By Syed Mustafa Ahmad –
The main aim of education is enlightenment. Enlightenment means the clouds of ignorance must go away. Ignorance in the sense of superstitions, gender bias, immorality, communalism, unfair means, etc. If these things still persist in the presence of education, then there is something terribly wrong with the education system. It is not the malaise of some days, but the handiwork of many factors that have been constantly going for many years. The criteria to know about the compatibility of education in the society is to see etiquettes or manners. In another sense, if there are mannered people, then this society is learned, if not then we can easily say that this society has to overhaul their every domain of life in order to grow.
When this is the case, how can a society afford to ignore education? In Kashmir, the relevance of education had been lost long ago. Corruption, proxy candidates, question paper leakages, faulty recruitment, etc., have made our educational system a commodity to be bargained. After getting into the educational sector through illegal ways, how these people can do anything for society. When their motives are to earn back the money, which they have spent in getting jobs, we cannot expect from them to do anything positive. This situation has many causes. Let us try to know some of them.
The first is materialism. When the main motive of life is to earn money, education itself follows the path of money. Every moral or immoral class runs around money and nothing else. In this way, education loses its main value and the society doesn’t produce enlightenment personalities that are assets for a nation.
The second is faulty syllabi. With changing times, everything must undergo a reasonable change. However, in case of education, the change is quite slow. In the 21st Century, when AI and Machine Learning are occupying our minds, we cannot go on admonishing machines nor we can go on following them blindly. A man is planning to colonize the Mars, the Venus, etc., in order to live a happy life, but in some parts of the world, students are taught to learn about the things that have no relevance in the present. In this way, students get fed up and they think that it is futile to learn and consume our marvellous brains in such things that are of no use, but money and fake fame.
The third is religion. Religiosity in the garb of religions, has made lives hellish. Religions are for the sake of comfort, but due to orthodoxy and superstitions, they have hijacked the whole society. Students are taught that science is atheism. It makes a person atheist. It is better to prepare ourselves for the Hereafter. In this situation, students fall prey to them. They abhor scientific things like medicine, smartphones, electricity, televisions, etc. And the result is that science and technology and other disciplines, that have come to our rescue, become the soft targets.
The fourth and last is our attitude. We never ponder over things and become fascinated by some charming words or slogans. If we had pondered over everything, we would not have reached the present situation. We work in haste and regret at the end of the day.
So, the need of the hour is to make education relevant. Without education, it is quite unthinkable to grow and develop. We have live examples of America, USA, Britain, Singapore, etc., that are doing quite well in this regard. They have made it possible not to let education become the soft target of any kind of disturbance. They have set a goal before them and are living for that goal. Their mornings and evenings revolve around that goal. Last but not the least, they are corruption free. They don’t allow corruption to seep into their countries and decompose the tall pillars of society. They are strongly opposite to it. So, it is an opportunity for us to show our mettle in the competitive world. If not, history will remember us losers. Are we ready for this tag?
(Views expressed are personal. Email: [email protected])