Wednesday, 5 April 2017

The unfulfilled task of education


MEd scholar

Till some time back, I was very much convinced with the idea that education alone can bring tremendous changes in a society like India's but some recent incidents have compelled me to reconsider my view. I used to think that as education has changed my way of thinking on several issues of the country, other people must also be going through the same process of transformation. Slowly, I've come to realise that to expect education alone to change everything, especially the mentality of the people, is bound to make one dejected very often. It was a specific kind of education that the colonisers wanted to give to the people of their colony and they sowed appropriate seeds for their project. All around me I can see the trees borne of those seeds bearing fruits in this neo-liberal age. Our education is producing a sort of mentally enslaved people who are unable to think rationally, are non-reflective and seem to lack a sense of responsibility towards their environment, be it ecological, cultural or socio-political. Today, I talked to a person from our department who was very much convinced with the idea that education should indeed create clerks if it is education in any real sense! The statement forced me to reflect upon the notion and I asked myself if it is really so. Is it true then that thousands and lakhs of young people of this country are studying day and night for getting a government job, specifically under the SSC? The SSC, of course, provides the largest number of clerks in India. Are the people not getting educated in the institutions of higher education such as JNU, Jadavpur University, Shantiniketan, FTII, NSD etc? Is academic study done for intellectual growth, curiosity and inquiry not worth considering as education? I do not know why even after it has been a part of the Fundamental Duties in the Constitution (Article 51A), our education has failed in inculcating the spirit of scientific temper in people's attitude and behavior. I feel that an education which is influenced by and even made in the image of the neo-liberal order is surely going to have dire consequences for the youth of this country as far as their mental development is concerned. We need the kind of education which could help produce students, analysts, thinkers, writers and activists in the mould of Bhagat Singh and Savitribai Phule. That is, persons who embody a revolutionary social transformation in their own selves and consequently help bring about liberatory political change in the social order. But unfortunately our education is creating the sort of generation which seems to be satisfied with the present situation. Social evils like the violence of caste, gender inequality, the capitalistic exploitation of natural resources etc do not seem to be of concern to them. Even after 70 years of independence, the social, political and economic situation of the republic seems to be that of a status-quo favouring the oppression, dominance and the exploitative rule of a select few over the preponderant toiling classes of the country.        

No comments:

Post a Comment