Education is not only about degrees, duh!
The political turf-row and the cacophony kicked up over Smriti Irani’s educational qualifications and compatibility for her job at the MHRD are fundamental misnomers. If anybody examines her life and rise to celebrity, s/he would be convinced of the fact that she is educated with enough natural skills to be where she is today, and that is a greater achievement than those of many degreedharis in the previous Cabinets of the country.
Degrees do not make you educated, it is your skills at ideating the novelty and the unique which do. Yours skills at service to people needs to be tested. It is your social awareness and willingness to respond to the society around make you educated. Smriti’s efforts would expectedly be more to put the right talents, who would deliver, at right places. She would expectedly rise up to the need of the country’s youngs and youths, who need skills education enough to secure gainful jobs as they grow up and deliver with excellence.
For that the country today needs logistic supports from the government, which Smriti would be in a better place to deliver, for she has gone through the needs at her times which the youths lookup to meet today. India needs to reform the draconian British Education system that was instituted in the country by Macaulay only to create celebrated babus driven away from grassroots requirements but to speed up colonial agenda. If we classify skills education just as vocational education or studies, we would probably make a half-approach to the current need. Skills education is inbuilt in general education. It begins from the primary stage from do-it-yourself types, and awareness of certain socio-environmental issues intrinsic to human life. Why do we find Ramakrishna Mission Vidyapith students fare better at any given competition in education and life than many other English medium schools and colleges? It is because the sense of quality at delivering been intrinsic to their education systems.
We can also take leaves for examples from the socio-educational histories of, at least, the two largest economies of the world – one capitalist form of economy, the USA, and the other recently-opened up fast rising economy, that is of China. In both, despite difference in socio-environmental life, child is the prime subject to be coached into quality education. It is quality of household behaviours, quality of day to day tasks at schools and college levels, quality on understanding what is nationally and socially good and what is not correct approach to an issue, etc. all that matter most.
India had all this well in place before the foreigners started invading the country one after another since Darius. Both Hiuen Tsang, in 7th century, and later, in the early 19th century, Macaulay, recorded the unique India, which had centres of excellence and learning. India was well-placed to showcase to the world its wealth of knowledge and wisdom, far-reaching out to the heterogeneous humanities.
Today’s India still retains those worlds of excellence, but in isles forms. We have isles of excellence – world-class doctors and surgeons, Nobel laureates in academics and sciences, top visionaries in healthcare-researches, environments, great visionary teachers – almost in all walks of life. Yet we lack in coordination, which is the result of muddled skills at understanding what is quality.
About 30 per cent to 40 per cent patients’ deaths occur due to over-medication, shabby post-treatment or post-operative nursing, lack of hygienic laundry or housekeeping at hospitals/nursing homes/PHCs, wrong-dietary care, and extorting business-mindedness at healthcare. All these continued to happen in the country for over 65 years, despite excellently educated were in the helms of country’s governance.
The country suffers from general apathy to societal responsibility of people. Selfishness and lack of transparency at public works have nullified relevance of Gandhian thoughts of social responsibilities and awareness. We need to correct all this. And in this our media must conform to national calls and just not work for make revenues by sensational stories. It is almost for decades the important media houses have virtually stopped writing on Gandhian concept of economy or Tagore’s concept of education.
Talking blandly, at schools and colleges there has to be responsible approach to result-orientation, not only at per cent age in examinations but also at general value system. Teachers must attend their classes, must not flout their tasks at delivering complete approach to syllabi, take student’s problems in one to one situations. At least these are possible when they take home hefty sums as salaries after the Fifth Pay Commission, every month. IPA