Revisiting the Multiple Crises of Education

Revisiting the Multiple Crises of Education
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Danish Mohi Ud Din

There are sound reasons to believe that education constitutes the solution to every social, economic and political problem in any society. Many questions struck my mind that, in one way or the other, give rise to these problems in our society: The important issues like the unscrupulous attitude of administration, in general, and the political class, in particular, towards the worsening condition of our education sector.
The ostensible educational structural crises have been highlighted every now and then and questioned from various quarters, however the lack of interest from the part of administration to rectify those structural defects for the positive development of the nation has brought the education sector to the position where the lacking qualities of debate and discussion have failed the actual aims for which the education sector is established and promoted in any society.
Further regression has been contributed by the bureaucratization and the larger attempt to privatize public education. In a welfare state, privatization doesn’t mean absolute separation between the state and private sector, hence denying any free play even to the private entities.
The current dismaying condition of our education sector has manifold causes. The establishment of private schools all over the state by bureaucrats and growing bureaucratic controls influence the effective functioning of these schools. It has created an uneven situation where the fee hike(s) and the exclusionary norms by these schools effectively marginalized the larger strata of our population and depriving them of effective schooling and personality developments thus paving the way for the middle and upper-class elites to get education at these elite institutions. The declining educational expenditure has further worsened an already degraded system.
The denial of social and political realities is what characterizes an ignorant society. History bears the witness that where the development of a nation or any section of the population is controlled and regulated by the larger polity is doomed. Going by this logic the civil society should question the state for the lack of this progress and development.
The marginalization of the people who could not afford to send their wards in the private schools is growing. These children sooner or later become the victims of inferiority complex and thus victims of social marginalization and maladjustment. The condition is further dismayed by the fact that even the people who go to the government run schools are not given education up to the level. Even after reaching to higher classes they are always found lacking the basics of any subject, making their survival difficult in the current global atmosphere where the survival of the fittest is the determining factor.
The one feature common among government school students is that they are mainly first generation learners with poor backgrounds. Lacking the guidance from any side; these students who could otherwise contribute to the effective nation building end up nowhere. In most of the cases, these people get the degrees but fail to compete at higher levels. Such students have to be elevated and guided properly.
Let us take the question of SSA teachers which is a big concern. The question is that where from such a huge number of teachers come? Basically, they are being appointed through government schemes like SSA or related other schemes that have hardly 10+2 qualification in most of the cases on mere selection through percentage criteria. I had witnessed myself in Government schools during my study there, that at least 60% were SSA/RET appointed. My pious intention is not to call into question the teachers but Government policies and reluctant administration, because this is due to lack of scrutiny and accountability on the part of successive governments which is responsible for this worrying situation.
Let me discuss another point here. The sole motive of parents behind sending their wards to the schools is always to provide quality education for better career opportunities and larger personality development. Unfortunately, the education system has become much flawed that government is unable to deliver this minimum to students. They should keep abreast of the developments in the modern education system so that they don’t fail our society in the long run. The focus of the modern education has shifted to “whole men” the term coined by Dr. Waddington which means student should get the education in all domains: humanities, arts, crafts, and design (HACD). However, it is unfortunate that we are still stuck ine flawed schemes and policies. Same is the case with the higher education. That hardly needs any deliberation here.

The author is doing B.A(Hons) Political Science at Aligarh Muslim University and can be reached at: