Every single yr all around this time, when the outcomes of unique board exams come, a disturbing dilemma haunts me. Is it that in the method of starting to be “toppers”, thriving “exam warriors” have shed one thing genuinely worthwhile for leading a meaningful existence? Or is it that we — more than-ambitious mother and father decreasing our little ones into some type of “investment”, and coaching centres marketing them as fancy “brands” — have greatly pampered them, and designed it just about impossible for them to realise that there is some thing extra in lifetime than what this sector-driven age regards as measurable “success”? And in the age of instantaneity, who could avoid tv anchors from projecting these youngsters as some type of “gurus” advising their contemporaries on how to be “focused” and “successful”?
As I reflect on the deeper that means of studentship, I really feel like demythologising these “success stories”. Indeed, a university student ought to have a feeling of speculate in her eyes. It is only this speculate that can grow her horizon, activate her curiosity, and inspire her to enter the area of science and poetry, historical past and geography, or tunes and carpentry. Similarly, with this surprise, a scholar should to increase new concerns — even disturbing questions that might unsettle the position quo.
Having said that, the irony is the widespread follow of instruction characterised by regimented educational facilities and utilitarian coaching centres kills these two features very early in the life of a pupil. How can there be marvel if proper from nursery courses the little ones of the aspiring course are instructed to internalise that every thing has presently been resolved for them — say, “A” suggests The us, “I” is IIT, and “M” is MBA? Or, for that subject, how can they be inspired to request new inquiries relating to society, ethics and modes of residing, if they are continuously pressurised to think in the narrative of one particular-dimensional existence — to live is to be hyper-competitive to live is to defeat many others, and go in advance, and to reside is to worship funds? It is unfortunate that the sample of training we have normalised does not allow a flower to bloom instead, it is only about “strategic learning” and “success formula”. No surprise, in a modern society that worships the visibility of “success”, these seriously pampered “toppers” typically get rid of a feeling of humility, the potential to realise that every person, which include people who have “failed”, has a story to inform.
Certainly, in the approach of getting “successful”, the “toppers” — until they are fortunate to locate immensely delicate mom and dad or some daring instructors — have by now been defeated. Just lately, I was seeing a tv job interview with a “topper” from West Bengal. Apart from subsequent the faculty plan, he goes to seven private tutors he spends virtually 10 to 12 hrs every single day for his analyze, and he does not have a lot of pals for the reason that he does not “waste” his time. I felt like crying. The procedure has killed his childhood, his wonderful adolescent days, and his pleasure and ponder. In his psychological landscape, there is no tree that whispers, no river that tells a story, and there is no sunrise, no sunset. Is it that our “toppers” are becoming like robotic performers — measuring the “utility” of each and every fragment of a next for resolving a physics numerical, or improving the pace of ticking “correct” responses in the OMR sheet?
Not incredibly, I see complete homogenisation or standardisation in their daily life-pursuits. Belief me, I have been waiting for rather some time: probably one particular working day a “topper” would enchant me by means of her aspiration: “Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Satyajit Ray fascinate me, I much too want to become a filmmaker” or “Medha Patkar and Sunderlal Bahuguna inspire me, and I want to work for sustainable progress and ecological balance” or “Professor C V Raman and Professor S N Bose are my function versions, and I want to turn out to be a scientist.” No, it has not yet took place. Rather, just about like a parrot, a “topper”, it appears, would repeat the tales of the exact standardised ambition: “I want to become a health care provider or an engineer or an IAS officer.” This standardisation frightens me. It is seriously unhappy to see them without rebelliousness, without alternate creativeness, and without having the type of madness that defies the pathology of normalcy.
What variety of modern society have we designed! For us, religion is very little but loud and demonstrative ritualism — a type of id marker patriotism is a violent gesture toward the invented “enemies” of the country mainstream politics is devoid of the slightest trace of ethics, and gross inequality is normalised. As creative dissenters are despatched to jail, all the things is turned into its reverse: Vice into virtue, ugliness into natural beauty, or narcissism into humility. A modern society of this kind has to destroy all emancipatory ideals and techniques of education and learning. No speculate, now Tagore’s Shantiniketan is just like any other noisy and turbulent university or, for that make any difference, it is challenging to spread Jiddu Krishnamurti’s ideals of education and get it beyond the decide on elite centres of finding out and as Gandhi has been fossilised and museumised, none bothers to recall the pedagogic experiment he initiated in the Tolstoy Farm in South Africa.
The end result is that Kota, the town in Rajasthan known for all that is hideous about our instruction program, is noticed to be a web site of salvation Ed Tech organizations with their magical “success manuals” hypnotise the middle course and the assembly line of the “toppers” reveals the hollowness of this lifetime-killing race.
Pathak, a retired JNU professor, writes on education and learning and culture