Quo Vadis College Campus?
Janetius, PhD & Mini.T.C., PhD
Education in the Indian scenario is a complex thing to comprehend. Just like the cultural diversity in the country, array of differences are seen in the system, function, nature, structure and among student/ teacher population. There are top class institutions in India like the IIM, IITs and parallel private Deemed Universities competing in the global arena. In the same magnitude one can also observe colleges that lack basic infrastructures that could be very well compared to pre-independence era. There are institutes of higher education that restrict the entrance to students of superior scholastic aptitude in view of delivering quality education and at the same time one can also easily identify institutions open to anyone desiring to get a degree. There are institutes that strive for becoming premier institutes to compete nationally and globally and at the same time one can also encounter colleges that exist for the sake of benefiting money. It is no wonder some colleges cater to the needs of economically well-heeled; there are also colleges with minimal fee structure to provide opportunity to those browbeaten economically. Furthermore, divergence could also be easily noticed in the urban as well as rural student population.
The mushrooming colleges all over India both in urban as well as rural areas have changed the scenario of education and employment significantly. Unlike a decade ago, when rural adolescents preferred jobs after completing their secondary schooling, the younger generation today looks for college degrees rather than a job. This in turn paves the way for increased number of unmotivated, unfocused student force entering into institutes of higher education. This has become a real test to many teachers as well as educational institutions themselves. Educational institutions that look for quality and comparatively higher standards, struggle to establish their distinctiveness and suffer in many ways by this challenging student population.
There are six kinds of college students, namely: a) fully focused and full success b) fully focused and some success c) try to be focused for some success d) try to be focused and no success e) not focused yet some success, and, f) not focused and no success. Majority of the students fall in to the category of ‘Not focused’; students who are fully focused and successful are very less. A major percentage of ‘unmotivated student force’ poses a challenge to educational institutions that strive for quality. This category of students are known for their regular attendance, regular study habits, involvement in extracurricular activities with full vigour, vim and vitality, keen on development of their talents, least problematic and often trusted by the teachers. The middle categories ‘Try to be focused’ are the ones who are on the edge who could fall either way, accept corrections and amend themselves; sometimes succeed and sometimes don’t.
Another contributing factor is the increased number of colleges and the inevitable competition to attract student population, which keeps the college fees minimal. For less than ten thousand rupees arts and computer courses are offered and one can imagine the quality of education offered for such a low fee by a self-financing college. The affordability of education, in terms of money, does not become a big issue for parents in sending their children to colleges for a mere degree.
Vast majority of students enrol for a particular branch of study not because of their abiding interest or aptitude for a particular program but by their presumed easy availability of jobs, parental influence and family pressure for jobs. None of the colleges offer any entrance exams or any form of testing to identify the aptitude and interest of the students for any branch of study. Even if they conduct such entrance exam, it is a ritual in the local colleges. The others, even if they create some interest in the field of study at the beginning of their college life, in the course of time they lose their interest......