In a developing country like ours education perhaps remains the most important means to bring changes and developments in our society and the lives of people. Therefore, educationists and the country's stakeholders should keep thinking about ways to improve our education system. Read this article to have more insights and introspection on this subject matter.
WAY FORWARD IN IMPROVING OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM
By Beimosia Lapi, Delhi.
The urge for higher academic degree pursuance is largely endorsed within an overpopulated and developing country like India and most specifically society like ours where any other form of God-gifted talent has only meagre role for the vast majority to attain recognition or security, and where school dropouts probably occupy the lowest position in the social hierarchy. Instances of extortion, impersonation, plagiarism, nepotism, corruption, fake degrees, false certificates, suicide and whatnot are the common items that often fills the news headlines today all at the cost of education, and the very essence of our present education system is highly questionable and debatable. Thus, our educational set-up and the whole administration system which is considered largely flawed and highly skewed via-a-vis their regional and international counterparts by top academicians’ demands for an urgent need of introspection and overhaul. As such, it is no surprise that our country’s best educational institutions viz. IIT’s, IIM’s, other national universities, etc. do not find place among the 100 best institutions in the global ranking.
While it is not my intention to highlight national statistics or present the entire sum of our erroneous concepts and principles of the education system, which is large and vast, I’d rather wish at my capacity to lay down few relevant fundamental issues of prime importance concerning our own State’s, or otherwise Mara land’s prospect and way forward on this front.
Despite enjoying the privilege of being the third highest literate States (Mizoram literacy ~ 92 %, according to census 2011 provisional figure, after Kerela and Lakshadweep) in India, there are umpteen numbers of fields in which we lag behind which is clearly manifested in our incompetency in the regional or national level examinations and competitions, and in the manner and pace our socio-economy, cultural and political realm grows. Not long ago, my friend who was oblivious of the existence of age bar in Government Job, albeit with certain concessions was bemoaning over his ill-fate of not being able to seek for certain services under the Government. He was 35 aged old and still a bachelor what we jokingly used to call NINJA (No-Income-No-Job-and Asset). The vast majority of the present students in Mara Land or Mizoram for that matter, I assume are unaware of their goals or aims, because they don’t simply know what they want and how they will fare along in years ahead. In all these years, our education system has not been able to provide us this information of primary importance into our knowledge inbox. Only the elite and advanced ones manage to by-pass this with the aid of some sources. No curriculum books inform us about this, and whose fault is it not to know these things when many are helplessly disadvantage on many fronts?? And I have the strong conviction that this has something seriously to do with the prestigious role of the teachers.
With profound respect to the role of the teacher, the point which I wish to bring to notice is the way we project this very teacher’s role, how they are recruited, functioned, administered and their subsequent impacts. Gone are the days when teachers enjoy one of the most revered and the highest profiles in the society. Things now looked rather topsy-turvy, where teachers have wee status and low prestige. The common impression we normally get when someone says he/she is a school teacher leaves no mark in our minds, whereas when someone says he/she is an officer in elsewhere department under government, we are filled with praise and admiration. Aren’t we belittling teaching profession and if so, why and at what cost? The simple truth is that as long as this trend continues, like our Western counterparts have suggested, our education system is likely to learn the lesson the hard way and will in no way get to a level close to satisfaction, for teachers are the drivers of the so called Education System, and if the drivers don’t drive the system well according to the needs of the time, the path it tread could lead anywhere near to doom.
