• kewal sethi

delinking education and job hunting


delinking education and job hunting

kewal krishan sethi

what is education? it is like the proverbial elephant being described by six persons. each one is correct and yet each one misses the big picture. there are at least eight main philosophies of education in the western world. starting with idealism of plato, kent and hegel, we have rrealism of aristotle, ibn sina, and locke, naturalism of rousseau; pragmatism of john dewey, ; existentialism of karl jasper, ; postmodernism of martin heidegger, ; progressism of jerome bruner, ; essentialism of william bagley and many others. ivan illich talks of 'de-schooling' of society while bertrand russell dwells on 'ornamental' education versus 'useful' education. there is a school of thought that wants to convert the whole educational process into a thinking process. a brief description of some of these philosophies follows –

according to plato, talent was distributed non-genetically and thus must be found in children born in any social class. the state should take them over as the guardian and give education according to the capability of the student. education would be holistic, including facts, skills, physical discipline, music and art.

immanuel kant believed that education differs from training in that the former involves thinking whereas the latter does not. in addition to educating reason, which was of central importance to him, was the development of character and teaching of moral maxims. kant was a proponent of public education and of learning by doing.

aristotle philosophy is called realism which considered human nature, habit and reason to be equally important forces to be cultivated in education. thus, for example, he considered repetition to be a key tool to develop good habits. one of education's primary missions, perhaps its most important, was to produce good and virtuous citizens for the polis.

according to john locke, the little and almost insensible impressions on our tender infancies have very important and lasting consequences. he argued that the "associations of ideas" that one makes when young are more important than those made later because they are the foundation of the self.

naturalism of rousseau, as outlined in his book 'emile', prescribes that all children are perfectly designed organisms, ready to learn from their surroundings so as to grow into virtuous adults. education in the first two stages should appeal to the senses: only when one is about 12, the tutor should begin to work to develop his mind.

pragmatism philosophy of dewey stated that education, in its broadest sense, is the means of the "social continuity of life" given the "primary ineluctable facts of the birth and death of each one of the constituent members in a social group.

according to paulo freire, a deep reciprocity should be inserted into our notions of teacher and student; he comes close to suggesting that the teacher-student dichotomy be completely abolished, instead promoting the roles of the participants in the classroom as the teacher-student (a teacher who learns) and the student-teacher (a learner who teaches).

perennialists believe that one should teach the things that one deems to be of everlasting importance to all people everywhere. one should teach principles, not facts. people are people first, and workers second if at all, one should teach liberal topics first, not vocational topics. the focus is primarily on teaching reasoning and wisdom rather than facts, the liberal arts rather than vocational training.

jerome bruner, underpinned his notion for his concept of the spiral curriculum which posited the idea that a curriculum should revisit basic ideas, building on them until the student had grasped the full formal concept. he emphasized intuition as a neglected but essential feature of productive thinking.

educational essentialism is an educational philosophy whose adherents believe that children should learn the traditional basic subjects and that these should be learned thoroughly and rigorously. an essentialist program normally teaches children progressively, from less complex skills to more complex.

it will thus be seen that most of the philosophers insists on giving the basic knowledge about subjects and the values of life the primary place in education, and, to a greater extent, elementary education. the knowledge imparting of facts, in this scheme of reasoning, occupies a lower place.

in practice though, it will be seen that the ultimate object of all these philosophers is to produce a useful man, whether as captain of industry, a soldier or an administrator. the methodology differs but the aim is clear. in contrast, the indian idea of education was, in the olden times, linked with the final liberation. for indian mind, the soul, is indestructible and is ever seeking salvation, freedom from having a physical body. it is of the cosmic person that the philosophers talked of. this is best expressed in the writings of aurovindo. the absence of materialistic way of life is another prominent feature of indian system. the indian philosopher addresses the universality of mankind which is best reflected in the maxim 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbhakam'.

so what should be the real aim of education? without doubt the answer will be – 'to create a better person'. but then the question about the characteristics of better person will arise. whether it a person who can earn more, whether it is a person who can innovate and create; whether it a person who can interact better with other persons making for a healthy and peaceful society; whether it is a person who is at peace with himself; whether it is a person who can be a good leader or a good follower according to the what the occasion demands. no doubt all of these qualities are desirable but which of them should take priority. it is a question which should be debated seriously

before we do that, let us examine what the present situation is. education is considered to be the gateway to service. it used to be government service in the previous years. the aim of macauley was that the indians should be prepared for manning the lower positions in the government. the education, as devised by the british, was thus considered as a passport to employment. over the decades, this feeling has become ingrained in the public mind. the government service was the most attractive providing good remuneration along with security of service. the government of the day helped by having a regulation that no one in the private sector will be paid more than the highest paid government servant. with the opening up of the economy and the growth of the private sector, these regulations were withdrawn. instantly the wages in the private sector for the superior positions sky rocketed. this opened another avenue for the brilliant students. but the aim remained the same - finding a job.

along with the growth of the opportunities for the bright student, there was also the spatial growth. democratic ideals required that education should be expanded to cover the masses. previously the education was limited to cities and towns. in the rural areas the administrative structure was minimal and not many were needed to man the jobs therein. the job requirements also needed occasional visits and not a continuous presence. with the democratisation, the rural areas also received attention. education became available to a larger number. but the basic system of education did not change. jobs still retained their attraction. the bright student from the rural area migrated to a urban higher school and thence to a college. finding a job in the town, he forgot about his rural background. the villages remained where they were. the persons who benefited by education became city dwellers.

all through this, the thinkers felt that education was not proceeding on the right lines. they sought changes. but unfortunately, these changes were directed towards the goal that instead of the student working for a clerical job, he should be given training for becoming a skilled worker. maybe he would be able to start his own workshop or his own business. basic education, self sufficient schools, vocationalisation of education were all the results of this approach. physical labour, never being a strong point with indian way of thinking, thwarted these sporadic attempts and education remained essentially academic with the goal being finding a job.

this desire for service also acquired another aspect. the constant endeavour to get a suitable government or other job required specific educational qualifications. as the number of aspirants to these jobs increased, the persons who applied for and got selected were those who possessed higher educational qualification than the minimum required. it was implicitly accepted that higher the educational achievement, higher the intelligence and better capacity to perform the required job. thus the jobs where matriculation was prescribed as the minimum qualification received applications from those who had higher qualification – graduates and even post- graduates. not being able to find a job after matriculation, the students sought higher educational qualifications. this led to an ever increasing demand for university education.

the pressure on the universities increased to such a large extent that they could not cope with the rush. new universities were opened and correspondence courses were introduced but the demand for higher education outdid this endeavour. the remedy sought was to delink the jobs from degrees. as early as 1956, the public service committee reported that "the degree qualification should be abolished for lower and middle levels of public services (clerical jobs and junior officers), though it could continue for top level jobs (senior officers). the rationale behind the 10+2+3 pattern of edu­cation was also to make school education adequate for various lower level jobs so that the mad rush for enrolment with universities could be checked.

in 1973, the national committee on the 10+2+3 educational structure observed, "while university education is necessary for senior-level managerial and executive jobs, for tea­ching and for other purposes such as training scientists, engineers, economists, literary persons, etc., it should not be compulsory for all the rest."

the idea of delinking jobs from degrees was incorporated in the draft national policy on education in 1979 as well as the 1981 declaration of the national institute of educational plan­ning and administration. prime minister rajiv gandhi's categorical statements in favour of the proposal revived a fresh debate on the issue but all these efforts did not result in reforms in the education which could practically delink the education and the job requirements.

as long as the number of students in higher institutions was manageable, even the existing system of education did some good. it introduced the students to new vistas of knowledge, to uncharted worlds of experience. hence, it promised enlightened and liberated minds capable of commanding wider perspectives. but with the com­mercialisation of education, there has been such a lowering down of academic standards that a university degree is no longer a seal of high quality. many of the new universities which came up were not up to the mark. there was a case in which as many as eighty universities were set up in chhattisgarh in a matter of couple of years, some of them functioning from two rooms set.

in another development, the technical skills demanded of the workers became more sophisticated. this resulted in opening up of institutions which specialised in giving that sort of training. as the demand for such institutions went up, spurious institutions also joined in the game. the net result was the lowering of the standard of the training in these institutions. this has led to widespread dissatisfaction with the education in general and the demand for something better has become shriller. but once again the aim remains the same – better education, better jobs. The basic idea has not changed.

we return to the question -, is education just that - all about finding jobs, acquiring skills to better manage the profession one is in, be it agriculture, business, scientific research? the questions which should be asked are

does education mean passing knowledge about the world

does acquiring knowledge by absorbing information the sole aim of education

does a well- educated mind mean just a well- stocked mind.

to link education to job hunting is fundamentally against the objectives of education. to me the person who can read the ram charit manas in the evening after the hard day's job is as educated as the best of the writers, never mind his not hunting for a job. i am old fashioned in the sense that i think education and knowledge should be valued for their own sake. i think education is worth in itself. knowing french is better than not knowing french even if it does nothing for your career. it is unfortunate that career aspect is the litmus test for the value of an education. it is not correct.

i am particularly disturbed by the stated aims of the adult education, or as it is fashionable to say 'informal education' and sometimes 'functional literacy'. having the largest number of adults who were illiterate, who did not know the three Rs., was it not enough just to teach them how to read. even if they could just manage to read the acknowledgment given by the money lender to know the amount received from him and the rate of interest to be charged, it would be enough of return to education. was it not enough to know what he was signing for when he received the loan or the grant from a government official? why this necessity to introduce nationalism and the so called democratic rights and the allied information? was it not enough to read the religious scriptures after the hard day in the kitchen instead of learning about unesco sponsored women's rights which did not make a difference to her life?

how do we go about to give education its real meaning. it has often been said that home is the first school. the child starts learning from the day she is born. she starts enquiry into the world with her first breath. she starts recognizing the relationships; utility or otherwise of the objects presented to her by experimentation; learning the language is a challenging task. but it draws speech and thoughts out of the child. gradually it leads to an integration with the family and the home.

the child, when she comes to the school or preschool, expects it to be surrogate home and a surrogate family which will stimulate thought and speech. even if the home environment is uncaring, in view of parents being busy, there is so much to learn and to experience, that it is a constant challenge. imagine her surprise when she has to follow the regimen of the school. instead of context related talk, there is a classroom language which is devoid of intimacy. everything is structured and stable. before long the child understands that school is enervating and dispiriting.

often the inattentiveness of the child is blamed on her home background. but the child, when she comes to school, is full of curiosity and imagination. the school destroys it and then blames the home for it. this is exasperating. the usual practice is to teach the results of the scientific research rather than understand the process by which the results were obtained. in an atmosphere of creative thinking, the child may ask the questions from the teacher or from each other which may lead to listening to each other with respect, build on each other's ideas and assist each other in drawing inferences. approximations are needed and the inferences may not be the ultimate word on the subject under discussion. it may not be even a rational one. it is also not to say that all these can or should start with the first entry into the school world. it is the spirit which is being emphasized. but it does not happen.

the teacher is not to blame. he is doing what he has been trained to do. in the teachers' college, and he does it, by and large, well enough. he is never told about this other aspect. the textbooks which he has to follow, the prescribed curriculum he is expected to teach, the discipline he has to impose leave no room for experimentation or deviation. children have a sense of what is going on but do not understand the sequencing so that they can start growing on their own. children need models of growth which may be provided more by his peers and curriculum devised by those intimately connected with teaching children rather than remote professionals.

money making cannot be the sole aim of the education. it that were the case, the medical profession would probably attract the bulk of students since they have a higher potential for earning more. aptitudes often determine the choice of profession though many a time it is the case of 'there is no alternative' referred to as TINA factor. it leads to people value degrees in relation to jobs. education and employment become linked. this is why college students think that it makes sense to take out all those bank loans in much the same way that homeowners think it makes sense to buy expensive homes by taking bank loans. the future economics makes the present decisions making perfect sense. sometimes these dreams fail to materialise. the result is disastrous. this is how you get a taxi driver with a cost accountancy degree.

the trouble arises because college degrees are used as a proxy for aptitude and competence in the particular job requirements. it is very often because the aptitudes tests have been used in the past, as the filtering device for keeping out undesirable persons while admitting favourites on considerations other than fitness for the job. this increased the importance of the degrees. since the jobs arose mainly due to progress in industry and services, which required technical knowledge, the liberal arts began to take secondary place in the university which became glorified trade schools. you could probably get a job with a history degree, but to get a good job, you needed to study engineering, physics, and computer science. the result of this was that this degree was prized by everyone as the coin of entry into the middle class.

it is doubtful if the degree really prepares you for the job you intend to pursue. many a time, you have to unlearn what you imbibed in the college. very often the companies run orientation courses for extended periods to make people suit to the jobs which they have to do. yet the degree is important in the sense that they believe that if you could manage to get a degree. you will be, with proper training manage to do the job. very often, it works but there is no guarantee that it shall. still degree in important to get into the process. it is the spark and parental support and the bank loans are the wind that blow this spark into a raging inferno.

