Free Education is Possible!
“If you want to be happy in life, what you need?” I bet you, the majority of the people will answer ‘Money’. In order to live a good life money has become inevitable now a days, and everyone knows this. No need for me to explain anyone why money is needed. But what happens when the money competes with education? I have certain ideas and thoughts to share with you in this regard. It is a psychological factor in our mind to attach monetary value to anything, in order to quantify the quality. From petrol to gold, rice with a piece of bread everything holds a price tag. Nothing is free from commercialization, so as the Education. “What’s wrong with it?” one may ask me. I would like to advise them to reframe the question “what’s wrong has the commercialization of Education done to us?”
How free education is possible?
A slight modification to the business cycle could do this. Now literally separating the educational cost of the education industry is impossible. In order to learn someone need to cover the costs. As of now the learners are made to cover that cost as educational fees. Who else can substitute them? The Government!
Yes. They can bear the educational cost by paying the academic fees of all the students till graduation. Repayment is a choice, if the govenrment is generous to offer completely free education nothing could better than that. Else the students get employed and they can pay back the government what it had spent towards his/her academics as TDS / EMI / any mode the student prefers as per govt. policies.
This has one major benefit that it prevents exploitation by private institutions since the government suppose to pay them directly and there can be a strict standardized pay structure, free of bribes and donations. A public visibility will be there in place on how much expenses covered in an individual’s education. Secondly, the quality of education will be high because the students are liable to pay the government in future so they must learn proper.
The benefit for the students is there will be no pressure on them to think about the educational expenses and they are free to learn whatever they are passionate about.
Say a person wants to learn about space science, his only concern will be getting eligible in terms of knowledge. It will be the responsibility of the Government to find him a place to learn that subject or create the opportunity for him to learn.
Since the Government is the investor, they can emphasize the students to learn certain things compulsory towards “the Wisdom Factor” so all students are groomed with a responsibility to care for the sustainability factors of earth, whatever the field they choose. They will care for a good society irrespective of any field when they fit in, they make their contribution correct.
As the learners are free to choose what they want, the level of exploration on various subjects will be more and they will have a holistic understanding about the overall functioning of the system. So they will have the wisdom to understand where the society needs resources and they try to fill in the gaps. For instance, if they find people need good governance, they will understand and put efforts to become a politician and government officials.
You can see a visible difference between a passionate person’s work and someone’s work who does it for money’s sake.
Of course, this is just a crude idea, a provoking thought which needs a lot of fine tuning in terms of policies, financial workouts on repayments by students, cost value of various subjects, Public private partnerships, etc. and commitment on all sides are needed.
Please read the following detailing to have a better understanding of this thought and why I emphasis more on “Free learning”. Education is a right, Learning must be Free!
What is free?
When a “Free!” tag is added to something, most of the people tries to devalue that thing tagged with. Take the cases of government hospitals in India, though many treatments are offered free, why people are marching private hospitals? Why people are ready to spend money on something, when they get the same thing free of cost. Well, you know the reason, the quality! “The money you spend is directly proportional to the quality you get”, this is a default formula in the people’s mind. Those who cannot afford private hospitals need to seek govt. hospitals, obviously out of no choice. If a poor can afford, even they would prefer private services.
So we need to agree the quality is compromised in govt. hospitals. But what happens in the other end. Exploitation! Many private hospitals understand the logic that people are relying on them and they capitalized the opportunity. “Let’s make some more money” We hear stories from many, about how costly has the medical expenses have become.
Stop! We are suppose to talk about education here right? “Yes” of course. Just apply the same logic of commercialization of hospitals for education! It will tell you the story.
In a country like India, ‘Free’ is the thing that lacks quality, well, mostly!
Why Education need to be free?
It would be better I call it as a Learning than Education. First, let me tell you that my perspectives are universal from this point forward. In order to have a better society, first the people need to be aware of themselves and the responsibilities they do have as individuals. I am talking about a responsible living for the future as well. Education remains the key of that awareness, which is a mandatory one. We cannot compromise on that.
To make it clearer, I give one example, in order to survive in a desert we must need water, say there is a way to find water, how cruel it would be to say that we teach that art of finding water only to those who can pay money for it. Education is like the water to the mankind. How fair is it to limit the accessibility to only those who can pay money?
Ok! Let us forget money for a while. What else is needed for someone to learn something!
If there is no money, people will choose to learn only what they are passionate about! They never bother how much their wallet holds, they simply pursue what their soul thrives about. Thus, it will result in a society where we will have only pure experts / passionate people in every profession. Think!
What money has done to education?
Sustainability Threats with nature is the key issue; like global warming, threatening of the existence of other life forms, depletion of natural resources etc. are a few examples.
Societal Threats around the globe, like political abuse, religious cold wars, increasing selfish attitude of people, etc.
These two threats are purely the outcome of making education commercial. It is so easy for orienting a society towards anything by altering their access to what they learn. For example, consider the state of children under poverty in the African continent, their society is oriented towards poverty and survival, so they learn to survive or survival is something they want to learn first nothing else. The Child soldiers in the rebel groups will be the living proof for you. This is an implicated effect on their educational system.
It could be difficult for many to relate what I am trying to explain. I make it very simple, when you want to fit into a system you should have the “Wisdom Factor”! Else you will corrupt the system or you perish! Commercialization of education has taken the “wisdom factor” out of our learning process and our system is getting corrupted and we are perishing as well.
Money is directing education, so the people! We learn what the corporations insist! We learn for their demand for their profits. Who cares for the sustainability? If they cared, if we cared we would not have depleted our natural resources, we would not have exploited the nature! We would have a good governance in place and leaders among us to guide us. We lack them because we failed to learn them.
How to fill that gap?
We need a change in our educational system! Simple! But, how? The priorities of learning need to be altered. We start learning as a kid, so what we learn should address the key threats to the man kind first. The entire educational system should focus on a common goal of bringing a better sustained future of the world.
I give you an evidentful picture. Do a head count of professionals and occupations that people are engaged in. List them, analyze the trend of change. You can notice the following results.
- Technologists would be on an increasing trend.
- People work on computers will be increasing.
- Industrialists would show a bloom.
- Farmers will show a decline in numbers.
- Once an ecofriendly occupation’ might be extinct now.
- Corrupt officials would be on an increasing trend.
Behold, one good news is that they are not free to do whatever they want. There is an increasing trend of awareness as well. People started to realize the effects in one way or the other and making a stand up against them.
Science and technology is not bad, when it balances with the nature and the environment. Every new experiment has its side effects. This holds true for Science, technology and all the other experimentations we do. But the real concern is we need to put our efforts to bring the balance in place. We need to fill the gap.
Free education would facilitate this a lot. It will bring passionate individuals at right professions who can deliver excellence in what they do. Thus the gaps can be filled sooner.
– Words by Din