Facile Convocations

Facile Convocations
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University Convocations, when students are awarded degrees, are usually a source of joy and pivotal moments for both students and respective universities. Years of hard work are rewarded, appreciated and recognitions awarded to various students. Convocations cut across both ways, that is, for students and universities. But, broadly speaking, convocations and awarding degrees cannot and must not be the end goal or point , especially for universities.  These should, in reality, be the culmination of not a process of education but rather an experience which includes education, personality development and holistic growth of both students and universities. The ecosystem of universities should be such that the focal point of these institutions and their centre of gravity be students; usually, what happens , especially in this part of the world is that universities become inertia laden and self perpetuating institutions losing their original rationale in the process. The students are the major sufferers of this. Moreover, the feeder system of education that is prevalent here ensures that education becomes a mere mechanical process wherein students slog and rote learn to either pass and get good grades instead of becoming an enriching experience. It has also been observed that the focus of both primary and higher education, especially in Kashmir, is on quantity than quality. What accrues from this orientation is graduates or post graduates who actually are unaware of what they have actually learnt with poor or nonexistent research, life and job skills. Education, in this schema, becomes mere literacy and that of a functional nature and shoddy, poor quality. Inertia laden universities with staff ,  both academic and administrative , poorly motivated and even poorly educated , in the real sense of the term, deliver education that is poor. While, it is true that education is a process, and premised on the analogy of the firm as a black box, where an input is transformed into outputs, both the key variable and constant , even in terms of the education process, is what happens within and in the “black box”.  If an only if, the process within the black box is efficient , effective and determined by quality, can the “output” be of a high quality. It then becomes imperative for the universities to actually rejigg and reorient heir premises and approaches and render the process of education into a salubrious , holistic experience that redounds to the benefit of students and thereby society, at large.

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