I was chatting with my friend few weeks ago. And our conversation shifted from daily routine of our lives to his daughter’s education.  He brought up an important issue that he came across in her school.  The teachers at school expressed their displeasure at the child’s inability to converse in English.  That came across as real shock for the father.  Since the day she was born till she stepped out of her home she was habituated listening to her mother tongue.

So whose fault is it, the parents’ or the child?  Or why it is fault at first place, is my question or rather concern.  English is just a language, isn’t it?  Practice it and master it and for the little kid she is it’s pretty easy.  But the modern education perhaps what we see nowadays is all about the obsession with one language “English”.  So much so  that speaking in English is now being taken as a yardstick of how knowledgeable a person is.

I have been in Belgium for almost nine years now.  One thing incredible that I have seen here is citizens respect for and pride in their language (they have two though 😀). I understand that  English language skills are required to be acquired to be at par on international platform but if any student feels comfortable to communicate in mother tongue when English is not required shouldn’t be looked upon down.  That could shatter his or her confidence beyond repair.

English is s just a language, period!

Change is what we need: I vividly remember one of my professor in college ranting one particular point that generation over generation is lapping yet the syllabus being taught isn’t changing.  It’s same for many decades,  reducing the knowledge gained to a mere piece of paper which we call Degree.  The nature of education system is mostly mechanical that produces graduates year after year who struggle to face the high-end demands of the job market.  We need more courses that enable imparting of practical knowledge (read skills) making it possible for students to be job ready, therefore countering the unemployment issues.

Is Education imparting wisdom?  Probably No. Schools and Colleges nowadays are merely producing literates but not educated people who can distinguish between good and bad; right and wrong.  Reason could possibly be commercialisation of Education.  Believe it or not Education is one of the thriving business. Especially schools where fear of parents for  future of their kids is tapped and cashed against the promises of all bright and glossy future. After pocketing sizeable income of parents pressure pedal is pushed real hard with kids underneath it to generate hollow grades.  Pressure deprives the joy of learning.

Teaching is no more a holy occupation for many but has been reduced to a mere profession like any other 9-5 job.  The connect which we had with our teachers, the regard and respect which we hold for them is beyond any word could possibly explain is missing now for sure (rapidly dwindling away).  Their interest was not just our grades but they intended to carve a strong positive personalities out of us.  And when such intention goes amiss there is every chance of students going stray.

To an extent parents are also responsible for such a state of education.  The penchant to be associated with brand (government schools are for people of no class is the general idea floating) and once admission is done after massive donations are offered a majority of parents feel their young ones and their behaviour is the sole responsibility of school.  And this attitude is a big “NO”. Nothing can absolutely absolve parents of their responsibility towards their young ones.

What should be the purpose of Education after all? There’s a saying in my mother tongue (Telugu) that a person without education is a weird animal.  It clearly shows that the purpose of Education is to make a person – a human, build his or her personality, impart wisdom apart from skill.  But the education this generation is receiving is quite hollow and shallow.  The content in books is not enabling our kids to learn about our deep rooted culture, our roots, the reality.  It’s not giving them a reason to be proud of their very own identity, their country.  There’s nothing beyond few people in history and the number of times the country was looted.

Is this scenario good for young and impressionable minds?

Time to think – parents, educational institutions, government.