Flights Of Fantasy
[ M Panging Pao ]
Why should students study hard? These days, students start studying from about three years of age in play schools, and continue for the next 15 years to pass Class 12. After Class 12 a student studies for another 5-11 years to get a decent job. Altogether, a student has to go through the rigmarole of going to school, college, university, homework, tuitions, entrance exams, and interviews for almost 20-26 years of their life. Most people are about 24-30 years of age by the time they settle down in a job.
Despite these hardships, the world over, most young boys and girls study hard to achieve their aims and goals. It is a proven fact that doing well in school, college and university is the fundamental stepping stone to successful careers and lives. It is accepted that students who study well go on to have good jobs, live comfortable lives, and become leaders. Students who are poor in studies end up with lower grade jobs and lead obscure careers and lives.
Most Arunachalee leaders, along with bureaucrats, teachers, parents and society also understand the importance of a good education system, and want their children to perform well. Most schools, teachers and parents try their best to enable the students to do well in their exams. No responsible parent, teacher or leader wants their children to fail. Then why is the performance of our students so poor year after year? This year the pass percentage of Class 10 is a meagre 21%, and 44% for Class 12.
What is wrong with our education system? Why can’t our children speak and write satisfactory English? Why can’t our children solve simple mathematics and science problems and understand simple social sciences? Why can’t our children pass their exams? Schools are in place, there are teachers, directors, secretaries, educationists to plan and implement school curricula and management. Almost every person in the educational system seems to be doing their assigned jobs. If all is satisfactory, what is ailing in our education system?
Many educationists and intellectuals blame the infamous comprehensive continuous evaluation (CCE) system, introduced for few years by the previous government, under which there were negligible failures and Class 10 board exams were made optional. Almost everyone was guaranteed to pass and no syllabus was repeated.
However, is CCE the sole reason for the poor results of the students? There may be some other intangible factors which indirectly affect the students’ psyche. Is it that our children simply are not motivated enough to study well? Are wrong role models being promoted by our society? As parents and leaders, and as a society, are we setting wrong examples?
Are students learning easier ways of earning a livelihood by joining political groups, joining youth/student organisations, becoming contractors, housie/lottery organisers, etc? Are our students wondering why they should study so hard for so many years when comfortable livelihood may be acquired by easier means?
Arunachalee students and parents are no less than other students and parents. There is a requirement to re-prioritize and refocus our values as a society to strive for excellence in education and work hard. However, any ideas as to why most students of private schools seem to be performing better that those of government schools? (The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)