Speaking at a function at the BHU,Varanasi, our PM NarendraModi, criticized the present Indian education system.He said that “our education apparatus can’t be one that produces robots. That can happen in laboratory. There has to be overall personality development”.
As the famous saying goes “Don’t get your hopes up too high because you will end up breaking your own heart”. But game of hope and expectation is being played now days, between parents and their children, in the field of education. Parents want their child to be an engineer or a doctor and do not care if it is via a coaching centre. Such student is sent to big coaching centres to prepare for the PMT or IIT entrance exams — either in Kota or any such famous centres. The board-affiliated schools help them out by taking care of 75% compulsory school attendance and practical exams and the student is happy to be free from the burden of attending classes of his school.
In fact these students start this race from IXth standard and after Xth they surely have to leave their school,with which their childhood memories are attached; and proceed to Kota. As IITs give no credit for the 12 years of schooling, coaching institutes nurture classes for students of Class XI and XII in addition to preparing them for entrance exams of professional colleges.Approximately two lakh students across India go there every year to attain coaching and the number has been increasing with every passing year.
While every parent’s dream is to see their child in the league of IITs or NITs, parents force their children to undertake coaching and bea part of this cut-throat competition without actually considering the child’s aptitude, capacity or interest. They don’t mind extra cost of at least Rs. two lakh as fee and hostel expenses. While parents feel that admission to coaching institutes will help their children, instead it adds to the pressure on the students. They do not consider that seats are limited.IITs or NITs, offer 10,000 and 16,000 seats respectively.
This yearfor JEE Advanced 2014, Rajasthan- with Kota comes third with 16,867 students, after Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Kota has the reputation for the maximum admissions to the IITs. But in reality it is not the case. In Kota out of 2 lakhstudents, the no. of students getting selected in JEE is in thousands only.In fact the success rate of these coaching institutesof Kotais less than 10%. Those who are selected are one of the brightest students whowould have been selected otherwise also had they stayed at homes and prepared there only.
The Kota based institutes highlight only those students, who perform well in IIT-JEE. Parents who are impressed by such advertisements should remember that as against the handful of students who make it, there are other lakhs of students from same Kota institutes who have failed in these exams. Every parent’s dream of their child being selected in IITcan’t be fulfilled.As an American author Jodi Picoult, has written in her book Nineteen Minutes “There are two ways to be happy: improve your reality, or lower your expectations”.
These unsuccessful poor chaps, after wasting lakhs of rupees end up taking admission in poor quality private engineering colleges, where their seniors have become their teachersafter being unsuccessful in getting any credible job. These so called institutes are mushrooming like STO|D/PCOs of old times. They are waiting for students like your child. Here’sa news report as an example-In Rajasthan, this year, over 40,000 seats are likely to remain vacant out of total 65,000 seats. Interestingly, 6,000 are those who took admission in engineering colleges affiliated to Rajasthan Technical University, under the free admission session which allows any student to take admission without appearing in the entrance test. In MP some 70,000 out of 1 lakh seats are still vacant. In Tamil Nadu, almost half the number of engineering seats found no takers. In UP against the 1.47 lakh B. Tech seats, Over 1.24 lakh seats are lying vacant. In other states also, more than 50% seats in the engineering colleges are lying vacant.
In the past few years there has been a spurt in the number of colleges, being set up in an unplanned manner all over the country without any policy for it as such. Maximum number of colleges has come up between 2007 and 2010 and the trend of seats lying vacant has also started from 2007.With the vacant seats increasing every year, a lesson must be learnt by AICTE and the colleges that they should emphasize on improving the quality of education.
Records say thatwho have taken coaching from Kota,havenot achieved anything big in the IIT or NIT.These students are made merely mugging machines in Kota without anyknowledge, creativity, or communication skills.They don’t haveany time for recreation.All that they have is good skill of getting marks in an exam. American journalistSydney J. Harris has said “The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows”. But unfortunately windows have been closed. Students study relentlessly for two to three years to crack the feared JEE and those who succeed well and arrive at the IITs are already fatigued and exhausted, with little enthusiasm for the learning process itself.
The tremendous stress sometimes can be too much for the students to bear,leading to depression; some even take the extreme step of committing suicide. Performance anxiety leads to suicidal tendencies among aspirants, who take extreme step out of frustration. Almost every month at least one student commits suicide for not being able to cope up with the pressure.Instead of pressurising for unrealistic expectations and impossible ambitions, parents should know the talents and abilities of their children and mould them accordingly.
Infosys chairman emeritus N R Narayana Murthy has said “Thanks to the coaching classes today, the quality of students entering IITs has gone lower and lower,” Murthy furthersaid “They somehow get through the joint entrance examination but their performance in IITs, at jobs or when they come for higher education in institutes in the US is not as good as it used to be”.
According to National Employability Report of Engineering Graduates 2014 by Aspiring Minds, the mushrooming growth in terms of number of engineering colleges in the country has been alarming and has come out as the major reason for low employability of engineers. Their employability worth is from 20 to 25 per cent.
In our country which has more than 700 universities and 33,000 colleges, the concerned authorities should consider and make these amendments in educational system of our country-quality of higher education in Indiashould be improved as India has failed to enter the list of top 200 institutions of the world and there is the low employability of Indian graduates. There is need of single national university entrance test for school leavers, on the lines of the SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) in the USA, to reduce the burden of appearing in multiple entrance exams.
And for the parents, please remember that famous theoretical physicist, author Stephen Hawkingonce said “My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus.”Soplease think several times before making a decision about the future of your child. It’s better to let him/her decide what he/she wants to do in his/her life. And make sure that you don’t let someone rob your child’s life. As generally said that an educational system isn’t worth a great deal if it teaches young people how to make a livingbut doesn’t teach them how to make a life.
[author image=”http://www.aapkatimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Chinmay_Khare.jpg” ]I am Chinmay Khare pursuing B.A.(Hons.) Economics from Jamia Millia Islamia,New Delhi[/author]