For the love of a ‘degree’

Rwik Mukhopadhyay, loves writing. He also enjoy going against the tide and shares with us his take on an Indian obsession.  

Education has become one of the most profitable business in our country. It’s a huge industry and a breeding ground for unaudited money , thanks to capitation fees. I was just thinking, whom to blame for this situation. The Government, who failed to offer adequate educational infrastructure. Corrupt private bodies, who utilized loopholes in the system to siphon out hard-earned money from “mango” people. But I realized, it is us who are actually responsible for this crisis.

The first thing that struck me about south indian marriage was the fact that the educational qualifications of both bride and groom are clearly mentioned on the marriage invitation card. I was in Tumkur (A small semi urban area near Bangalore) at the time, fulfilling my own educational goal. Many of my batchmates were first generation university goers. So I thought it was natural for them to brag about their achievements (No matter how ordinary it is). It appeared a sort of rural mentality to me. But later I realized  that I was totally wrong. Whether it is urban or rural, public or corporate sector, degrees hold a major role in our society. In Bangalore some kindergarten school is demanding some extra attention by using words like “IIT” and “IIM” on their sign board. I mean what is the need of mentioning such big institutes names in a silly kindergarten advertisement ? Will it make any difference if an IITian teaches 1 2 3 instead of commerce graduate to a bunch of toddlers? On the contrary, a high school pass out with proper Montessori training will be better choice than both of them. Being an engineer or a mba grad is actually not enough for teaching toddlers. But since we love degrees , we love to send our kids to schools which are run by highly qualified people (We don’t care whether they are having relevant qualifications or not).

In corporate sector, most IT companies have separate pay scales for different colleges. IITians are at the forefront, others follow. In a way companies are accepting that they don’t know how to measure people’s knowledge, so they are following a rule of thumb, go by the college reputation to rate an individual. In “ THE GOOGLE RESUME” the author mentioned how important it is to have a degree to have a job in google, as only two out of five of his team mates were without any formal degrees. Just try to imagine this in india. Will our it giants hire someone just based on their knowledge? This fascinating love for a degree is present in the political space too. We have seen political parties trying to malign the opposition’s reputation by advertising their ordinary qualifications. Now some people think Mr. Kejriwal would be a better prime minister than Mr X just because he studied in a prestigious institution , and Mr X didn’t study much. So basically, generation after generation in every sector of society, we are promoting a wrong measure to judge people’s capabilities. In early life, education’s main aim is to make us capable in communicating with others in society. It teaches us to nurture our internal potential, by showing various paths of study. Then at a later stage, it is our duty to decide our reason for pursuing education. We are free to choose our stream, path and means of education. We may or may not follow formal or conventional paths. Just like the way they do it in the first world. Chad Fowler is an internationally known software developer. But actually he was a saxophone player, then one fine day he realized there is more money in software. So he just gained knowledge and switched his domain. We too need a socio political environment, which is conducive to such drastic and innovative changes. Else, real talents will take back seats. Social diversity will reduce (As most of us will aim for one or two particular domains). Our prosperity will glitter but intellectual pool will lose its depth.

Learn more about Rwik Mukhopadhyay.

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About Shruti Bharath

Social entrepreneur and developmental writer, passionate about creating workable solutions in the areas of improving employability of youth and women through skill enhancement/training and generation of productive and sustainable employment opportunities.

One comment

  1. Pingback: For the love of a ‘degree’ | This & That

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