What is news today? What constitutes the headlines in today’s newspaper? What is the focus of today’s morning or evening show on TV? With what are we bombarded day in and day out by news channels? Let us ask this question to likes of Marx and we will understand why and how news is made and what makes it sellable.
Let’s minimize the focus on education sector and raise a question about how much this sector should be in news and how much attention does it get in reality. Let’s question the absence of this beat from the media products. Let’s question our level of responsibility and conscience, if we claim that we care. And finally, let’s suggest means to highlight follies in education system and make this field newsworthy.
Universities students are unhappy over nonexistence of academic culture in their respective institution. Only an insignificant percentage of students is really motivated to learn-rest study by compulsion. Caged they feel most of the times while listening to lectures forcibly as teachers too seem to be teaching under compulsion. Preferably, the teachers would be happy as administrators or professionals in some other discipline, but not in teaching.
Classrooms scare the students and that is why they celebrate news about a picnic or about strikes. On a serious note, there are many factors that have turned the classrooms into ‘confinement cells’. These include censoring the right to ask questions, teachers resorting to regurgitation of copied notes or book content rather than stimulating critical thinking, rote or memorization of notes without understanding is norm among students while creative means to evaluate students in exams are discouraged.
These are few problems which effectively are leading our education system towards destruction. The utilitarian instrumental understanding of education divorced from its moral, spiritual founts, selling of wisdom to make money in private schools and confining education for the purpose of attaining just a job is what our education system has been restricted to nowadays. Banishing of philosophical orientation in any discipline from our academic institutions and reducing the subjects to ‘lifeless’ commodities is another aspect that hampers the growth of our education system.
Ironically, students love everything except book reading while as teachers are unwilling to update their knowledge and skill set, thus they failing to handle or entertain the inquisitive students. There are so many problems that force us to argue whether it is education imparted in our institutions or if it is destruction.
Moreover, teaching aids like latest technology is never put to use to help the students. While rest of the world has turned into a global village after using the internet, Why are our schools shying away from travelling on the information superhighway. If not in villages, why aren’t the City or town schools connected to the internet where the sea of knowledge is just a click away.
Online lectures delivered by experts and studded with Audio-Visual aid are available either free or for a nominal fee. Such facilities aren’t provided to students. If this isn’t possible, a teacher can prepare presentations in a beautiful format that appealing both the senses and intellect and will encourage the classroom culture.
What purpose Bachelors or Masters degree in Education serve if such things aren’t not ensured? What is the need of inspection committees in the Directorates if they don’t facilitate and encourage such teaching aids? Why is the focus of Directorate of Education only on transfers and promotions while ignoring fundamentals of education?
How many seminars have been organized to refresh or orient the teaching competence towards a better change, why aren’t e-classes a reality, why do we see dearth of knowledge oriented infrastructure? Why do we fail to produce thinkers or intellectuals? There are so many questions but no answers.
In such a chaos, complaining about leadership, employers, employees, bureaucrats, corruption seems immature when we are aware that fault lies with the education system- a system which differentiates a human being from an animal.
I have serious reservations with schemes like Rehber-e-Taleem. Compromises were made on qualifications of a nation builder just to ensure employment of few.
Having discussed all these issues, I am forced to ask that why isn’t our education system in news. If media considers such issues trivial then doesn’t it act as an instrument of the ideology that is fundamentally exploitative or class linked?