if you delink education and employment, amazing things can occur. first of all, you start learning more stuff as you look less to acquiring a piece of paper and work towards satisfying your own curiosity and needs. second, you save money because you don't need to pay a school for that piece of paper which is only necessary for attaining a job. third, you look more to specialized training to fulfill career demands. this training tends to be short, focused, and cheap. we have many college students who, in their spare time, join the private coaching classes for learning the specialized knowledge which the market requires. we have numerous examples of the persons who have made it without having a degree. one's talent and virtues matter more than just about anything else when it comes to doing a good job. if one does good work, good money will come one's way.

it is not that education, knowledge and status do not matter. intelligence and hard work as well as ethics have their own utility. but it is very often that the status is empty and meaningless. the blend of hard work, literacy, practical skills leads to a satisfactory life. what this country needs are those old fashioned virtues and values. when it comes to employment, i think people should strive for a quality work ethic and to do work they can be proud of instead of seeking a job title.

having said all this, the need for education need be stressed to dispel the notion that this article is against education as such. without doubt education is the key to development. education is the greatest known civilising force. education communicates the experiences of the past to subsequent generations in an abridged and condensed form, so that the youth of today can build upon the entire past achievements of the society. education is the key to development. as kamaraj said, "educate a man, he will develop himself."

education helps the nation in other ways than adding to the GNP. data published in the 1980 world development report confirms the close correlation between education on the one hand and income, health, fertility and nutrition on the other. one study of developing countries revealed that farmers who received four years of general primary education obtained an average of 13% higher crop yields than uneducated cultivators.

other studies show that educated mothers have lower fertility and child mortality rates, and that the health and nutrition of their children are significantly higher than that of uneducated women of the same income group. the report concludes, "educating girls may be one of the best investments a country can make in future economic growth and welfare -- even if girls never enter the labour force."

studies on the rate of return to education find that more schooling leads to higher earnings, and when the extra earnings resulting from primary education are weighed against its costs, high rates of return are consistently found. in fact the overall rate of return on investment in education in terms of increased national production, GNP, compares very favourably with investment in other sectors.

there is a pressing need to upgrade india's present system of education, in both its form and content. The form relates to the type of education, the years of schooling or degrees issued, the number of schools and students and so on. the content refers to the quality and relevance of what is taught.

formal education is organised as a pyramidal structure with primary and secondary schools at the base and graduate schools and specialised technical institutions at the top. for development to become a broad based social movement, it is essential that every field of life receives the enrichment offered by education, either as information or training, or skill. the hierarchical structure of education should be extended to all walks of life with the necessary adaptations.

but essentially education needs decentralisation. should science go to the village, people like the cart maker, the pump operator, and the flour mill operator would be given the requisite scientific education in keeping with their requirement. innovations issue out of this level of talent. a chief engineer in chennai or delhi trying to improve the bullock drawn tyre cart, will find it an intellectual exercise in a vacuum, and his imaginative effort will not be real in any sense or measure. whereas the skills imparted at the levels of village workers will make the nation production worthy.

in india the system of education is primarily geared toward the outer form rather than inner content. the emphasis and importance is placed, not on the knowledge gained for its own sake or even for its utility, but on the college degree that leads to a salaried job. in the salaried job, the employee supports the initiative and creativity of the founder or the entrepreneur. even in government organizations, it will be observed, the head of the organization determines the character of the organization. the employee learns to subordinate himself to the personality of a boss or the impersonality of a system. the qualities required are obedience, acceptance of what is told, and absence of contradictory thought or action. these qualities are just the opposite of the characteristics of originality, creativity, independent thought, innovation and initiative needed to build a nation. the indian educational system is consciously fostering values which lead to the destruction of the innate power and content of real education.

to reverse this bias a multi-pronged strategy is needed to reorient the educational system, to relate course material to the present day needs and conditions of the country, and to upgrade the quality of education at all levels. it is a common complaint today that there are a growing number of educated unemployed which represents a serious problem. the implication of this criticism is that uneducated unemployment may be somehow preferable! the error lies in the very idea that a degree is necessarily a passport to an occupation. education makes a person a better, more capable member of the society, but employment potential depends on many other external factors. it is fully recognized that earning money is an important part of a man's life but that is not everything to the exclusion of all others.

