Of private tuition centers!

Let private sector flourish, but not as a money-minting industry. It has to be a mission to teach and learn

These statements of the honorable education minister in the context of existing monstrous tuition scenario in the state has opened a whole new debate and made the task of streamlining the existing education set-up more challenging.

Any state with flawed education is a nation with no real wealth to shine. People lacking prospects of quality education are more often vulnerable to abuse and deprivation. In the contemporary era, every aspect of life is related to scope and value of education. Empowerment, progress, and well-being are vital issues that get perceptible impetus from real learning and knowledge. State of Jammu and Kashmir over the period of time has shown significant growth on education front since 1947. Consequently, ushering a new era of empowerment and emancipation for a nation suppressed for centuries. However, with unethical race in expansion and unrestricted corruption, some vital aspects of education got severely compromised.

Anyways, whatever the reasons for hitches in our education system? The present education minister has tried to grab the bull by its horns and set the ball of prospective reforms in education segment rolling by his recent eye-opening public statements. In his two recent speeches, he candidly and very rightly pointed towards some vital issues that eat into the vitals of our education system—the efficiency and the unimpeded exploitation. On December 5th while addressing a section of students he said, “I fail to understand why students go for private tuition. Either it is a fashion or it is a flaw in the state’s education system” the minister further revealed that ninety percent students who opt for private tuition belong to private schools. A week after his sweeping statement about existing coaching mania and exploitation in the state’s education system he more honestly strengthened his earlier opinion by saying, “If I was a teacher and my students opt for private coaching, I would take it as an insult to me”. These two statements speak of some stark realities of our blemished education system. The minister seems to be more concerned about fellow citizens and their system of knowledge rather than compulsive politicking. Yes, the honorable minister rightly pigeonholed private tuition as more a fashion than learning. But his apprehensions of the system being flawed is equally right and carries weight. Because it is only the flawed system that encourages the worried parents to send their wards for private coaching to join a knowledge race—a hype created by the tutoring mafia.  In his second statement using ‘insult’ as a metaphor for self-introspection, he has tried to convey a crucial message to the stakeholder (especially the teaching community).   

Unfortunately, for the last many decades, our education system has got pivoted to more than one point of authority. On one hand, the government-run vast education department with huge infrastructure and quality human resource lacks effective direction and proper management. And on the other end, an ever-growing private sector with an agenda of imparting education at a cost are vigorously out to make the once noble profession of education more profitable commercial occupation. In an open system no individual can be denied the right to excel and earn within the existing rules but education the most valued facet of the nation and its people cannot be put to auction even if rules have to be arbitrary. The private education sector at present more or less regulated by the state’s education apparatus needs to be more compliant with the system or otherwise, the whole state-run education system should be left open for privatization. The existing tuition center clique is an offshoot of wild private education system mushrooming in the state with impunity. Started with a genuine conception of imparting coaching to aspirants for higher and professional education these centers out of ever-increasing greed and ignorance of parents have ended like fast-food joints of teaching. These coaching kiosks exploited the flaws in our system and explored ways to fleece the gullible parents and bother the prospective students both physically and mentally.

These statements of the honorable education minister in the context of existing monstrous tuition scenario in the state has opened a whole new debate and made the task of streamlining the existing education set-up more challenging. And for this, it is not only the personal sincerity and political motivation of the minister that will get the system on rails but he has to go for a paradigm shift of exclusively installing only the experienced and well-versed educationists as policymakers and to steer the education sector in the state. He should provide a congenial atmosphere for the private sector to flourish but not as money minting traders but as zealous missionary professionals who can make a respectable living while making the nation knowledgeable.