Thank god, I have got an internet connection. By networking with different people of different walks, I have come to learn and read about many teachers who talk of the uses of technologies like blogs, virtual class rooms like second learning, online learning through myngle or Livmocha, twitter and other web technologies. But I always think and ask my mind, that how this can be possible in my country in which a majority of schools have no adequate class rooms, no adequate teachers and even inadequate supply of books. Where teachers training or reorientation is not that easy and not resorted to for inadequate availability of funding. They naturally talk of a small section of people who have got internet connection and the students pass their time in the World Wide Web. Internet penetration is not uniform in all countries. In the US it may be possible but in India this is not possible.
India is divided into two unequal parts. One is known as Bharat that has got all problems. It lacks infrastructure like school, banks, road, rail, access to drinking water, hospital. A majority of Indians live in this part. And agriculture is the only culture they know. Agriculture as a way of life, not the commercial type, if you are thinking so. They live a live of penury and wants. They don’t know about their rights and the Right to Information is nothing for them. They send their children to schools because others say education is good. But how education can change the lives of their children, they just don’t know. In this part, government schools are the only available option. Private school, no the profiteers will not come to village as they know very well that, such a step would ruin them and hamper their business. I will talk about this school later on. In Bharat a school lacks adequate class rooms, adequate teachers. As poverty is but a way of life, students go to school just to have some dull funs. One teacher is asked to teach everything under the sun. Oh, a jack of all trade indeed! The teachers would look forward to the salary day. When I was a student, once in a month there happened to be a holiday that was known as Salary holiday. On that day, the teachers would go to the Block office to fetch their salary. Now, banks have come forward to help the teachers and administration has been depositing their salaries to their bank pass book. But there are also states where teachers don’t get their salaries regularly.
The teachers are not adequately trained to handle the soft minds of children. Drop out rate is high in Bharat. Girl education has just picked up but they happen to dropout earlier than boys. Those who happen to receive some college education are some chosen few. These students lack a personality. They don’t go to school wearing a uniform as enforcing a set of uniform is not possible, because a majority of students happen to be poor. No debate, no newspaper, no competition, no cultural activities or any creative activities, no games either. Only book reading that is a bit dull without any extra curricular activities. Ask any question to them they would withdraw to their cocoon and would keep mum instead of answering, even if knowing the answer to such question. One significant fact is that this chosen few become teachers later. They lack a competitive edge and always are guided by a sense of inferiority complexion. They lack leadership quality and would always look back if someone is coming to lead. And ultimately, the one eyed among blinds become the leaders. They love to follow rather love to be led.
There are a lot of problems in Bharat but let’s discuss about the situation in India. India is shinning with information revolution. Internet cafes, PCO Booths can be found every where. Roads are good and all parts are accessible. Trade and commerce are part and parcel of India. Service sector booms in this part of my country. People living in this part of the world seldom know about Bharat and lives out there. Those from Bharat who come to live in India only know about the lives in the country side. They would not drink water if not filtered in any good quality filter and suggested in media advertisements by a movie celebrity or a cricket star. They would pass their time viewing movies in Television or subscribing their favorite movie with their DTH operators. They would love to watch cricket match and for the next one week they would talk, sleep and walk cricket, if a tournament happens to go on.
They would send their children to some privately run English medium schools or some good government schools or schools run by Christian missionaries. Affluent sections of the Indian society would never send their wards to government run schools. They think and rightly think that by attending such schools the future of their wards will be in jeopardy. And as far as education of their children is concerned they just don’t compromise. In privately run schools, teaching is not done by teachers from Pluto or some other alien planets but they teach well. The curriculum seems to be good and well designed to shape the minds of children to cope with the present situation and carve out a live to survive in future. They charge high as running a school happens to be business. They run schools with a missionary zeal and strive towards a goal to make all students stand on equal footing. They try their best to equip all students with all available armories in their quivers. They take the help of technologies like computer. They stress hard on education though a profit motive cannot be denied. And people love their way of teaching. For good and quality education all pay, though they sometimes complain about the exorbitant fee structure.
India contributes in massive scale to the service sector. Professionals come from this part of my country. Doctors, engineers, managers, business men, politicians all belong to this part or at some point of time receive education in this part of my country if they happen to be from Bharat. Of course, people from Bharat also happen to be professional but they have to stay in India and expend huge sums of money for education and proper training. So, their percentage in India is negligible. The problem of Brain drain is a problem of India.
As a result of this tilt, development scenario is also lopsided. There is a clear cut division in the line of Haves and Haves Not. India that has got so many developments is again awarded with massive projects for more development, whereas Bharat cries for its development. This is nothing but to embellish the highly embellished ones! There is clear discrimination in India, who don’t want Bharat to come to their level. Whatever is done in Bharat, is only to keep election promises or as a result of formality. Sincerity lacks as far as development of Bharat is concerned. Political consensus is not easy to find when development of Bharat is discussed.
The sordid state of education in Bharat is the sole cause of India’s underdevelopment. There are a hundreds of curriculum of different Examination Boards. Uniformity lacks. Some sectors in India wants cream brains and as a result of such criteria people from Bharat fail to compete. The Demon of Mark has been ruining the future of many students. Instead of the requirement of division and marks, an open competition would have done better. But that is a prejudice which is causing unnecessary discrimination. General Class people are required to pass examinations in First class and people from other classes are required to pass examinations in Third division to compete for a majority of competitive Examinations for services. This is but an absurd condition. Instead people from rural area that is known as Bharat should have been given the concession. But this politics has been creating a division in the society and further fragmentation as per caste norms lack of facilities are being secretly enforced by India’s learned politicians. Enough, pooh, pooh. Please, no politics in education. Don’t think human beings as guinea pigs for some unnecessary experiments. Human being is the greatest creation of the Almighty and for the development of his personality no experiments or casual attitude should be followed. Stick to a unified system of education acceptable to respective geographical, cultural situations. Develop that sector with sincerity or a missionary zeal. Try to maintain uniformity of curriculum and prescribe such courses that will benefit one in future.
Kapil Sibbal the current Human Resource Minister, seems to have many things up his sleeves. And Bharat hopes a miracle from his magic wand. He has got government backing and in next five years, there might be some discernible development in educational sector. The sector that is in shambles need an able hand and sound mind to resuscitate the strangled and mangled and weak personae known as Education.
What is needed:
· Some missionary teachers.
· Less schools but complete schools.
· Good books.
· Teachers training in State institutions.
· No private training institutions.
· Prescribe a uniform curriculum in both vernacular and English medium.
· No multiple boards like CBSC or ICSC or multiple courses.
· Transfer the teachers. No posting in same districts.
· School should have staff quarters and other facilities.
Let’s see when the experiments end and when the gap between India and that of Bharat is minimized. Everyone in Bharat waits with all agog a change for a better tomorrow. It is said that every tomorrow is a better tomorrow. Hence, optimism is the sole driving force in Bharat. Cross your fingers, but do something positive instead of waiting for the government to deliver. Bharat will have to rise like phoenix on its own. Let’s wait and watch for a better and lustrous future. Amen!