if we agree, and there would be hardly any dissent, steps must be taken to delink education and employment. the best place to start this is in the colleges and universities, by inviting proven and accomplished talents from outside to teach courses in their fields of eminence - management, engineering, arts, literature and others - irrespective of their formal academic qualifications. initial efforts of this type would be met with intense resistance from the teaching staff, for the very reason that it challenges the prestige of their positions which is based on their degrees in most cases, and not on their talents and the ability to teach.

to break the necessity of going to college, different strategies will have to be introduced. the chinese have adopted an innovative approach to this problem. recently they introduced a new system under which all citizens are qualified to take examinations for college diplomas regardless of age or previous schooling. this delinking will lead to a reduced pressure on the universities.

once again we return to the question which direction education should take. it would be readily granted that the first aim of education is enlightenment of mind. obviously this requires the skill of reading and writing so that one can become a partner in the real sense. the knowledge about the geography, the history and the culture of the local place is essential to have a meaningful partnership. simultaneously the person has to grow in the society. he has to interact with others. vinoba bhave was of the view that education must cover three aspects viz. yog, sahyog and udyog. he has to develop this personality by imbibing the right knowledge. he has to relate himself to his surroundings and the people with whom he comes into contact. he has to learn to team up with other members of the society for fulfillment of objectives of the society and lead to an ever expanding universe which will promote the welfare of the whole world – the idea behind the dictum Vasudhaiva Kutumbhakam. the school is the best place to develop this sense of cooperation with others, be it studies, sports or art, there should be a common endeavour to achieve a common objective.

but the reality is somewhat different. instead of developing his sense of cooperation, the spirit of competition is encouraged. the whole objective of education at present appears to be to instill a sense of competition which, unfortunately, is also fostered by the parents. it is observed that ranks are allotted even from class one, the parents urge their children to try to get to the top. in some institutions, the spirit of competition is developed by giving stars on home work. the theory is that this will encourage the child to perform better. is it necessary to exhort children to perform better at that stage? why not let him be? some children will learn at a slower pace. this type of assessment only leads to worse performance from them. since the entire atmosphere is of competition by this approach, he is held up as a staggerer which deters him from making full efforts. even when sports and music and other creativity activities are introduced,, the same competition is encouraged. some public schools divide students into houses which compete amongst themselves. obviously this is to prepare them for the competitive world which they would be entering after school but it has negative consequences also. a feeling of inferiority is infused in those who do not get the medals and the certificates. this is certainly not the aim of the education. healthy competition is natural but contrived competition is harmful.

it is an axiom that our society is divided in castes and that this phenomenon has lasted for centuries. though it originally was a characteristic of hindu society, it has permeated other religions also. time and again efforts have been made to overcome this sort of elitism but the efforts have been only partially successful. yet for advancing as a nation, the equity has to be ensured. it is also to be noted that this phenomenon has, indirectly, led to poverty amongst certain castes. the social division is reinforced by economic disparity. it was widely advocated that education will lead to situation where the caste divisions will no longer be relevant especially with reservations in their favour. over the decades since independence, the progress, if at all it is there, has been slow. educational system, as it exists at present, has not been effective in this direction and needs reforms. the essence of equity is equal opportunity and that cannot be guaranteed unless there is uniform educational opportunities for all. as has been remarked elsewhere, the values have to be taught in the school. the principle that all are equal has to be the message conveyed by the classroom. the present system divides the have and the have-nots who have perforce to attend not only different schools but different type of schools. the only way to combat this is the system of national schools where everyone, regardless of his economic and social status, has to go to the same school.

this is called the common school system of education. kothari commission recommended that " if……the educational system is to become a powerful instrument of national development in general, and social and national integration in particular, we must move towards the goal of a common school system of public education

- which will be open to all children, irrespective of caste, creed, community, religion, economic conditions or social status;

- where access to good education will depend not on wealth or class but on talent;

- which will maintain adequate standards in all schools and provide at least a reasonable proportion of quality institutions;

- in which no tuition fees will be charged; and

- which would meet the needs of the average parent so that he would not ordinarily feel the need to send his children to expensive schools outside the system.

obviously this will mean, as has been specified, the upgradation of all schools to the level which would appeal to all concerned. obviously no one, with sufficient means, will expect his ward to attend a school which does not have a reasonable degree of educational standard. it is to be recalled the kothari commission recommended that all schools should be raised to a minimum level in twenty years (which period was over twenty five years back). unfortunately, the report did recommend that ten percent should be institutes of excellence where the best students must go. this is not acceptable because it again introduces tests to determine who are the best students which, at the elementary level of education, is against the basic requirements of good education. it is my contention that every boy and girl should have same type of education. the only exception should be for the children who are differently enabled and who require special attention to overcome their handicap.

