What is the point of providing only bookish knowledge when a student is unable to differentiate between what is and what ought to be?
By education we mean all-round development of an individual’s rational and intellectual traits, manifested in consistent growth and progress towards socio- political, psychological, moral, ethical, human and environmental values. Being collegiates, it is our prime responsibility to analyse the educational system where we are enrolled to spend more than three prime years of our youth, not for the sake of any critical evaluation but to understand the environment which plays an important role in grooming and socialising our beings. Once we are able to fathom the depth of these oceans of knowledge, it becomes easy for us to steer our course as well as contribute in making it more holistic, productive and fruitful.
Like thousands of students passing out every year from higher secondary schools of our UT, I also passed and secured admission in one of the newly established colleges of the valley for my Bachelor’s course. At the outset, the fervour was high. I was on cloud nine with millions of hopes attached to my goal like every other student. However, almost all my hopes seem to be blurring with every passing day due to the prevalent state of affairs in our colleges and higher seats of learning.
The exterior glamour and grandeur of a number of our educational institutions may be astonishing for a common eye but the interior narrative is altogether different in most of the cases. Whatever is written on papers and whatever works on ground are two perspectives which are poles apart.
From psychological and socio-political viewpoint, we are witnessing that social sciences and arts are looked upon in a step-motherly manner in contrast to the students from science, commerce or management streams, both by students and teachers. In addition to it, both teachers and the taught are busy in a rat race of mere syllabus completion without trying to develop some social or political values. Overall, we are the ingredients of socio-economic and political setup of our nation. Aren’t we supposed to be well aware and informed about how our social and political setup works? Who is supposed to inculcate these values when we are engrossed merely in completing our hectic and obsolete syllabi?
While talking about the development of moral, ethical and human values, we lag far behind our competitors from other parts of our country’ seats of learning. How can a student from Kashmir University’s colleges compete with a student from AMU, JMI, DU or JNU when most of his teachers don’t even know how to speak good English or good Urdu. Don’t we know that language is not taught but caught. When a teacher is unable to make the lecture simple and easy for students merely because it is not to be delivered in one’s mother language, how would one expect the students to become Einstein or Newton?
Apart from that, has anybody ever tried to encourage students for development of such values which will teach them how to differentiate between good and bad, justice and injustice? Had it been so, our collegiate males would have been knowing how to give equal respect and regard to the collegiate females both inside and outside the campuses. By the way, what is the point of providing only bookish knowledge when a student is unable to differentiate between what is and what ought to be?
We also lack in developing environmental and aesthetic values among ourselves. We deface our beautiful campuses by keeping our wash rooms dirty and filthy, by breaking infrastructure at college canteens, libraries and sports halls, by plucking flowers from green parks, by haphazard drawings in classroom walls, and by throwing polythene and garbage in and around our campuses. Is this what is called an all-round development? Is this the holistic approach to our education?
It is time to wake up now. Time once lost can’t be regained. If we fail in changing our status quo, the time is not far when we will be witnessing our institutes becoming dens of crime, indiscipline and delinquency. Once our teachers stop thinking about the future of their students, miscreants will make an entry and a complex process of educational degradation will come to the fore.
The writer is a college student. [email protected]