. That’s worse than ignorance. These instances are of common occurrence – in the best and worst colleges and universities of the country. We are too busy keeping attendance tabs, and imposing immaterial and unnecessary rules and regulations trying to curb and control students. When classrooms are supposed to be hubs for learning effectuating productive interactions, all the students find are empty classrooms, depriving them of their hope and right to an educated future.
What is the way out? What do we do?
We become aware of our educational rights, and our rights to have a proper teaching staff in place and not ‘get used to’ the status quo. We stop limiting the space for education news to be lost in the middle pages of newspapers and give them the space and concern they ‘need’, education being the one efficient tool that has the potential to alter the development scale of this country.
We train and hone our professors and teachers well, so they can become competent enough to teach. We employ universities and colleges for the purpose they exist – to facilitate learning and impart knowledge and enhance personalities; and, not make them a means for personal gains by means of corruption and politicization. We have to be constantly vigil about the condition of educational institutions around the country, and broaden our concern and awareness beyond Delhi and Mumbai universities.
In such times, Ravish Kumar’s “University Series” is a thoughtful and necessary step. Delving deep and unravelling the happenings of the smaller universities, which is catering to most of our student population is extremely necessary.
These recurring issues have plagued the education scenario in the country. If we don’t tread on the path of awareness and affirmative action, our indifference will cause a damage which won’t be quantifiable.