Education and health are two core sectors which form the backbone of a developing country that aspires to stand tall on the values of its past and to build a future which resonates with the ideals enshrined in its constitution.
Of these two, in India, education is the sector which has been much in the recent headlines, unfortunately, for all the wrong reasons. The ASER 2019 ‘Early Years’ report released in January 2020 and the protracted JNU crises, both project a grim picture of the primary and higher education scenario of India, respectively.
Education is of prime importance in tilting the collective psyche of the masses towards a predetermined future. This further depends upon the mutual values the society of the time reflects, and the vision and ideology of the regime creating the fundamentals of the education system of the country—be it the private institutions or the government of the time.
So an education system can take the nation either way: towards its breakdown or ascension.
But what does education mean in its intrinsic sense? More importantly, what does it mean to the current government and the society of ‘rising’ India? Does it fulfill its end purpose if a student excels in math, science, or history? Does it mean the provision of infrastructure in the country: classrooms, schools, universities? Does it mean the capacity it has in its ability to provide a job to the student?
Yes, it means all of these.
But another fundamental of education, which forms its essence, has been given a backseat in recent times; even neglected by parents and the government. It is in the process of being forgotten by society as a whole.
It is the mission through which a nation should always keep in sight the fundamental and primitive purpose of education: to script the clean slate of mind of the child and develop him or her into an inquisitive, aware and participating member of society. The education system, by intention, should be asking what kind of a wholesome thought process it endeavours to develop in the personality of a student through its corollaries of curriculum, choice of subjects, topics of discussion and pedagogy.
Does a young individual develop a mindset by which he or she is satisfied to be a cog in the machinery of existing society, however successful he or she may be, or transforms the youngster into a member of society who lives with empathy towards the fellow beings of nature, question the faults in the surroundings and strives to make better what needs improvement?
What kind of citizens do we want our young ones to grow into?
Not much but there has been some discussion on various aspects ailing the education system of India, such as lack of funds, infrastructure, need for skill-based education, and so on. Unfortunately, this essential issue is being left out of the discussions, on print as well as visual media. Time has come for this aspect to be deliberated upon and be brought into the topics of national debates.
If this makes one think “Wait! What? Into a national debate and on newspapers and TVs?” And if you feel hesitant for even a moment, then this is the exact social dilemma this article wants the society to deal with as it shows the amount of concern we have for such an integral issue.