This refers to T.J.S. George’s article titled “If gangsters have taken over the education ‘industry’ all talk of development in India is bunkum” (SOM dated Apr.4).
Corruption and commercialisation of education is responsible for the lowest level of moral standards we are observing today in our country. This is evident from daily news of rape, murder, corruption, nepotism, cheating, breaking law mainly from educated class. This leads us to introspect on ‘what is education?’
Here I would like to narrate an anecdote from Saint Ramanuja’s life: One student asked Sri Ramanuja, “Whether the education he is learning from him will help him to earn is living?”
To this, Ramanuja replied, “Education increases knowledge. True knowledge is one which is useful to society, family and oneself. More knowledge we gain it will purify the soul – Atma Shudhi. Incidentally as knowledge is useful it helps us to earn our living which is the requirement of the body…” Education should improve our moral standards and produce good humans first. Earning living is secondary to take care of our needs. This is Indian philosophy and this country has produced great people.
Now commercialisation of education is making people a money-making machine, as rightly said by George. So parents are looking at return on investment, so students aim at passing exam, getting certificates, etc., and not on gaining knowledge in their field. Need is converted to greed, so professionals using knowledge to satisfy their greed will not help the society.
The deterioration of education system is becoming rapid in the last two decades. We are getting more Universities, more courses churning out more graduates, but somewhere we are missing on basics. I think if we have to see a developed India it is high time we revamp our education system. This should be the top priority of our Government — create or transform educational institution into a Knowledge centre and not an Industry producing graduates.
– A.G. Raghu, Saraswathipuram, 8.4.2017