destination india

Saturday, November 20, 2004

education system in india

A recent news report makes a startling revelation that it is easier to get admitted into one of the best business schools in the world (like Harvard, Stanford and Kellogg) rather than trying to sweat it out to secure a rank in the CAT examinations for admission into one of the IIMs of our own country! In the foreign schools, the applicant to student ratio is of the order of 7 to 10 per 100 whilst for IIMs it is of the order of 1 in 100!! More shocking news follows: IIM Ahmedabad, the only Indian business school included in the rankings ranks as low as 64th in the world – the reason? It is not international enough.

In order to reach this level of education, one has to travel a really long distance.

Let us start from the very beginning – getting admitted into the nursery!!

Here again tension prevails. Once again, referring to recent news reports, it seems that many young parents spent their Divali holidays trying to sharpen up on their general knowledge, brushing up on their ability to converse in English, sending out feelers to the local political strong men for help and arranging to keep ready large sums of money for donating to the noblest of noble causes – namely, their children’s primary education.

Preparatory schools that are affiliated to well known schools are in great demand and they charge donations from Rs 5,000 to Rs 2.5 lakhs while the tuition fees are in the region of Rs 400 to Rs 2,000 per month. Some schools refuse admission to children whose parents are not graduates or are not able to speak English fluently enough or are not aware of etiquette and manners.

And what do these children do once they get admitted?

Well – Delhi has the dubious distinction of the country’s first parlor especially for children under 12 – little girls with dreams of walking the ramp are getting waxing jobs done as early as eight!!
These are real eye openers.

In this connection, the fear factor comes into fore – child molestation cases are on the increase. Who are we to blame? We seem to be at the mercy of the Frankensteins that we ourselves are creating. I remember a short story by the great Bengali author Sri Sunil Gangopadhaya, way back in the sixties, where he had painted a vivid picture of an Indian mother in America who used to give pills to her teen aged daughter regularly at bedtime to prevent unwanted results.


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