The previous three essays expose a deep seated bias in our system against science education, promotion of scientific thoughts and creation of an atmosphere of innovation, for sure and definitively according to me, in those buildings which have boards on them calling themselves “Research Centers”. Where does this strongly anti science force come from?
If we start from our own families we would not be surprised to the fact that what we promote right from childhood of this unquestioning obedience to elders, though the disciplining is essential to an extent, it is time to realise that it is excessive and damaging to the free thinking atmosphere of children in our society. Children, who further go on to abide by the rote learning system, innocently suffering so much onslaught of the society which puts its control on the thoughts to such an extent that spontaneity is lost.
This epidemic exposed this fact about our societies that there were thousands of students stranded in a place which is called the coaching capital of India, wherein students separated from their families by thousands of km, are prepared to become professionals, bureaucrats engineers etc but they themselves have largely failed to organise and ask the crucial question as to why these facilities of better education (if at all we accept it to be so) was not present in their own places of residence?
There is a strong reason not to accept coaching centers as a replacement for conventional education in universities and colleges even if they are supplementary to them, the reason being simple that a coaching narrows down the scope of knowledge acquiring process to just limiting itself to getting a degree or a vocation or a coveted position in the society or a seat in a professional college, which has become such a scourge in our country that a specific story of a couple from the armed forces merits mentioning here.
There was a heart rending story of a couple form Northeast in their late 40s who had already served and retired from the armed forces of this country whom I came across in an infertility clinic in 2018.
They told me that they were there for their second child because they were not able to conceive, when asked about the first child they broke down and said he was no more and should have been a doctor by now, which he desperately wanted to be.
Dr X (whom I would like to call so because he deserved it because of his efforts he put in against all odds) who was this veteran couple’s first child committed suicide after his second unsuccessful attempt at the NEET.
Such exams which eliminate people (rather than selecting) by random MCQs so that the limited number of seats (artificially kept low so as to increase the demand and hence money earned through management seats) are filled with this illogical system of memory checking for rote learning.
They are selected with some random set of questions thrown at students expecting them to have the art of attempting it rather than their intention to serve the society.
Previous to the attempt at the NEET, the young mind from Northeast had gone through the coaching at the coaching capital with much effort and money put in over there, increasing his desperation at the fact of inexplicability of his failure to secure a seat in medicine whereas he had cleared his engineering, he had to forego the engineering seat and wait for another year to get a seat in a medical college.
Presuming there are billions of other students who also go through similar failures and there may be an element of depressive thoughts in such suicidally inclined students also exposes the fact that it is a preventable cause of death, for which the state is responsible, for it maintains such a low level of functioning mental health professionals in our health system.
So why was it so unnecessary to have one additional such healthcare worker as Dr X who may have saved so many other lives, while we know that there were many others who were merrily buying away their seats for hefty sums of money in medical colleges like MVJ Medical College?
Further the veteran parents also couldn’t get the facility of treatment of infertility in their own hometown (though Indira IVF claims itself to be the largest chain of such clinics), they also had to travel thousands of kilometres to avail a treatment, again spending time and money at an age they must have been enjoying a retired life.
This exposes the inherent injustice in our system against innocent children and also parents alike due to the double whammy of poor public health infrastructure (especially in mental health and also other advanced fields like IVF).
It also brings to fore a bad cultural practice of coaching the students instead of educating them and encouraging them to question. On the other hand, the richer people face no such problems because of their capacity to buy everything from health to seats in medical colleges.
Welcome to one such country that is planning to take over the WHO also.