Will we just let them learn rather?

Thank God, we had a normal college life!

Jishnu, Nehru College, Idimuri –  news of an 18 year old engineering student’s suicide has shocked us recently.

Up till 90s we had only very few Engineering/Medical colleges and most of them were merit based admissions. Few seats were available on management quota and none of the seats remained vacant.

Looking back, there were Professional colleges in Kerala with very naughty, playful students! They skipped some classes, roamed around with girl/boyfriends, did a bit of cheating in their exams – that’s it. And they were at times caught by teachers and sometimes suspended etc. But those reflections still light up my daily life. Some of my classmates brought special drawing sets to exam hall – design formulae etched on them!. Some had minimal class attendance, some used to have their sleep only during class time (you know they had a lot of night duty in and around the campus and the town).

All of them are successful professionals now. Because they just did not learn the books, they practiced life in the raw.

Each college is competing with others to excel their academic records to attract parents. Children are not allowed to make friendship with their class/batch mates of the opposite gender

Look into current state of Engineering colleges; there is at least one in each corner of Kerala, most of them have a lot of empty seats. Each college is competing with others to excel their academic records to attract parents. Children are not allowed to make friendship with their class/batch mates of the opposite gender (oh-ho… immoral….).  Some well-known college authorities dont even let students attend any family functions. If the students go against college iron rules, they’ll be suspended or their sessional marks will be reduced resulting in the failure of semester exams.

We have only one life; children should have a normal school/college time like we had. Formal education is important for all, but it is not the end of life. They still need to have a life, mingling with all their friends freely. If a boy walked along with a girl, that doesn’t mean immoral traffic. They need both girl and boy friends and we elders should guide them to lead the healthy friendship in the right path. They should attend all family functions like weddings, funerals etc.; otherwise how they will learn the basic values and how they can have a sound future?

Everyone may agree that teenage is the most colourful years of life, but students in these colleges have to wear boring uniforms until they are 21! We were lucky that we could try out any colours and exchange clothes with our friends just for fun. And almost all the time, someone else’s clothes fitted us better than ours.

What’s happening to our God’s Own Country! Where is our moral value! Are we all living like animals to earn money only? No value for love, relationships, family and friendships in this era.

Children are not similar; they have diverse IQ and have different capabilities

Do we need these many Engineering/Medical/other Professional Colleges? When there are limited resources, there’ll be value. Children are not similar; they have diverse IQ and have different capabilities. Some students are struggling to get minimum pass marks in their exams, because their parents paid high capitation fee regardless of their ability to learn certain subjects. Therefore most of the private colleges will impose uncompromising rules, looking just for the ratings.  We don’t need Hitler type colleges and managements. Schools and colleges should be the place where children can gain not just formal education, but strength to live with optimism, confidence to face the world around and the ability to strive when things go tough.

Governments need to wake up from sleep. We need Quality, not Quantity in education. They should limit the number of colleges; do regular monitoring, ban managements if they violate rules.

We parents also should change our attitude. We must say NO to these colleges, our children should have freedom to talk freely with us, sharing their feeling and tensions with us.

There will be a solution for each and every problem. with our power, we are not allowed to end that also. Suicide is not the solution. Even school drop-outs can achieve a high profile life, if one has the will. All students should be learning to gain that power from school/colleges regardless of their merit awards. We can only hope that we don’t hear about  another student like  Jishnu from our professional colleges.

-RAIMOL

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