I need to express my views on the speculations and apprehensions about the indifferent policies of our successive governments. They are deliberately shying away from their responsibility of facilitating and funding higher education with private players taking over the sector. It is the foremost responsibility of both state and central governments to ensure that every section of society could avail affordable primary and higher education. Currently, the government institutes are facing huge hardships due to lack of funding and insouciant approach of the concerned authorities. Unfortunately, our elected representatives and bureaucratic set up is patronizing and extending undue privileges to private education lobby for the reasons best known to them. Private education sector is stretching it’s wings in every domain and surpassing the public education sector at an exceedingly fast pace.
Funding to aided institutes across the country is gradually decreasing and they are being viewed as a liability for the government treasury. Vacant faculty positions, lack of infrastructure and outdated equipment are already affecting such institutes. Whereas, private institute’s offer impressive infrastructure, better equipment and facilities. They are appearing as an alternative for students across the spectrum due to public sector institutes facing severe crisis and government apathy. State and central government must take a call by investing extensively into this sector for nation building and better society. A value driven education is essential to save our moral, ethical essence and cultural ethos.
Privatization will lead to Commercialization: The current attitude and policies of all state and Central governments, prima facie indicates that they have single mindedly decided to abandon the responsibility of higher education and hand it over to private players. The influential, capitalistic private lobby comprises of big corporate houses and crony industrialists who are eager to sell the education like a commercial commodity. As such, education will become a dearer and a distant dream for the poor, downtrodden and marginal sections of the society. Education is a long term investment in terms of building a nation and for the objective of inculcating values for the formation of a civilized and humble society. Mushrooming private institutes in education sector will ruin the academic freedom and erode the quality benchmarks. Most private institute’s are virtually educational industries whose sole motive is to earn money and are least concerned about the comprehensive transfer of knowledge, skills by compromising with the true essence and ethos of education.
Education is a non-profit investment for nation building: Even if the government has decided to adopt a unilateral approach then also the transformation of education system, autonomy to private Universities, colleges ought to be done in a careful and systematic manner. Present public education system is suffering big setbacks due to the lackadaisical attitude of successive governments and their so-called regressive and faulty policies. It is a well known fact that most privately governed institutes have indeed, transformed the education into a commercial commodity. Providing skills and imparting values into citizens is indeed an obligation of the government. One must take into account that education is a non-profit investment, or either an investment for a comprehensive nation building.
Quality in education will be eroded:Excluding few notable institutes, most private universities and colleges sincerely lack academic freedom, moral and quality benchmarks. Private institutes employ fresh and young job seekers who are highly underpaid despite having top qualifications and degrees. Most of the faculty is subjected to intense pressure and non academic related duties. A teacher has been entrusted upon the task to build a moral, social and matured society by imparting quality education. One who is assigned to motivate and encourage the students, is himself a victim of uncertainty and dilemma. Private houses will neither ensure regular grade, dignity, security of service, nor any respectable working hour norm. Faculty at the mercy of such dominant private managements will be dealt with hire and fire policy. Encouraging and promoting private players in education on the narrative that prestigious foreign private Universities are highly successful due to complete autonomy and self regulating mechanism is highly unconvincing, and hold no merit in present India. It is a blatant and viciously biased excuse to support and oblige the private lobby. Indian private educational institutes rank far behind when compared to renowned foreign Universities in terms of quality and academic benchmarks. It is a fact that even distinguished Indian technical and non-technical Indian institutes does not even qualify the list of top educational institutes of the world.
Monopoly in Education-sector: Privatization will lead to monopoly of certain individuals and groups whose central aim is to garner financial benefits and take over the education system. In India, in absence of any firm private education regulatory body the private institutes in general does not comply with the policies or welfare schemes of the state and central governments for the poor and downtrodden. There is an impression that government in future is not willing to provide any financial assistance and support to the government-aided colleges and universities. Government should not succumb to strong and influential private sector lobby. Also it should stress much on the vocational and professional courses which may attract more employment and career opportunities.
Lack of reforms has played havoc: Indian education has yet been affected and not able to overcome the British-era system which was brought in by Macaulay. This approach holds no meaning in the present India, which is marked by start-ups, indigenous entrepreneurship programs and new ideas to realize a new generation which can indeed motivate and produce job creators than job seekers. This pedagogy of education is irrelevant and unproductive as it is plagued by bookish knowledge with wards exposed to extreme rote system. No stress on practical training and skill development has lead thousands of Indian graduates, postgraduate unfit for even small services and meager jobs. Meanwhile, draft of National Education Policy 2019, represents a regressive approach of Central government towards education. It will strengthen the capitalistic structure of education. Besides, public sector will continue to suffer.
KARAN SINGH VINAYAK