Prof. Arun D Ahluwalia, FGS
I am I am surprised a well intentioned move from Kapil Sibal has been criticised & he has been forced into retracting from a very thoughtful suggestion.He was trying to restore sanctity of a class room theory and practical lab class. When we were students, our Pre-engineering & Pre-medical ( now called plus 2) marks carried credibility and we were indeed admitted on the basis these marks in various professional colleges and university departments. Today a student is under unbearable physical and social pressure to run from one tuition shop to another as soon as he has finished his Class ten exam without even waiting for result.The tuition mania kills all innovation and practical learning and promotes rote learning from highly exploitative tuition centres. Students mostly manage to get attendance in the colleges through connections as the teachers mostly are either running coaching centres for CET,PMT etc or are agents of such centres.One very famous Mathematics teacher of Panjab University had become an icon among kids and for reasons well known was never questioned by the university if he was doing his duties in the university. Now that he has set up his own university, I wonder if he allows his own teachers to run tuition shops.
The biggest victims of this tuition mania are not only youngsters but also their parents paying hefty amounts out of their hard earned savings in PF or even taking loans & in constant competition with friends in society over performance of their kids not to talk of numerous trips they make droppings their kids from one tuition centre to another skipping their office duties as most of these kids are too young to have a driving licence. Once in a while these kids drive around, get hurt or hurt some one.
If Kapil Sibal succeeds in abolishing these tuition shops, CET,PMT etc and restoring credibility of CBSE, ICSE etc for admissions, he would be remembered in the history of education in India by all for ever. In one stroke class room and practical lab would be restored its credibility which existed in our times. Over two and a half decades, we have been victims of this total perversion of education at plus one and plus two level. The loss of respect for practicals continues among students even when they join science departments in the university as they never held a test tube in school or college. Paradoxically all kids at plus 1 & plus 2 get over 90% marks in practicals even if they barely pass in theory. If one were to raid practical lab exam centres, one would find scores of teachers with a recommendation slip for a student even if he or she never attended any lab due to tuition pressure. Parents even if they know their kids are intelligent and can do without tuition, feel forced by the system and often end up as nervous and financial wrecks when after all the running around they with their kids are no better even with tuitions.
Prof. Arun D Ahluwalia, FGS,
Former Chairman & Head,Geology Dept;
Director, Centre of Advanced Studies in Geology;
Co-ordinator SAP; Incharge Environment Outreach, Panjab University,Chandigarh,India;
Member US National Committee & OUTREACH PROGRAM COMMITTEE(OPC), International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE); (Phones: Mobile-+91 9878684441, Res-+91 172 2722973; Off0+91 172 2541740)