October 2001

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Vol. I Number 4

More than news & views - A complete source for South Asians

  EDUCATION                                                                Back to Front Page
     

Articles on Indian Education by Dr. Harnek S. Kaile

    Indian Education at Cross-Roads

Why Restlessness among Students?

By Dr. Harnek S. Kaile

 

The problem of restlessness among students is universal. Take up any newspaper and you'll find some news about students' agitation, strike or demonstration. But all the students do not do 'zindabad', 'murdabad'. In a study conducted on 500 college students of Chandigarh, it was found that 83 of them favoured strikes, 399 were against it and 18 were neutral. A few students do repent after taking part in strikes, but they also feel that the authorities do not listen to them unless they are on strike. Anyway, there is restlessness among the students and let's find out its reasons.  

The main reason of restlessness among students is our educational system. Our education is not employment-oriented and when a B. A., or even an M. A., is unable to find even a minor job, he feels disgusted. The number of educated unemployed is increasing day by day. In Panjab, sometime back, about two thousand posts of masters/mistresses and lectures for schools were advertised and more than one lakh applied for these posts. According to Government of India document 'Challenge of Education' (1985), during 1961-81, the number of job-seekers increased ten times and about half of them were educated. At a few places, students' tearing their degrees at convocations and shouting slogans, '' we want jobs, not degrees '', is indicative of increased restlessness among them.  

Examination is an integral part of educational system and this, too, aids in increasing restlessness among students. A large number of students start receiving training in the use of unfair means from the very beginning and become experts by the time they take university examinations. The student considers it his right to use unfair means in the examination centre and the invigilator can be 'taught' a lesson if he objects to it. Now, the invigilators also help the examinees in copying, directly or indirectly. Approaching examiners for getting good marks has become normal. Scandals have come to light when higher authorities misused their power so that their wards could get merit positions in the examinations. As a result of all this, sincere students have lost faith in the examination system.  

Parents and children do not understand each other because of generation gap. Parents say, "Our times were good. Now the situation is getting worse day by day". Perhaps the same was said earlier by their ancestors. On the other hand, when the young students find that the social system is quite corrupt, they become restless and think of raising a revolt against it.  

With the change of times, cracks have appeared in the teacher-student relationship. Teachers and students of earlier times are no where. Time has gone when  teacher was regarded guru and he considered the students as his own children. Now, certain teachers compel the students to take tuitions from them; certain others are not expert in their subject and when they fail to give satisfactory reply to a question, the whole class laughs at them. Students do not care for their teachers because most of the teachers teach with the help of 'guides' which the students also possess. The teachers are unable to provide adequate guidance to the students.  

Teacher is the torch-bearer; he is the nation-builder. Teaching profession is of utmost importance, but the government does not pay proper attention to it. The teachers have to resort to agitations, strikes and demonstrations to get their demands acceded. This has its effect upon the students. They think that if their teachers can do 'zindzbad', 'murdabad' to get their demands acceded, why they can't do so.

 

Sometimes, the demands of the students are quite genuine, but the authorities are not prepared to listen to them. Gradually, the situation becomes out of control and gives rise to law and order problem.  

Another reason of restlessness among students is their participation in local as well as national politics. All the political parties have their wings in colleges and universities and, naturally, the students participate in the agitations launched by these parties. Elections of student organisations are also fought on party basis.  

The attitude of the government towards private institutions also gives rise to restlessness among student community. Certain private institutions, like medical colleges, collect huge amounts of money from students as donation. Also, fees and funds in private institutions are much higher than in government institutions. Naturally, it upsets the minds of students studying in private institutions.  

Most of the students studying in schools, colleges and universities are in adolescence stage of their lives and this is the stage of stresses and strains. There is boundless energy in them and they can raise a storm over any issue. The need of the hour is that  government authorities and educationists should peep into the minds of young students and take steps to remove restlessness among them.