The System Rots within!
It has been since six in the morning that Mr. Sen is waiting like a corked soda-water about to fly, with his meritorious daughter, Naina in front of the renowned Kadambari Morning College. Despite a score of 89% in the ICSE and 90% in the ISC examination , Mr. Sen has to go about almost begging for his daughter’s admission from door to door of the colleges , all of which miraculously claimed either its seats to be full or rejected Naina, supplementing her with less meritorious candidates whose parents are rich enough to provide heavy donations to the colleges. So today, Mr. Sen, a middle class man,too has brought a heavy donation with him, having procured the money by selling all of his wife’s jewellery, in order to secure his daughter’s future. This, however, is a problem which not only plagues Mr. Sen, but almost all those middle class candidates striving for a better future but is lagging behind despite their merit because of their inability to quench the thirst of the “renowned” educational institutions for money.
The walkback to what it was
If we throw a glance back to the ancient times when education used to begin at “Gurugrihas”, “pathshalas” and even “tolls”, we are touched by the devotion of students towards their teachers and also the affection which the teachers exhibited towards the students. They taught them with care and what mattered was the imparting and inculcation of knowledge in the students and not money or any other grants offered to the teachers as “gurudakshina”. This is aptly justified by William S Burrows who says that “The aim of education is the knowledge…”.
However, nowadays, it seems that education, which was meant to be a temple of knowledge, has shamelessly submitted itself to money and financial power, paying least importance to merit. Education, today, is bought and not procured as College Unions, Councils use their power to admit non-eligible, less meritorious candidates in the educational institutions in exchange of heavy sums through a process known as “backdoor admission” in the process depriving the worthy students, with a prospect of brighter future. Students have even been victims of the popular “First come first serve basis” which is followed today by most colleges. If the students traversing from far off places get delayed in reaching the venue of admission owing to traffic jams, these students, despite securing their names in the merit list, are deprived of admission as College councils, greedily awaiting donations, take advantage of such delay and give away the seats allotted to the meritorious students, to the discreditable ones in return of large grants. Thus, this method proves to be of great benefit to the corrupt college councils and so, education, which according to philosopher Malcolm, is
“The passport to the future…”
is evidently getting expensive for the middle class students to procure. Furthermore, such use of money for attaining education even makes the students casual about studies. They lose the energy to work hard for attaining a bright career as they assume that their parents will “buy” a “bright future” for them and so they have a license to relax and enjoy life while students from not so well off backgrounds strive to achieve their goal of a better and prosperous life through hard work and yet they fail as success, too, today has become the slave of money power.
Plenty of private colleges with no definite marks of eminence, is seen to crop up today in almost every alleys and lanes which lure the students with their enchanting offers and promises of placement, to enroll themselves in such institutions in exchange of huge largesse. However, most students pursuing their studies in such institutions fail to attain a proper career and secure an apt job suited to their merit and profile, which in turn lead them to depression and even more fatal consequences.
It is again a matter of great disgust to observe how the number of seats for colleges and the universities remain the same for decades without any effort on the part of the colleges for their enhancement and this again sharply points out the nonchalant attitude of these institutions in building the future of the youngsters.
The gatekeepers of the system
Academicians also have become very casual about the careers and future of today’s generation. This is evident in the disparity in the process of admission. Though it is advisable and expected that the colleges should follow the process of admission test uniformly for admission in all subjects, it is a great disgrace to find that while admission in some subjects are made easily on the basis of marks secured in the last academic examination, for admission in other subjects in the same college/ university, the candidates have to take admission tests which makes the admission under these respective subjects far more difficult. Lack of seriousness and dedication is seen even on the part of teachers regarding the parting of knowledge and the checking of the examination papers, which are the pillars strengthening a student’s future. Instances of only 3% or 4% students securing high grades, as has been put forth by” Anandabajar Patrika”, have become regular incidents of yesteryears which, in turn, point both towards the inefficiency of the teachers besides exposing the true merit of students who have enrolled themselves in such reputed institutions in exchange of money.
Though the government, especially the Ministry of Education puts forth an endeavour to end all such corruption by organizing meetings with educational councils, teachers and other faculties, further evidence of which is found by the sudden visit of our Hon’ble Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee to colleges to check and ensure corruption free admission, as telecasted in the ABP News Channel, the slavery of education to money power is becoming a serious issue and such callousness on the part of the academicians, who are supposed to be light bearers to students and guide them on their way to success remain the bewildering trademarks which indicate towards a degrading educational system. So, we can satirically fall back on the words of Benjamin Franklin that only:
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”