Our beloved Indian education system. A cruel and heartless soul laundry of a factory that heaps loads of work for the young minds without leaving them any other option except to memorize the most mundane details about some meaningless piece of information. The monster-manufacturing unit that works 24/7 day and night tirelessly dishing out new assignments and new ways to torture the developmental process. With time, this process has only become more meaningless and more abundant. The aim of this article is not to offer solutions since the solutions are not out there. They are within us. Solutions that help the future understand that succeeding is not everything.
As all the University Exams results have been declared these are a few headlines which may be of interest to you.
A 23-year-old Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur (IIT-K) student, Shailesh Sharma, on Wednesday committed suicide by hanging himself in his hostel room. A resident of Pande Mohal, Nariya in Varanasi, the deceased was a final year student of dual degree programme at the chemical engineering department. IIT-K officials claimed that the student might have taken the extreme step under depression after coming to know that he had failed in two courses —advanced thermodynamics and advanced fluid-mechanics.
LUCKNOW: Pankaj Kumar, 23, a student of Bachelor of Technology (electrical) in Babu Benarasi Das College in Chinhat, committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling of his rented room in Chinhat area on Monday. He belongs to Etah district. An elaborate suicide note was found in the room. According to the suicide note, he had done badly in his first semester exams.
NEW DELHI: A college-girl in west Delhi Thursday committed suicide a day before her English exam, police here said. Heena Singh, 20, who hanged herself in her Uttam Nagar home, was a second year BA (Bachelor of Arts degree) student at the Delhi University's School of Correspondence Studies, the police said.
BANGALORE: At 85 per cent, Nandita Nandkishore is among the rank students of the CBSE Class XII batch of 2005-2006 of National Public School, Indiranagar. The results were declared on Tuesday, but it was
too late for the 18-year-old. It may be little solace to the grieving family of the "meritorious and ever-smiling" Nandita — as the associate principal of NPS, Shantha Chandran would like to remember her — that their eldest daughter scored a high percentage in her board exams.
Do you notice a pattern here? What is it? Death? Of course. But what else do you notice? Look harder. You will have to do better than this. I request you to please look harder. You will have to look beyond this article, beyond these headlines and into the lives of hundreds of such stories in our country that happen at the same time every year to be really able to see the pattern that is stitched into this disturbing fabric.
The students we are talking about are from one of the best educational institutions in India, and getting into these institutions is by no means easy. So let me say that after doing very well in school and clearing (passing) University Aptitude Exams these students get into the program of their choice and then go for a college education which they hope will bring them all the happiness that life has to offer.
You will have to go beyond the news to comprehend the mindset of these individuals. Young men and women destined to bring glory and unsurpassable intellectual fortune to India; they now remain as mere names in a forgotten headline with other peers who took that path. Bodies dangling from a ceiling fan somewhere or a carcass that
resurfaced from a grim lake outside the city.
In many parts of the world India is seen as the next super power, in the international market India is seen as the powerful underbelly of the knowledge pool that floods the subcontinent. Commentators and Experts shouting themselves hoarse as to when will India will emerge as a super power. When there is job market is flooded with jobs, with the technology sector booming, with thousands of jobs and not enough people, with the economy in stable, what a time to live it up and enjoy life to the hilt.
Then what was wrong with these people, were they melancholic's to whom life was a mere rat race (winning in which was the most important thing in life) is it not so these were all young citizens of a country with opportunity's, they faced the challenges of life like every student does. I may be no expert educationist out to prove myself correct whatever the reason, the fact is that young men and women dying just because of exams and marks points towards the signs of a mental disease afflicting the society.
And the most important reason I feel for this is lack of understanding of a student's psyche before they are subjected to the lengthy torture of India's educational system. There are many factors that drive a person to do such an unthinkable act. Strict parents who condition their children from Kindergarten that succeeding is everything. Failure is not an option
The second obvious factor is our beloved education system. A cruel and heartless soul laundry of a factory that heaps loads of work for the young minds without leaving them any other option except to memorize the most mundane details about some meaningless piece of information. The monster-manufacturing unit that works 24/7 day and night tirelessly dishing out new assignments and new ways to torture the developmental process. With time this process has only become more meaningless and more abundant.
As one eminent educationist has said that the "system is dependent on failing a large no of children" He uses the word children mainly because 17- 18 old is not a man in any sense of the word.
The only question I have for all these factors is - Are we training these individuals to live or to die?
What use is this 'cutting edge' concept making in India if it turns out to be an evil which is cutting the throats of our future? What is the point of such a meaningless rat race if it is going to end up becoming one vicious never ending cycle of distress and suffering? What is it that eventually matters? And who decides that?
The aim of this article is not to offer solutions since the solutions are not out there. They are within us. Solutions that help the future understand that succeeding is not everything.
p.s-with excerpts from Shashi Krishna