TODAY -

Things that change educational settings

Reimeingam Marchang *



Education is a tool for developing, shaping and changing human capital in the form of knowledge, skill, personality, reasoning, capability and employability. It enhances socio-economic prosperity and safeguards the welfare of the people; and affects the people's income, living standard and economic growth. Traditionally, education is considered as a means to transmit values of culture, custom, tradition and religion; skills to execute varied activity; and social practices for maintaining and improving the ethos and welfare.

Education attributes in shaping and changing the structure of employment, economy, technology, society and humanity. With the changes of time and progress of society, the nature and system of education have undergone rapid changes from the conventional educational system to modern and advanced educational system. Modern education has improved the skills of reasoning, visualising, imagining and thinking.

Educational advancement of science, technology and medicine has lifted human society in a higher development order. Historically, education was imparted in a manner to acquire and develop skills and knowledge for economic gains such as employment for social benefit and survivor. It has shown that education involving teaching and learning of theoretical knowledge often remains largely underutilised and ineffective for employment. The combination of theoretical and practical education was limited to technical and medical education and to some extent to vocational education as the level of industrialisation and science and the technological level was low and underde-veloped.

Today, advancement of science and technology has touched a higher height associated with rapid economic growth. The education system is changing rapidly orienting towards professionalism and specialisation with the growing demand for specialised knowledge and skills that are constantly shaped and reshaped by the rapidly changing economic structure. Education is envisaged and sought for private benefit as well as for social benefit.

Demand for and supply of education is determined by the private benefit of an individual in terms of enhanced earning capacity and social benefit for social development, economic development and human development. Supply of education is driven by an increase of private and social benefit. As private benefit increases an individual invokes greater educational spending and as social benefit increases government raises spending on education. Government and private institutions supply educational facilities.

The demand for education is increasingly met by the supply of private educational institutions; due to its limited supply by the government. Government educational institutions were the backbone of the nation; however, the path of its educational development became bumpy. This is because people increasingly choose for a private educational institution as their household income improves. Government school teachers, like in college and university, also require updating and refreshing their knowledge and skills by instituting, facilitating and participating in refresher's course for leveraging the educational standard and quality.

Many higher educational government institutions are performing well. However, a majority of the government schools are a slack in terms of teaching rigour and learning ability of the students. Students of government school are mostly from poor income group and rural areas. They engaged in economic activities as a part-time worker, mainly in rural areas, during school off time to supplement their household income. Meanwhile, a right to education came into force as a rescue mission.

School students are increasngly going for private tuition to cope with the stiff competition of education which became a necessary condition to stay in the educational contest and to achieve their educational goal. Tuition became inevitable to improve the performance in examination due to poor teaching quality, class absenteeism or irregular conduct of class in the school. It is resulted due to the high student-teacher ratio as a consequence of poor educational infrastructure and low educational investment.

It is also common for those who, particularly the affluent class, are writing competitive examinations for admission for a higher and professional course and for a job. It appears that higher education especially professional, technical and medical education that requires huge expenditure is largely for the affluent. Similar is the implication for the job. The existing educational system of India requires elevation to world class. World class educational system requires establishing and maintaining low student-teacher ratio for refining interaction of knowledge and for proper attention.

Taking a case of Finland the system of education needs a space for imagination, critical thinking, creativeness, practicality and class interaction and discussion for the development of knowledge, skill, potential and capacity that ultimately enhances employability rather than examination oriented teaching and learning rendering unemployment. Theoretical and practical knowledge and skill are increasingly demanded and supplied in the educational system for developing a human society to contribute to building a better society and economy.

The pedagogy method has also changed from conventional classroom surrounded with a board and chalk to the modern and advanced system using smart board, projector, computer and other related technologies in the developed countries and world class cities. This is gradually penetrating in the developing countries. Natural sciences and social sciences are increasingly integrated to understand their associations to further develop the society. As such many interdisciplinary subjects and courses have evolved in recent time.

Courses of education has shifted from conventional and common courses such as psychology, political science, sociology, economics, zoology, chemistry, civil engineering, electrical engineering, etc to a newer and uncommon courses of inter-disciplinary and or specialised field of bioscience, biostatistics, nanotechnology, aerospace engineering, biomedical engineering, artificial intelligence, management (accounting, quality, finance, transportation and logistics etc), industrial design, interior design, art administration, career advice, pedagogy, data science or big data, beauty therapy, therapeutic, aviation, leisure management, and so on.

With an advancement of society and economy, the need for advance and diverse specialised education is imperative. The situation is demanding to expedite pursuing and developing specialist and super specialist in the field of mathematics, computer science, medical science, engineering, etc. Advance educational facilities in India are still lacking much behind the developed countries.

The educational system needs to incorporate and impart more practical knowledge and skills that are required in the job market. Demand for and supply of education needs to closely corroborate with the expected employment opportunities in the organised or unorganised sector including self-employment. Importantly, students should choose a subject of their interest and capable of accomplishment. Any subject is equally important so there is no lesser or greater weigh unless society creates it due to the problem of unemployment and its significance.

Today society has overemphasised the importance of doctors, engineers, managers and administrators and under emphasised the importance of others including teachers. But often society has forgotten that the former sets of professionals are being taught by teachers since their entry into the educational system.

In India parent motivates and an individual aspires for medical science or engineering by spending and squandering lots of individual's prime time, energy and money in coaching and studies, rather than following their own subject of interest that are accomplishable.

In South India unlike in North East India a medical science, engineering and management are very common because of its availability and affordability of educational facilities (public and private). But at the same time, their unemployment and unemployability problem is severe. Such situation is being visible in Manipur as few people increasingly become prosperous through fairly earned wealth and many become prosperous through corruptly earned wealth.


* Reimeingam Marchang wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on December 31, 2018.



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