such a national school system will be the ideal place to teach the values which we have held to be the main aim and objective of school education. in such a school, the emphasis will be on education which would stimulate thinking, creativity and all round development of personality involving cooperation with others, cutting across classes and castes. only this beginning will lead to the individual attaining both the worldly and the spiritual values which make for a fuller man, a man at peace with himself and with the society, happy to fulfill his role for the progress of the nation.

we have discussed the two aspects of education stated by vinoba bhave ji as the desirable result of education. we can now go to the third aspect viz. udyog. we have to reiterate that, in the indian tradition, 'artha' - that is money - is not held to be undesirable. all that has been said was that this cannot be the sole aim of education or of life, which is the case at present. we have referred to the nature of training, as distinct from education, which should be introduced.

presently the bus driver, the tailor, the printer, the book binder, the car mechanic and the craftsman in every trade are trained through a long apprenticeship in their respective industry. this is a slow, unconscious process of transferring skills which imparts at best a partial training and often a wrong one. out of a hundred car workshops in a town, it is difficult to find even half a dozen fully qualified mechanics and those who have learned their trade normally would have acquired their skills over ten to fifteen years, much of it at very low apprenticeship wages.

by comparison, an institutionalised training programme can be very brief, comprehensive and more effective. craftsman training institutes could be established for this purpose throughout the country on a graded hierarchy from the revenue village to the level of the state. to be viable, these centres should be located at the points where a need already exists, that is, at places where a particular craft or industrial activity is already established and only informal training is available.

as a readily available example, the rapid spread of computer training schools to even small towns in the country is largely due to the recognised need for minimum performance skills in this field due to the need for using the computer in most of the shops for raising bills and collecting payments. the bar coding has made it easier to do so. in most of the crafts referred to above, examinations can be introduced and certificates awarded to those who pass. this will establish a criterion for the public in evaluating the capabilities of craftsmen in the field and help to ensure minimum levels of competence. even where no training programme is introduced, the introduction of an examination will act as a spur to improved training, as for example has happened in the car driving test. training of the farmers in new technology and use of improved instruments and equipment needs a similar approach.

other avenues where the training institutes should be set up include bookkeeping - a skill required today at every level of commercial, institutional and personal life - training of store clerks, bank, government and income tax clerks among others. there can be courses offered in income tax assessment for individuals and small companies along with courses in record keeping. there could also be brief courses in tax law for all entrepreneurs, proprietors, managers and tradesmen. state, district and taluk level vocational training institutes should be introduced for teaching skills in these and other fields.

the world bank and many other researchers have opined that the society whose system of education is integrated with the social aspirations of the country will develop most rapidly. social development issues out of the creativity, dynamism, enterprise, and initiative of the people, based on knowledge and executed with skill.

educators in india today have an opportunity to make a bold departure from their unquestioning allegiance to an outdated, stale curriculum without relevance to the life of the country. a new development-oriented curricula can be drawn up which stresses that aspect of each subject -- be it history, economics, psychology, sociology, agriculture or engineering science -- which relates to the phenomenon of development and its expressions in social life. (it is to be noted that i have used the word 'educator' and not 'expert'. involvement in the process of education should be an essential part of drawing up the curricula).

schools invariably act as agents for social change. we have the experience of germany where the education was redirected to reinforce nazi principles. this was not dome even subtly. the arithmetic questions did not deal with apples and oranges, they dealt with tanks and ammunition. in soviet union, education was geared to produce a tough person. truth was the casualty; history was changed; so was economics; even science was modified attributing inventions to russians which never were. but these efforts changed the character of the society.

i am not recommending such an approach of indoctrination. the aim is not to propagate any particular view of life or of patriotism (speaking of rich cultural past based on everlasting values is a different thing altogether) but simply to enable each individual to grow to his full potential. the only point, i wish to make, is that education can mould the nation provided it is imparted in its true perspective. we have to decide where we have to reach and then only the path can be devised. the intellectual knows what the final requirement is but is afraid to come out and share it with the powers that be. this is the dilemma which we must resolve in order to move forward as a vigorous nation. further arguments are not needed to justify the need of delinking jobs from degrees. the real need of the hour is to revamp school education, make it more meaningful and more value-oriented so that there is a smooth transition of young people from school to their adult life.



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