Thinkers change systems and shift paradigms, and so modern education is as careful as it can be to avoid producing too many people who are capable of sustained critical thinking. How a particular stuff of education is an accumulation of slaves and we are pleased to have such sheep- sheds in the form of colleges at every nook and crook of the state. students who shine with highest class of numbers are the most possible victims of this system. No doubt, we call it the most competitive survival but we entirely forget to address it as the race of the donkeys.
Every college in Jammu and Kashmir produces almost nursery of students with the high ranks in the academics and they are bound to face capital slavery. After three decades of rapid expansion, stakeholders are in a state of deep soul searching as the practices of a runaway higher education system become manifest. From poor governance and funding gaps to outright fraud and capacity constraints.
One of the most wasted time of my life has been during my phase of education. Probably thirty years of my life. And thankfully, I did not learn a lot of things which saved me later. I wont blame my school or college. They were doing their job, probably coming down from the same education system; we cant expect them to break out of it. The idea to post about this came when I was thinking about a couple of friends who are passing out of their Masters & PhDs, struggling to find a job. I wonder how much time and money is wasted in the quest of a piece of paper that ultimately no one cares about in todays world. Countless of my talented friends are doing nothing that they love. And that thought makes me angry. If we keep producing average people at such a great speed & scale, we are creating a whole underworld of desperate pass-outs without direction.
A few of you who might have already done your higher or probably highest studies would get offended, and thats understood. But when a major chunk of our workforce comes out of these colleges and universities without any skills and when companies have to spend more money to train them to be ready for work, it makes amply clear that something is seriously wrong with this educational system.
The immediate consequences of an education system that allows those practices is that it undermines confidence in the credentials of high education. More insidious however, is the fact that the bearers of such undeserved academic credentials get to be trusted with critical roles in society. Looked at from that context, the high levels of graft in the private and public sectors, the seeming lack of any form of consciousness in the management of public resources by those to whom the responsibility has been delegated and the inability of our bureaucrats to anticipate and solve the most basic problems, should actually not be surprising.
The big challenge now is how to break the cycle and undo the damage. A simple mechanical response is unlikely to achieve much. Besides plugging the gaps, there is a need to rethink the entire philosophy informing higher education in the region and how its goals can best be achieved.
Poor governance in the sector is a reflection of the general failure of governance and lack of accountability at the societal level. A good starting point would be to institute a culture of accountability among our elite, depoliticise key appointments, shift the focus from paper credentials to practical skills and broaden the choices for education beyond a degree certificate. Reform should also not be rushed either because part of the maladies the sector is suffering today are the result of politically opportunistic policies in the past.
Faced with shrinking economies and ballooning populations of young people, governments from the mid-1980s resorted to rapid expansion of lower education while not making adequate investment in higher education. This created a degree of discordance in the system that would later yield barely regulated participation in provision of higher education by the private sector and the commercialisation of public universities.
Education is the soul of success which means a worth living, dignified life and most eminent thing is freedom and independent life. The power of education extends beyond the development of skills we need for economic success. It can contribute to nation-building and reconciliation but the education provided to the students of the colleges today is the gateway to the slavery and dependence. Appreciating individual existence , encouraging self determination and to give open spaces for innovations and creativity is far away from the system. Our sole purpose is to maximise the level of compromise for the smooth slavery in our students. Any kind of schooling where children are not allowed to question their teachers or explore and understand their external and internal influence/environment begets only uneducated slaves with a piece of paper called degree.
When you are truly educated you will be broad minded and open to arguments and discussions without prejudice or violence (inspite of your beliefs and morality). Very rarely do we find a truly educated man/woman.
Education is the key to eliminate gender bias, casteism, regionalism, inequality, poor and rich divide, to prevent needless and illogical approaches and mental sickness and create an ideal society. And in a knowledge economy, education is the only currency by which nations maintain economic competitiveness and can free themselves from the predatory aggressors.
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