To Study Or Not To Study That Is The Question

Despite the loopholes in our education system regarding the syllabus and teaching methodology, one cannot but grudgingly accept that the system has worked.

When students finish their 12th standard or their pre-university studies it is a standard practice in urban India to pursue a regular under graduate course or a professional course depending on the student’s calibre, affordability and interest. But the order of the day seems to be undergoing a metamorphosis.

Increasing job opportunities with an enviable pay packet is luring more and more students with a lot of potential towards the job scenario. Many promising scientists, doctors, engineers, chartered accountants, historians among other professionals are giving up their education midway. The results of the board examinations and the entrance examinations of various professional courses which oscillated towards the rural sectors of the State spoke volumes about the changing trend.

It is certainly heartening to note that the number of rural students taking up higher studies and professional courses is steadily on the increase, but how wise is it for capable urban students to discontinue their studies or continue their studies through correspondence courses? A recent survey shows that the typical middle class Indian still considers education to be a passport to decent employment and a successful future which automatically translates into a better standard of living. People have not lost their faith in education, but when they see that they can reach their goals of getting a good pay without going through the exercise prescribed by the education system, then they do not mind opting for the new option.

Nevertheless, many youngsters are now pursuing their undergraduate courses through correspondence courses from several universities across India. Several students who sweated it out and got into the much coveted courses are found to be dropping out of the course in pursuit of filling up their coffers after the third or fourth semester and continuing their studies by being “external students.”

At the outset nothing much appears to be wrong with this trend. Yet, we have been a race that has placed a great deal of faith in the significance of education. All discerning Indian parents take it upon themselves to give the best possible education for their children sometimes even when their children are in their twenties. Indian children for their part have not been a disappointing lot either. The world has taken cognisance of the language and mathematical skills of the Indian student. Despite the innumerable loopholes in our education system regarding the syllabus, teaching methodology, which is being discussed threadbare by all concerned one cannot but grudgingly accept that the system has worked. Otherwise we will not be found constantly grumbling about the consistent “brain drain” that is taking place in the country over the decades.

The performance analysis of Indian students who do very well in higher studies and research programmes shows that it is their uninterrupted stint in school and college coupled with a constant evaluation system which is the cause for their consistent and commendable performance at a later stage. Educators, mentors and guides feel that the present trend of giving up studies for the “green bucks” can turn to be detrimental to the student clan to a large extent in the long run.

Though parents, teachers and sociologists appreciate the independent spirit of the youngsters, they are able to see that the money is getting to the heads of their kids. The economically enabled young lot not only indulges in luxuries like buying branded ware but also do not hesitate to try out a few vices like drugs, pubs among other things.

It is true that a university education does not guarantee a high moral character nor does it assure that the degree holder has academic excellence. Every graduate cannot automatically claim a well paid job or declare his/her competence to conduct research on any given subject. The number of Indian universities that can match the list of the world’s best universities can be counted on our fingers. Despite all this there is certainly something very disciplining about the system with all its faults. Though it is difficult to put a finger on what exactly makes the system work — the fact remains that it works — and works pretty well for that matter. 

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