JAMMU: Education in our villages, especially in J&K, is in a pitiable state. Not only do many schools lack proper buildings, class rooms and teaching material, but they also sadly lack qualified teaching staff. For many school owners, running schools has turned out to be just another lucrative business to mint money. In the absence of good buildings, furniture and other requirements, the amount of money these so-called imparters of knowledge to the future generation invest is next to nothing. What they earn by way of fees is nothing but the net profit to them.
And this is not the plight only in J&K. Just a round of rural schools in states like Assam, MP and Odisha will prove to be disappointing, if not shocking in many cases. Although the medium of instruction in most of these schools is English, a vast majority of the teachers speak little or faulty English. No wonder many students are unable to speak good English or even Hindi. And many of them end up as drop-outs, whose grasp on reading, writing and arithmetic is far from satisfactory.
Many unscrupulous elements nowadays start schools. They don’t have the knowledge, commitment or dedication required to mould our future citizens. The teachers are paid low salaries, thus resulting in lack the motivation to learn or teach. All they are worried about is the pittance that they earn per month. Little do they realize what they are doing for the future of the nation? Leave alone a degree in education; most of them do not even have the basic degrees needed to teach.
The case of many government teachers is the same. For most of them, a job is an end in itself. They earn fat salaries, without contributing much to the progress of the nation. Neither are they bothered about their own progress nor improving their knowledge. In short, they lack the yearning for knowledge.
At a time when science and technology are progressing at a great speed, how will our children learn and progress if our school-owners and teachers are like this? This writer once had the ill-luck to be the principal of an institution in which not a single child could speak Hindi or English satisfactorily. And let us not forget that we had great teachers like Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, to commemorate whom we celebrate the Teachers’ Day every year. And our great nation had a glorious past, when people of foreign nations had come to acquire knowledge in the world-famous Indian universities, Nalanda and Takhshila.
We do have officers to inspect our schools. Without any lack of respect to any of these, it may be pointed out that they are hand-in-gloves with the school managements in bringing down the standard of our education. If only these officers function sincerely and without fear, our schools can be improved a lot.