N – National Education | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z
India is one of the youngest countries of the world with about 38% of the population below the age of 18 years and the average age somewhere around 29 years. With so much young population India has a tremendous opportunity to outgrow some of the major western economies that are being laggard behind because of their aging population. The countries like Spain and Italy have average ages around 45.
For that young population to contribute to nation building education plays the most crucial role along with basic necessities of life. With the right education and guidance, they can enhance their skills and contribute to the nation. But the stark reality is; issues like ‘Education’ aren’t being even discussed at the time of the election. It is one of the things that have fared badly under the current regime.
During the 2014 elections, their manifesto stated – “Education must create minds free from superstitions, hatred, and violence and become an important vehicle to cement national unity, social cohesion and religious amity. Our endeavor should be to inculcate moral, ethical and humanistic values in the individuals and the society.” It laid a lot of emphasis on increasing the expenditure on education and take the total contribution to 6% of the GDP.
The reality is that during the initial four years it has continuously declined with a marginal increase in the last year. The current overall expenditure stands around 3.5%. It’s startling to notice with so much underperformance in this sector there’s hardly any talk on these issues during the current elections. They are back to their ways of Saffron v\s Green dividing.
They began with a swash-buckling minister whose education itself was under question and the fact of the matter is she lied under oath in the 2014 elections. It was because of authoritarian assaults and mishandling of cases like Rohith Vemula, JNU, BHU and so on that she was removed overnight. I still remember the sight when in Lok Sabha she declared herself to be a bigger mother of Vemula than her real mother and how she would be ready to be beheaded if she is found wrong. Well, the irony is that the government made a committee to look into the matter and you will find it comical that the committee consisted of only ONE member.
A plethora of new IIMs and IITs have been started with most of the seats remaining vacant. On one hand, it is not cost-beneficial, on the other, it simply dilutes the brand of the institution. We don’t want our IIMs and IITs to become the Amitys of the world, with all due respect to Amity.
Another scheme, to increase funding in national institutions was brought in with the aim of increasing their overall global ranking. To this date, the government is yet to release any data as to how much funding was released, what is its effect, has the ranking of any institutions jumped?
I didn’t anyone question the government when they awarded a private institute, ‘Institute of Eminence’ for which the foundation is yet to be laid and aiding them with a grant. How justified is that? This is all too much visible but the enigma is in the blindness of the followers.
Since the new National Education Policy promotes the agenda of privatization, commercialization and communalization it will simply accelerate the existing culture of loot by private institutions. Barring a single government in Delhi, no state or national government has come out in the open and spoken about the absurd rising prices of educating a child. The proposed NEP clearly disagrees with the constitutional vision of a common education system.
When we were in school, our parents used to evaluate public educational institutions too, but this has seen a tremendous decline. The previous Government of Rajasthan had decided to operate 225 schools on public-private partnership (PPP) model, which was nothing but handing over public schools to the private sector. Similarly, the previous BJP Madhya Pradesh government had planned to close about 15,000 government schools and in Maharashtra, the state government has decided to close some 13,905 schools that have a student count of less than 20.
The last budget from the FM highlighted a shift in providing the aide to a government institution. Now they will be treated as loans. All it will do is convert public education institutions into commercial units with an aim to generate profits.
With RSS figures now at the helm of key educational bodies of India, a systematic communalization of education is being done. For instance, I saw that they have simply changed the facts of history where they have depicted Maharana Pratap victorious during the war of Haldighati – that is way off from what actually happened. They are rewriting history just to suit their narrative of hate.
The steep cuts in funding for research is another key issue. When students protest against it they are dealt with force and when things become unmanageable for them they declare not even the students but the whole institute as anti-national. Can you believe the institute that has given the largest number of civil servants to the country is now tagged anti-national?
If the government had been really serious about the promises made in its manifesto there wouldn’t have been so many teaching positions vacant in almost every institute. Don’t forget that all this is laying the foundation for the future of India and if you want to rule the country in times to come, this is definitely going to backfire.
Forget about the left-wingers and neutrals, what about the right-wingers. Do they don’t want their children to get a proper education or they are simply satisfied with them taking to the streets and brandishing swords on every Hindu festival? The ball is now in your court for what future you want for your child.
For all those who still have hope,
For all those who believe every child should be educated,
For all those against the commercialization of education,
For all those who believe the current education policies should change…
It’s not a goodbye,
But it’s a GOOD BYE.
Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul
This is the 14th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Politics Category is ‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’, where I would be covering some relevant issues with the General Elections 2019 through the course of 26 posts.
Read the previous post here: IPL – Indian Parliamentary League
Please do visit tomorrow for the next post with letter ‘O’
I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘Dubai – City of Gold‘. If you love travel head over to the Travel Theme and share your feedback.