Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ministers proposes, politician disposes

The suggestion of raising the limit to 80 percent in XII boards, for IIT entrance was perhaps the only rational idea that came from our learned (pun intended) HRD minister in recent time .As usual, this proved to be a politically bad idea which is likely to remain trapped in black annals of officialdom, unlikely to see the daylight of implementation. There is not a slightest doubt in my mind that there lies an obnoxious nexus between the coaching centers and politicians.
The logic presented by the brigade of opportunists who are opposing the move, under the postulation that it would be against the poor and meritorious students, holds no water. Can a poor student of any state of India afford the fees of these coaching centers? A student who decides to reside in Kota for a two year program has to spend nearly three lac rupees for boarding, lodging and fees. Besides, the true percentage of selection from these institutes is not something you can write home about.  
The fact is a student who gets selected in IIT invariably gets more than eighty percent in boards. BITS have the percentage criteria of 80 percent for some years now and are successful in getting best minds in the country. Such a move will mean that every student who opts for science stream will now focus on learning the basics appropriately and that is not likely to benefit the coaching centers who know that one percent of the students are rankers and rest ninety nine percent are their bankers. How can they stand for decline in numbers of these guinea- pigs that they catch claiming to be their succor and messiah for IIT selection.
It is high time that we stop selling education as a commodity and the parents stop transferring their expectations to their wards. The aim of education should be to teach us how to think and not what to think – It should improve our minds to cultivate originality and not to memorize some equations and formulas.
I strongly feel that we have drastically failed in educating the masses, we might have made a number of degree holders but have totally killed the curiosity of a rational mind .Alvin Toffler was very right in observing “the illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”. 
For audio file of my reaction click


  1. I loathe coaching institutes as much as you do [the UPSC CSE exam scene sucks as well] but there is this aspect to it that is getting ignored here.

    In Bihar, UP and some other states it is extremely difficult to get 80 per cent marks! In CBSE and ICSE one easily gets 80 per cent but not in state intermediate boards with huge syllabus and orthodox teachers and examiners! You know they don't give marks in state boards unlike the CBSE and ICSE!

  2. Yeah, it's right. In the world of business even education is not spared.

    And this is very well said - "The aim of education should be to teach us how to think and not what to think". Sadly, the reality is opposite.

  3. @vikas , I agree that state boards specially of UP and Bihar are difficult .Somehow, the education should be freed from bias .I really feel sorry for students when some teachers cut marks because student has not solved a numerical by that "teacher's method", no matter how ridiculously long and assuming that method is .The purpose of education is to make people think, not to shun the thought....

    @Darshan As Confucius said “Learning without thought is labor lost; and thought without learning is perilous.”Isn't it sad that people read for degrees and mug up words without realizing their meaning and beauty .
    How uncommon is common sense ....

  4. This reaction of opposing this policy was obvious coz it can hamper the millions that coaching centers earn from each batch ... and frankly speaking noone wants to loose easy money

    Even school teachers are indifferent to their duties as they know coaching centers are there for the students .... and everyone must have joined at least one. Some teachers even go to the extent of taking separate competition classes at home (as if they couldnt have taught that at the school class ..but as i said easy money)
    n then there is the problem vikas mentioned

    But i think this 80% criteria will help curb the overflowing applications for IITs n reduce the coaching culture but we never know this might backfire n take away whatever free time the students had in their life ... parents start forcing their kids to get high %age in school n also go to coaching centers in the after school hours .... double trouble for kids

  5. This thing is very rightly projected by Naveen about indifference of teachers. I have experienced it bitter way myself. And for the rest of it too, I agree with Naveen.

  6. Today education has become extremely commercial. it is such a basic need that even recession cannot hamper this business.

  7. I second your thoughts...very rightly said.

  8. "There is not a slightest doubt in my mind that there lies an obnoxious nexus between the coaching centers and politicians."

    Absolutely! There is hardly any field/area left which has been left untouched by these worthies.

    In the kind of education system we have... folks who can mug up/memorize some texts, equations and formulas, are called 'intelligent'. The worth of a student is measured vis-a-vis the marks scored and not his/her knowledge quotient. Sadly!

    The curiosity factor, or even the urge to read... books/journals... anything, for the sheer love for reading and accumulating knowledge is fast becoming extinct.

    People like Acharya Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, Thomas Alva Edison, Einstein, Dr. Meghnad Saha, Prof. Satyendra Nath Bose and even Bill Gates were not products of such a system.

    In Bengal, the widely prevalent thinking/view is that if someone has not got admission into engineering or medical courses he/she (esp. he) has no future.

    Infact, until a few years ago... guys studying B.Com were referred to as "Buddhita Kom" (tr: unintelligent)

    Thanks to the ITES segment... things have changed a bit.

    I better not mention about the plight of guys studying/taking up arts courses, in Bengal :)

    We have not only made a hash of our education sytem... and very successfully at that. We are now bent upon destroying several streams of learning and categorising students/individuals based on their education.

    It happens only in India!

    Here is an example of the Nobel laureate Dr. Abdus Salam's humour and humility. Asked whether Jhang, the village of Heer, would henceforth be
    known as the village of Salam, he replied: 'Remember there is only one
    Heer, Nobel laureates are many.'

    As they say, 'without education we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.' So very true.

  9. @ Divakar Thanks for your supportive words.
    @ Roshmi :You are so very right about the points you mentioned.
    In fact ,there is just an information detonation going on, which is not synonymous to increase in knowledge, reason and wisdom .Aim of education these days is reduced to making more upward mobile successful people rather than making morally upgrade and ethically better people. As a result of incomplete education, we've degree holders who in words of Merton “are literally unfit for anything except to take part in an elaborate and completely artificial charade."


Your viewpoint will definitely give it wider perspective


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