In light of this fact, the government policy and concerned authorities role comes to the forefront. Irrespective of our poor infrastructure and whatsoever syllabus is laid down, what is worth considering as of now is certainly the teacher’s recruitment system. It is imperative that the recruitment of teachers for various categories of standards right from the primary level must strictly follow basic recruitment rules, and in the absence or leniency of such procedural recruitment rules(as has always been the case under our MADC), urgent measures needs to be devise and strictly implemented. Moreover, recruited teachers quality-training programme must be made mandatory, for this dearly forms the indispensable foundation skills of teaching and builds due sense of obligation towards this noble service. As much as the student’s own effort, mental capacity and parental guidance is a factor to be reckoned with, one cannot overlook the truth either that untrained and unqualified teachers are one big cause of defection in the entire gamut of our education system. Imagine the plight of students who were taught science or mathematics in particular by a person who can’t communicate effectively or who doesn’t have any specialisation for that subject, that of an English teacher who can’t communicate in English properly or, that of a teacher who teaches nothing in a day due to apathy. More sadly, there is hardly any devoted and regular-based functioning supervisory mechanism to look into these default practices and redress the wrongs. No one is held accountable for that matter. One is appalled at the very fact that several Class IV students of our villages don’t know what it means by the word ‘teacher’ (they know it in terms of Sirs and Misses/Madams) when these Schools have legitimate teachers for most of the subjects offered in the School, and this is another clear testimony to the prevailing undesirable Rote-Learning System. It is also unfortunate that Science is regarded a nerve-wracking and dreadful subject meant only for bibliomaniac or bookworm type of person. However, the fact largely remains to be noted that the incapability of the teachers to make these subjects comprehensible, meaningful and interesting at the elementary levels forms the basic cause for instituting wrong impression and ill-notion amongst the pupils. In fact, there are huge chunk of untrained, unqualified and substandard teachers whose formula of teaching base on prepared notes duly written by the other party. On the contrary, there isn’t dearth of neither qualified people nor those willing to passionately dedicate their lifetime by getting involve in this esteemed profession, but are not given the chance in the present system merely because of petty party politics.
To achieve holistic development in the education set up, we cannot afford to look down on the role of the teachers, the very foundation of educational system. They must be made highly skilled, highly regarded and revered and not the other way round. Their salaries must be revised every now and then to make sure that it ever stands out to be one of the most sought-after professions in the job market. The very prevailing sense that teaching may be one’s last resort needs to be backtrack, and it is only in doing these so, the qualified and the deserve ones will stand a chance thus paving way for the entire system to move right on track.
Again, within the context of our present Mara land, it would be desirable on the part of our MADC if it lays more emphasis for the development of the education sector by simply not altering or incorporating new syllabus under its jurisdiction, but by strictly adhering to the rules governing the existing system and investing more time, ideas and funds to promote higher and quality education. It cannot afford to discourage, disregard or underestimate the increasing young breeds of brilliant students who are blessed with highly calibre and immense capacity if it wishes to have more big-shots, capable and competent leaders for our better tomorrow, but needs to look into their socio-economic status and provide necessary assistance to the needy rather than indulging recklessly and selfishly in trivial affairs.
Truly, Education is our lifeline and commercialisation or Politicization of it would mean detrimental. It should never be allowed to be juggled at the hands of politics and the influential few. It is therefore crucial that every section of our society converge to join hands and strive forward to embark on higher avenues in the Educational field. A vibrant and visionary society, equipped with the armour of righteousness, loyalty, hard work, and dynamism will bolster the overall development of our education system, which is the basic foundation of Mara Land’s social, cultural, economic and political welfare.
An Appeal :
Dear friends, taking advantage of the Mara Land website, I wrote this humble article as part of writing skill development work while preparing for Competitive exams. Corrections to grammatical errors, word compositions or structural set-ups, advices and suggestions, etc. for the further improvement of my writing skill, and any concrete suggestions or comments which may augment the value of the article will be highly appreciated and valued.
It is also my earnest request that you kindly and honestly allot marks to this write-up on the basis of; 2 for poor, 3 for not so good, 4 for average, 5 for good, 6 for very good, etc. at your discretion so that I can asses my weakness/strength and build on to do better in my future endeavours. And I look forward to participate more often in the coming days. Thanking you.
Note: The author of this article St. Beimosia Lapi (Pasia) s/o Macha L.Patha, New Colony, Siaha is currently taking UPSC coaching for Civil Service Exams in Delhi after obtaining M.Sc (Mathematics) from North Eastern Hills University, Shillong. Pasia is the younger brother of Puhpa L. Beimopha, IRS. He is also presently serving as the Secretary of Mara Christian Fellowship (MCF), Delhi. We thank him for contributing this article; and we wish him and all the civil service aspirtants the very best.