oppn parties Whither Education? Nincompoop Teachers, Incompetent Students & Indifferent Society

News Snippets

  • Former Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Akhtar proposes an Indo-Pak ODI series to raise funds for fighting coronavirus
  • Maharashtra government says many Tablighi Jamaat members who attended the Markaz and returned have gone into hiding
  • West Bengal government identifies hotspots in Kolkata and the rest of the state, inclined to extend the lockdown in those places only
  • Prime Minister Modi holds a video conference with floor leaders of opposition parties, hints at extending the lockdown
  • UP seals hotspots and makes masks mandatory
  • Masks made compulsory in Mumbai, violators will be arrested
  • ICMR says an infected person can infect 406 people in 30 days without social distancing and lockdown
  • Stock markets make a smart recovery. Sensex up by record 2476 points on global cues
  • Schools, colleges and shopping malls likely to remain closed for a further period of one month, says empowered group of ministers
  • PM Modi tells BJP workers that India is in for a long battle against the coronavirus and there is no scope to feel tired or defeated
  • PM Modi asks ministers to focus on exports and new areas and sectors
  • PM Modi asks ministers to prepare business continuity plan post the lifting of the lockdown
  • Corona cases in India cross 4000 and the death toll stands at 124
  • The government decides to double the testing of corona suspects from 10000 now to 20000 in the next three days
  • Flipkart assures employees that there will be no job or salary cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19: 773 new cases and 32 deaths in the last 24 hours, reports the health ministry
oppn parties
Whither Education? Nincompoop Teachers, Incompetent Students & Indifferent Society

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2016-07-01 21:02:41

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
In picture: Arrested Bihar topper Ruby Rai

What is happening in the education field in Bihar and UP? First it was reported that the toppers in Bihar board examinations could not answer simple questions relating to subjects they topped in. Then, after a retest, Ruby Rai, one of the toppers, was arrested. Then, Harihar Nath Jha, the former Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) secretary, was arrested. Now, it has come to light that some teachers in India’s largest state, Uttar Pradesh, do not know answers to simple questions related to their subjects. They were even found wanting in general knowledge. All this after the Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh shows that many things are seriously wrong with the way the education system functions in large parts of the country.

Ruby Rai is reported to have told reporters that she just asked her father to get her passed, but he made her a topper instead. This points to the fact that not only are papers leaked, large scale copying takes place and sometimes proxies sit for the exam instead of the real candidate, even marks are scaled up while evaluating answer sheets to pass candidates. There is a thriving parallel economy for all this and coaching centres are fronting as pimps for board officials in striking neat arrangements with candidates and their parents.

What kind of next generation are we breeding when college seats are being auctioned to the highest bidder, mark sheets are tweaked, papers are leaked, copying is not seriously frowned upon and prevented, proxies gain access to test centres and teachers are not properly, and periodically thereafter, evaluated to see if they are fit to teach?

Just pouring in billions of rupees of taxpayer money into the education system to fulfill or even dress up social indicators is not going to do. Since our system is full of corruption, it breeds incompetent teachers who in turn produce stupid students. People who get into the parallel system of education – read coaching centres – make huge sums of money, while the net result is that the country is saddled with people who are supposedly graduates in some stream of study but are knowledge-less nevertheless.

PM Modi has identified this problem and has given focus on skill development to make the youth employable. But even there, one is not sure what kind of skill, and to what level, is being imparted by the so-called skill development centres mushrooming in every nook and corner of the country. One is skeptical that how we suddenly got so may trained teachers to teach such skills to novices. It may turn out to be another scam to corner the subsidies being handed out by the government to skill the youth. Unless a proper evaluation audit is done to certify centres, skill development will have no meaning.

The government should analyze the problem deeply. Both the degree courses and the skill development courses should be subjected to proper audit. Examination and evaluation of candidates needs better parameters and standards. If we recognize that it is learning more than passing examinations that is the basis of education, then we should teach rather than coach. A student who has knowledge will never be afraid of taking examinations. It is only those who do not learn but prefer to be coached that suffer from the so-called examophobia. In this, the society is also to be blamed. If, as Ruby Rai said, fathers can get their wards passed in examinations by paying people in the proper channel, and if wards know this, why will they learn or even want to be coached?