The sky is their limit

August 18, 2006

I see so many college boys and girls dressed in the latest fashionable clothes from my balcony, where I stand showing my son all the vehicles, people and dogs. These college-goers talk pretty loudly amongst themselves as well as over the mobile. I heard some of them telling the other day that they hated attending classes and wanted to just roam around the campus and enjoy their ‘student’ life. Some others felt they had chosen a very ‘easy’ course and had to study ‘easy’ subjects compared to others.That was when the idea flashed in me to write this post.

After completing the slavery of strict schooling, the student eagerly enters college, literally aimless. Keeping aside the bright children, who manage to make their way to various prestigious institutions, the mediocre student reaches a local college to find it more a concrete structure than an educational institution. When he enters the campus he faces an alien atmosphere with unapproachable teachers in contrast to their friendly classmates and coveted and highly mannered teachers in school.

Every course however much easy it may be does demand concentration on its part. For example, the literature course is more often taken as a last resort when no other course could be secured. But the student need not be let down. The literature course can be as demanding as any other professional course. But, unfortunately in today’s educational system there is a tendency to just pass out of the course instead of understanding what has actually been done throughout the course period.

The part played by the lecturers in college is passive. Students belonging to courses which needs more working out and understanding flock the private tutors who are lecturers of colleges where they fail or forget to teach properly. The exorbitant fees given here does help the student to secure more marks, a fact which even Universities cannot object to. But by the time a student who cannot afford this enters the final year of his course, he completely gives up any hope of getting any help from his teachers. An important point is that the condition is not the same in all colleges. The condition of Government colleges are worse where neither the student nor the teacher attend classes. Falling standards of behaviour and educational acumen on the part of students from these colleges sends a warning to the society. But one thing is for sure, where the student wants to really learn, he does learn by all means, and where the teacher wants to really teach he does teach with all his means.

Cultural meets conducted by colleges to develop the student’s extra-curricular potential have more often turned into nursing places for inter-college rivalries. On date a meet can be defined as a day filled with aping of film songs, dances and dialogues. But some colleges do organise commendable functions with rich literary stuff.

Coming back to the educational side, exams conducted are attended by the student after he has made sure properly concealed bits of answers and guides hidden in safe places, an act which he considers as a mastered art than as a shameful mistake. Exams are not taken as a mastering place of course study.

Something has really gone wrong which needs repair. It is the combined responsibility of teachers, students and parents to settle down for a more serious attitude towards under-graduation. This does not recommend a complete banning of fun aspect from the student’s daily. After all a college-goer is himself a bundle of fun and frolic. The student can have his quota of fun but it should be secondary and not the only thing to be done. Put on a proper footing, today’s student is set only for the skies and it is his only limit.


11 Responses to “The sky is their limit”

  1. Vijay Says:

    I tend to do this “generation comparison” a lot. My father went to Maharajas College in Mysore. He can regale me for hours talking about his professors (got to do a post on that), his classmates (both famous and “infamous” 🙂 ). Cultural festivals on a National scale were held every year. Seems like everything was nice and innocent.

    I went to Vijaya High School and National College, B’gudi.. even we had teachers that we’d talk about with a sense of awe (Desikachar for Chemistry, Dwarkanath in English) etc…

    The teachers are the building blocks.

    Today there is no stature. I never find students talking about their teachers (other than in a derogatory fashion). Teaching is not a profession that people aspire to be in. The teachers are paid pittances for salaries. People need to make a living. Hence many of the teachers revert to private tuitions to augment their salaries. Who can blame them.

    Its the entire system…

  2. shark Says:

    I think parents have a lot of role to play in here.
    For eg.., Some of my classmates always talked about teachers in Ekavachana. “Avandaaa class ivaaga!” kinds…
    But my mom made sure that I never talked that way. However bad or good the teachers might be.. but they are after all our “gurus” and we have to respect them.
    This is the first step.

    Though I do not deny that these days even the teachers do not have the commitment. Yes! The money is less.. but there is also something called as “responsibility”… when I am assigned a job I have to perform. I am sure the olden days teachers were also not payed in crores.. but they had the inner desire in them to “teach” and the students also respected them for that.

    Now a days, being a lecturer is the “last-choice”.. if I don’t get a job anywhere else.. I will ne there.

    Most of the systems need change… and this one more in the list…. *sigh*

  3. Vijay Says:

    Shark agree with you 100%.. parents do have a responsibility. Respect begins at home. My mother was the HOD of Economics at a college in Bangalore from ’69 until 3 years ago and lamented once about how the attitude of kids themselves changed.

