Last year, when former union HRD minister, Mr Prakash Javedkar addressed Madhya Pradesh’s citizens, he tried to explain his idea of establishing gurukuls as mainstream education centers in India. While this idea leads to further polarisation of acceptance and rejection, I feel it is high time we revisited our roots. While the gurukul system was conservative in its ideologies, and the millennial generation accepts more liberated learning, I, on the other hand, find myself leaning both ways. While I was thinking of all this, noting down the calculations of 16-bit addition program, the cacophony of today’s education system brought some very disturbing realizations.
Being a senior year engineering student, I was dreaming big about how maximized my happiness will be sitting in an MNC while still learning on a light years old microprocessor. The evolution of the processing system has been exponential, but we are still stuck with the member of the first-ever microprocessors. I was intrigued as to why this was, and thus, I committed the error of asking!
I asked my lecturer (who was still doing his post-graduation in the same university), why we still learnt 8085 mp? He said that the human brain could hold only so much complexity. This response did not sit well with my theory of us being the most complex, flexible and curious beings, although it did provoke the question, why was it that only the brains which can hold the complexity should be learning this? Why do 80% of us go to an engineering college, when only 10% of us can be intrigued by what more?
That further leads us to ask, what do we think before we decide to go to an engineering college? The answers are pretty much out there. Eldridge Cleaver once said, “You’re either part of the problem or part of the solution.” When we address issues in our education system/polity/economics, we must acknowledge that we, too, are part of the problem. For instance, the constant outrage of the youth asking questions on the reservation system and education system—is it perhaps time to look at how these people are contributing towards the country’s growth by taking up jobs abroad or uplifting the already uplifted population?
While contributing 27% engineers every year to the world, 94% of them are unemployable. The absence of skill set leads to more unemployment, while we comfortably expect the government to produce jobs for the unskilled. If we look upon the data of doctors in India, it has less than one doctor for every 1000 population, and we are still adamant about taking up careers that are “high powered”. The experience a teacher has reflects on the scale of imagination his student carries. When we can teach a kid about the classics, why do we let him wonder in the world in his early 20s just to realize he was never exposed to knowledge?
NCERT’s textbook for 9th grade for economics narrates the story of Palampur for a very long time; the need for shining grades still overpowers the urge to learn, and the void of visionary teachers still prevails.