Education is one of the basic requirements of mankind. Since the very beginning, man has been engaged in the pursuit of knowledge and education. Initially, the entire gamut of knowledge was an integrated whole, there were no branches and sub-branches of study. A person would study whatever that person liked to do. There was no division of professional, non-professional, academic and technical branches of study. But, then man moved from informal to formal modes of education and now has reached to a stage of specialization and super specialization.
In the ancient Greece, they started establishing schools and academies and in these institutions of knowledge only that was taught which constituted the area(s) of concern for the founders of these institutions. Nothing else was allowed to be taught. Like in Aristotle’s Lyceum, Aristotle’s political theory and philosophy was taught and, in Plato’s Academy, the teachings of Plato constituted the entire curriculum. In the same way, succeeding philosophers established their own institutions to promote their philosophies ideologies and teachings.
Modern man has moved far beyond that. He has developed diverse and multitude branches of knowledge. There are subjects within subjects and the subjects have been divided into professional, non- professional, Technical and academic etcetera. The study of a branch of knowledge extends almost the entire length of the life of an individual and, in these branches too , there are internal compartments and departments. The branches of knowledge have been made so vast that life spans fall short of acquiring even the minor portion of it.
Another fact about knowledge and branches of knowledge is that these are directly associated with the employment of an individual and a person can gain respectable wherewithal in a field by pursuing knowledge in that field. The more the knowledge is gained the better the chances are to gain employment (especially respectable employment). Those who fail to pursue education in any branch of study lag behind in gaining employment of choice and usually fall in the informal sector of labor market.
Amidst all the diversity of the branches of study, there is some similarity, at least, in the way studies are pursued. The students are enrolled with general subjects till some stage and then they are provided with the opportunity to choose a specialized field. Here, some students opt for science subjects, some select professional and others humanities and social sciences. Once the subjects are chosen the degrees are more or less shaped in a similar manner.
In India there are two years of higher secondary education, followed by three years of graduation, then two years of post graduation and so forth. Each student normally needs to invest the equal portion of his or her time to complete these degrees. And, all the branches of study are important for the human existence, development and sustenance in one or the other way.
In view of these facts, it is expected that degree holders get equal opportunities of employment and career progression. But, in practice, that is not the story. Some degrees and qualifications remain in higher demand and are preferred over the others. The people with these degrees are given preference in providing them employment and the employment opportunities in respect of the others are not so high.
While on the one side, it is good that qualified people in some branches of education get good employment opportunities but , on the other side of the spectrum, not getting jobs becomes distressing for many more. The latter feel dejected and face tremendous problems on account of lack of a job( or a satisfactory job).
Considering this state of affairs it becomes imperative upon policy makers and powers that be to build a semblance of equality in the provision of jobs to the people of diverse branches of education. If we keep on producing highly qualified people in many branches of knowledge without there any prospects of employment the essence of democracy is lost to a great extent, at least for these people.
For them it is exploitative and utter discriminatory which is scorned in a democratic form of government. In a nutshell, ideally a person pursuing degrees in political science should get equal opportunities as the one pursuing Public Administration, Economics, Zoology or any other branch. The same should be the story about professional degrees and branches of knowledge. If that this not possible , the government should restrict the number of people pursuing degrees in those branches where the employment opportunities are low.
Two persons with same qualifications where same amount of time and resources are invested in acquiring these degrees; when one gets employed and the other remains unemployed, the latter feels a grave injustice committed against him and harbors a grudge towards the entire system. The more the number of such grudge holding people against the system the volatile things start becoming against the system and so is indicative of a weak system.
The newly introduced braches of study face this problem acutely. The planners and policy makers introduce these branches without looking into their employment opportunities in the prevalent conditions of market based world order. If these branches of study are in great demand in the other parts of the world, it is by no means necessary that they will remain in the similar demand in this part of the world too. The government should either make those regions of the world accessible to the people qualified in these branches or their number should be restricted till their importance is felt in this part of the world too.
Unfortunately, the only priority of the policy makers and designers of these courses seems to keep the students engaged and gain monetary resources from them. Nothing else seems the motto. These courses are a sort of service products only where the profits of the service providers are thought of without concerning about whether they are of any help to the consumers. It is a form of loot organized in a professional way.
Even in administrative examinations, where students belonging to some subjects are placed at a higher pedestal of the chances of getting selected, there are subjects the students of which hardly get any chances of selection. This also true holds true also in the changed pattern of the Union Public Service Commission examinations; some subjects get preference and some other are disadvantaged. In its old pattern some of the subjects were even not included in the list of subjects, an undemocratic practice.
Justice demands all students to be treated equally and equal employment opportunity provided to them all. In a market based world order and the age of consumerism, if a student fails to get a job that person is considered worthless, howsoever efficient and capable he may be. Painfully, the number of such people is quite high in our part of the world and is growing alarmingly. After spending so many years of life in a branch of study certified by the state when a student fails to get a job and others get it, it becomes sheer injustice. Especially when there is no fault or incapability on part of the student, the injustice becomes graver.
The government of the day should look into the issue and regulate different branches of study. The number of students permitted in a course should be in accordance with the employability of the course. Before that, all efforts should be made to accommodate all the unemployed educated youth and provide them employments. If it is too difficult to provide them jobs special packages should be provided so that they could create their own.
The discriminatory treatment of different subjects should urgently stop and equality should be the guiding principle. Strong systems make strong legislations, and strong legislations are intended to end all exploitations and discriminations. Hope the discriminated are provided the much needed respite.
The author can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org