    Coming to the issue of pay.. agreed that teachers were not highly paid in the past either BUT they were able to make a living. The salaries have not kept pace with living costs.. thats the issue.

  4. Gangadhar Says:

    Thought provoking post,RK..well,whatever education is, one thing is certain..It doesn’t take place locked in seats following the commands of total strangers, your obedience measured regularly by short answer tests. And it’s education we need to meet the future, not schooling.

  5. Veena Shivanna Says:


    No doubt its a very intersting post. I always wondered about this generation gap funda. First let me get my doubt cleared ? Who do I call it as my next generation ? The average age of a person in India is 65-70years(very optimistic?) & the person when he is in his/her 25-30(generally) will give birth to the younger one, so should I take 25 years as next generation era? We keep calling the now-school/college-going kids as our youth/next generation what ever…. They might be hardly 10-15 years younger than us alva ?(I beleive most of the readers of this post range between late 20’s to early/mid 30’s), so can we call them next generation ?

    Sorry if I am putting a wrong prelude to my comment … But its worth to think about this. Also the change ppl have undergone due to various environmental factors like money, India’s sudden development, etc, etc., over the last decade is definitely a different one. I feel the rate at which Bangalore/India developed in last 10 years cannot be compared with the last few decades when we used to play on streets (namm kaaala:-)).
    I am not even blaming on these environmental factors, the is the unavoidable(??) change. No doubt that all of us no matter teacher, parent or individuals have our own duties which many doesn’t do & keep pointing on others. I still can name some of my school/college teachers due to which I have got all my base knowledge which is definitely a cause for my today’s position. Also as somebody stated correctly, now teacher is the job one seeks when he doesn’t get any other job & I honestly feel that ppl like teachers, doctors are awfully underpaid for their service. Engineer oLLe bridge kaTTutaane (eega software program bareetane :-)), doctors obbana jeeva uListaane but teachers inta yesTo jana Engg & doctors na tayaaru maaDtaane, so he is great antha ello Odida nenpu.

    Also One more factor I would like to complain on here is the “Expectation management” & “peer pressure”.. These words are self explanatory. These two also are the reason behind the happenings you stated. We really can’t compare namma kaala/situation with the current one due to obvious reasons.

    I remember writing some lines in thatskannada website addressing this issue. Read through when you find some time.

    Bhagavad giteya niyama tiLidilva namge, “badalaavaNe jagattina niyama… etc., etc., I vote 100% to this. So naavugaLu swalpa Change management bagge gamana koDabeku annodu nanna nambike. Its worth reading the book “Who moved my cheese” by Spencer Johnson… But it becomes our responsibility to direct/influence the younger generation to take the right paths alva ? I beleive its each & every individual’s duty.

    Sorry if my comment sounds like challenging your post. Its just my personal views.

  6. travel plaza Says:

    Very interesting post RK. Reading the post made me remember my own college days. I remember the exact same kind of students you are talking about who had little respect for our teachers and little time for anything other than their own pleasures. It is such a sad thing that instead of moving forward, the students of today are moving backwards. I would have thought that with the exposure and development in India today, students would be more sincere and involved than in my time. It is indeed unfortunate. Hopefully this trend will change soon.

  7. rk Says:

    dear vijay, shark, gangadhar, veena and tp,
    after reading all your insightful comments. all i can say is THANK YOU for sharing your valuable thoughts.

  8. If you want to learn about the devotion of the teachers, a few decades back, please read the book “Rangannana Kanasina dinagalu” by Mr.M.R.Srinivasa murthy, ( em ar shree), published by Geeta Book house, Mysore.

    It has touching stories about the abjectly poor but devoted teachers, who stuck to their principles come what may. Some of the incidents narrated are really moving.

  9. rk Says:

    thanks for telling about the book. will surely read it soon.

  10. While you are at it, you may also add to your bookshelf and read ‘ Mareyalaadeethe’ by Mr.Ravikumar , biography on Belagere Krishnashastry. I have read it , thanks to my friend from Tumkur Mr.B.S.Somashekhar.

    It makes delightful reading.

    There are a few more books I would recommend the readers later.

    Happy deepavali

  11. rk Says:

    thanks for suggesting another book. hope i get them soon and hope to start reading them by deepavali!
    kindly do recommend the other titles in your list ( i am remembering ‘padma miss’ here coz she would tell us to read so many good books)
    happy deepavali to you too

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