And what about the average student?

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December 14th, 2012 Kalpana Pathak

Recently, over a lunch conversation, the vice-chancellor of a private university which is still setting up base in India, revealed that once they became operational, it would only be the crème-de-la-crème of students with 90 per cent score that they would like to admit.

They are forging tie-ups with well-known international institutions so that they can attract the best students.

I asked him the reason for emphasis on the best-of-the-best. He replied that they would like to follow the example of the Ivy Leagues. Nothing, but the best in India.

Fair enough. India does need its own Ivy Leagues.

But he is not the only one who wants highly intelligent students. Most of the new institutes being set up wish to be like the IIMs and IITs and target the top performers in a said class or school. They are even visiting schools to market their institute and curriculum to students.

But what bothers one here is what about the students who cannot make the grade? What will happen to a student who scores 50 or 60 or 70 per cent marks in his 10th or 12th? Is he/she not entitled to a decent higher education?

When I asked these questions to the gentleman, he said, for the ‘others’ there are other institutes.

Consider this: In 2008-09, of the 21,700,000 students who appeared for the 10th standard exam, about 50 per cent passed. And in the 12th standard, about 15,700,000 appeared and 7,900,000 passed.

Of this, in conventional colleges, we could accommodate only about 5,000,000. That means 2,900,000 students, even after passing 12th, have not been going to college for whatever reason — not being able to make the grade, financial or otherwise.

We as a nation need more quantity than quality education. By quality here, I mean the research-oriented.

We need colleges that can provide good education to students and enrol as many as possible. Just as in the US, a demarcation between institutions– to provide mass education and to be research oriented—is needed.

We need to put more children through schools so that they can have multiple employment avenues. By being selective, we not only shut doors on the not-so-bright students but also drive many away from our higher education system. There are enough instances of students not being able to make it to the IITs but have been able to secure admission in an international institution.

The government has been working on some initiatives, but we are well aware of what the outcome would be. The condition of India’s higher education in government’s hands is no secret.

If private institutions, which have the capacity to change India’s higher education scenario, too begin to behave exclusive, only god save our future generation.

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3 Responses to “And what about the average student?”

  1. Satish R Says:

    We as people need to change along with these institutions which expect only the cream to join them. The institutions want the best (90% above) to join and parents want their children to score 90% and above. The average child gets beaten by both - parents who are unforgiving if he/she gets say 50-60% and institutions who refuse admission to such children making them literally feel like untouchables. Why can’t the govt intervene and make these institutions lower their entry level criteria? And being in the IT industry over the last 12 years, frankly I have seen all kinds of people doing well - some who scored 90% in their schools and other who scored only say 60% in schools. Beyond a point, marks are not the only aspect that take you through higher channels in your career, its the creativity you bring that determines your path. Please lets put an end to this culture of 90% above marks and lets relieve the pressure on our next generation.

  2. varinder Says:

    Its very bad for Indian economy we just can’t rely on Top seed students , there is big difference between Just marks and Knowledge .

  3. arun natesh Says:

    But isn’t this true everywhere? Don’t we want to our kids to be admitted into the BEST (whatever that may mean!) educational institution? What is also the point of quantity if quality is sorely lacking? We will only end up with a multitude that would not find gainful employment because they don’t come up to scratch. You have witnessed the dwindling number of job offers and the consequent shut down of many an MBA institute (for example) as there are no takers for seats in those institutes. The debate, clearly ought to be on “employability”.

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