1868, Article 23 of the Luxemburg Constitution. 1938, Article 200 of the Constitution of Netherlands. 2009, Article 21A of the Indian Constitution. Columbia, Mexico, China, Brazil and the list goes on. As the Supreme Court of India puts it, “The right to education flows directly from the right to life”. And as far as my knowledge goes, the countries that I earlier mentioned, agree to this. Education is an essential thing, which permits each person to receive instruction and to blossom socially. The right to education is vital for the economic, social and cultural developement of all societies. It is not something that we can wholly ignore. But, what is education in the 21st century? What are its functions for the society? Does it ensure equity? Why are people not concerned with these issues? And bingo, I have an answer. Over a period of time, education has become a mere commodity. All the genres of the society are so overly obsessed with education that it has devalued the real essence of education, and made it a business, or say, commercialized it. With the advent of privatization, the agenda of education has been hijacked and education institutes have now become a source of generating profit. The more one can pay, higher the education he can get. The education system has been viewed so narrow, in such a way that if we invest money, the consumer pays money to us and we take our profits. NO. This theory will not work here. Not today, and not even tomorrow.
Another drawback of commercialization of education is the rat race to earn the highest test score. To everybody reading this, I ask, Should we be after higher test scores or seek knowledge and happiness? I repeat, test scores, or knowledge? I’m not suggesting that higher test scores are antithesis of productivity. Rather, my point is, that we are likely overlooking a key component – CREATIVITY. Today, business leaders around the world are declaring that success requires fresh thinking and continuous innovation, and not a marksheet. In the words of Albert Einstien, “Any fool can know. The point is to understand”. People may also raise the question, If not for money, will the teachers work? Yes, they will. The most sacred and important job in the world is that of a teacher. A teacher must guide his student to move ahead and resurrect our broken society. From the time education was first commercialized, the responsibilities of a teacher, too, have been compromised. Today, people are just viewing it as just another job which pays them and feeds them. But the reality is not so. Teachers inspire us, entertain us, and we end up learning, without even knowing it. Commercialization of education has shadowed our moral and ethical values. It is a shame that we are at this level and deteoriating further. We will not see any innovations coming out or good scientists in coming years, unless Stephen Hawking and Judit Polgar are someones parents. And, later, we can only blame ourselves. Or have we discovered some red, blue or green aliens to put the blame on? And a word more – Traditional or commercial. Ethical or unethical, it is not these things that matters the most. What matters is the urge to be educated, to learn. For as we know, whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve. A burning desire is the starting point of all accomplishments. Just like a small fire cannot give much heat, a weak desire cannot produce great results.
Bibliography: All images above have been taken from Google. None of them are clicked/created by me.