Education and its cost

Dear Editor,
Another Teachers’ Day came, saw and reminded us that we must think how to translate education for all into action. Ambedkar told us to educate, agitate and organise for the survival of our democracy. Indeed, educating citizens is the first condition for the growth of democracy.
Unfortunately, education especially the higher education has been made accessible only for the high income groups in our country by letting profiteers hijack it and by allowing astronomical increase in the fee structure that keeps many deserving students out of the college campus especially the technical ones. Since educational scholarship is not enough to meet the demands, the lower and middle class have practically been thrown out of the higher educational institutions.
Now parents are to cough up a new form dowry if they want to give their children higher education that can do justice to their school board marksheets and aspirations. This new version of educational dowry has gone up to such a level that only those who belong to very creamy layer of the society can afford to pay. Thus the capacity of parents’ credit cards has become a more important factor in our higher education system than a student’s marks in his or her merit card.
Many students commit suicide when their parents fail to finance their education. On the other hand, we see that one of the reasons of Nordic countries becoming the happiest countries of the world is their providing free education to all.
At least those students whose parents are not well off, must get free education including higher education in our country. Moreover, we need enough good quality public schools that can give their private counterparts a run for their money.
Sujit De, Kolkata