If I was the education minister of India, I would make very drastic changes in the education scene of India. In the last 50 years, the government of India has changed several hands, Commissions have been formed, reports have been made and received and gathered dust, but we are in the same situation that is not all enviable.
The main thrust I would give will be on the Primary Education. This area has been grossly neglected in the last five decades, and, that is why we find that, even after 50 years of our own rule, more than 50% of our Indian population is still illiterate. I would give top priority to this and encourage free education till at least up to the level of Vth Std. my resources would also channelised accordingly. For this is because I personally feel that, only when we expand and improve our primary education, can we produce a fine younger generation. It is at this age when we can inculcate values in the children, and it is only at this time that we can teach them the values the knowledge we give them. Once this age is past, no amount of sermonizing helps to teach the bigger children any values. Since this area has been neglected for so long, we have produced a generation of ill-behaved uncouth, almost barbarians. Education must be spread in the rural areas, where real India exists. All long the 50 years of India’s independence, education has been the prerogative of the urban classes, and this is why such a huge percentage of illiterate in the rural areas. So, if I become the education minister of India, I would lay more stress on educating the masses in the rural parts of India. Teachers would be sent there or picked up from there, and given handsome incentives to work for the country there, in remote areas. Their interests would be well looked after, so that, they would like to got and reach in the rural areas of India.
Next would come under my purview, the colleges and the Universities. To this education I would put a real stopper. In the last 5 decades these institutions have had a mushroom growth, the result being creation of places for the politicians to grow, to hibernate, for crime to take its toll and above all these institutions turn out multitudes of unemployable barbarians. In order to change this atmosphere I would make college and University education very, very selective. College gates would then be opened only to those children who are really interested in studies and do not come here only to waste away time, and only learn to be villainous. The affluent would, in my time, be made to pay a heavy fees for studying in these institutions and that also only if they were found fit to study. On the other hand, the poor students who are good in studies, but do not have the finances to study, would be sponsored by the Government for studying in colleges, to improve their prospects. The rest of the chaff that is now found to be crowding colleges would be diverted to colleges of vocational studies.
As the education minister, I would establish vocational colleges where, after class XII,
Children would be sent according to their personal choices of vocations. Here also, the affluent who join, will have to pay a heavy fees and the poor be sponsored by the Government. In this way, with a combination of colleges and vocational centres we will be able to channelise the children to their respective professions. In the bargain we would be providing employability to all the young men and women turning out of the various institutions. This will help in creating a mass of people who have the potential of being employed and also avoid unnecessary rush in the colleges.
Besides these, the Medical and Engineering colleges will also be made very selective, in their choice of students joining them. The fees here also will be high, and the education here should be self supporting. I ask why should the Government spend on these children who, mostly, after acquiring skills go to serve other countries. They should be made to pay heavily for being educated here, as after this education here, they will be more than compensated by working outside the country. All these years we have been spending huge amounts of money allotted to education on the children who go away as soon as they complete studies, never to come back, and all this at the cost of the poor rural children who are left bereft of even the basics of education. How far has this been fair to be poor can be understood by one and all.
If I never become the education minister of India, my approach would be enhance the status of the primary education an it’s reaches would be felt even to the remotest areas of India. It is these areas where we really produce our raw material. If the raw material is bad, or in short supply, how then can we expect the finished product to be upto any expectation.