If the answer to the above questions is yes, then the country is certainly going in the wrong direction and may have to face dire consequences in the time to come. Education, meant to broaden the outlook and perspective of an individual, has reduced to a tool for securing a better job. Forget about those who don’t have access to education, most of those who are pursuing higher education are doing so only in the hope of getting a good job with the degree which they will receive after passing out. The love for the quest of knowledge has been lost somewhere between the glitterati of high paying jobs. The stream in which one wants to pursue one’s higher education is decided by the pay package which one is supposed to receive at the end. And that is why most of the students are running after a degree in engineering or management now-a-days, without having the right aptitude.
There is nothing wrong in choosing a particular degree program because it provides better job opportunities in the market. But the real problem arises when the so called ‘better job opportunities’ don’t cater to the interest of the person. And with the gradual passage of time, the life becomes monotonous and the lucrative looking job previously now seems to be a dull boring activity. Some of the daring people then return to what they actually wanted to do from the very beginning. But in this process, they loose some of the very precious years of their lives, running after the mirage of a rich and happy life.
So, who is at fault in all this? I would say the society as a whole is responsible. And here, by society, I mean everyone right from the family to school to the neighbourhood. Everyone around a high scoring kid sees him/her as a future engineer or MBA. And subjects like social sciences, literature and languages are supposed to be passed only. And when the child sees such hopes and aspirations from everyone around him/her, he/she has no option left other than killing his dreams and ambitions and doing what is expected of him/her.
This trend is not only bad for the younger generation of the country but also very dangerous for the country in the global competitive scenario. As Jerry Rao, the cofounder of MphasiS, the big Indian outsourcing firm puts it (taken from the book ‘The World is Flat’ by Thomas L Friedman): “We have no one going into liberal arts and everyone going into engineering and MBAs.” He adds, “If we don’t have enough people with the humanities, we will loose the next generation of V S Naipauls and Amartya Sen. That is sad and dangerous”
In this scenario, it becomes very important for the parents and the teachers to help the child recognise his interest and encourage him or her to move forward in that field instead of pushing the child in the so called ‘high paying’ fields which don’t interest the child. And then only can the Right to ‘Right’ Education be secured in the true meaning of the words.