Reflections Under The Tree – 2

Part Two : Disempowering Education System

I think most of us would have fantasized not studying throughout the year and still getting good results in the exams. Not before my recent experience back here in Chandpur village I used to fantasize the same. What we dream of is a reality here, but no one is happy. In fact, everyone is cursing this situation which is like an abyss and have no other option but to fall in it. Education system has been ripped apart in this part of the country.

The trap starts from primary level of schooling. Teaching is the best job here because you are not supposed to do anything but to take timely salary and spend it during the entire month and if it’s a government job than it’s like a cherry on the cake. There is no one to check whether you teach or not in government schools. I have seen government schools where there are more teachers than students. So government schools are never an option. Private schools will teach but during board exams they will ask for money and whoever pays it will be allowed to cheat. Students will also get additional support if required, like internet access in the exam etc.  And obviously nobody wants to score less marks so everyone will pay or precisely everyone will have to pay. If you don’t then your child will suffer.

On the student’s front there is no curiosity to know, learn and understand things as he knows that at the end of the year his father has to pay some money and he will be allowed to cheat so why work hard. And at the end of the year he will definitely get good marks. Dreams come true. But what happens after this is a nightmare. Student ends up knowing nothing. He is no way in a position to compete at national level exams after school, cannot get any job as he literally knows nothing. He is forced to study in colleges which have no recognition anywhere. Even if the family is rich he has no idea where to channelize the money and do some business. Life is doomed.

Parents who have lot of expectations and spend lot of money on their ward’s education by borrowing feel cheated. They think that their child is spoiled even after spending so much money on him. But they will never look at what they have done. It’s not only their fault if they had not  allowed their child to cheat in exams by paying money he would have not scored good marks because teachers are also not teaching children because they know that at the end of the year it’s all about cheating. So even if the child wants to study he cannot, because no one is teaching him or her.

Till this point when the child has finished his schooling or graduation he will look for government jobs and will be tempted to use unfair means like getting a government job by paying some money and will get looted. The family has spent all their savings in his schooling and is now in debt due to this admission scam. Result is that the child has to look for any kind of work which can pay him something or get dependent on agriculture in which he has no skills and which is so uncertain. Moreover the government has changed the method of selection in police. They have removed physical test and student gets selected on the basis of his marks only. This further encourages students and parents to go for marks and not skills. They say it’s a collective’s problem and one person cannot do much in it. They will cite the example that if I don’t encourage cheating but other people do then my child will suffer because government jobs are based on merits and why should I reduce the chances for him to get selected by not allowing him to cheat.

 I personally don’t know the solution to this but I definitely understand the need to correct it, else we won’t be able to save our villages and break this circle of unskilled youth and under debt parent.

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