Change-the keyword for today’s scenario. Wherever we turn, we see calls for change-change in the system, in the society, whatsoever. But, have we ever pondered upon what really needs to be changed? Is it really the “system” which needs transformation, or is it us? We never really bother to self-criticize; we either lack the time or the instinct. But now, the time has come- the time for change. And by “change”, I do not mean the so-called system, I mean, changing ourselves. After all, it is us, people who constitute the system, right?  We have slept enough, and now it’s time for all of us to wake up.

Students, particularly in our region (the north-eastern region), have had always complained about the “defective” education system prevailing here. Hence, the calls for change. No one actually being sure of what change means, the only change we can see is chaos everywhere. The problem is not anywhere near the surface, it has penetrated deep into the roots of our society. I’ve seen children being caned if they do not manage to mug up the addition table; I wonder, since when has addition become torture? Mathematics is supposed to be fun, not horror. Can’t the tiny tots be taught in a more practical and interesting way? Isn’t THIS part of the “defective education system”? Corporal punishment has been banned, for sure, but kids still shudder at the very thought of going to school. Besides this, can anyone reduce the pressure on students from their families? Astonishingly, the answer is “yes”. Then again, the question arises, if this can be stopped, why isn’t it? Because, somewhere deep down, lies our attitude. It’s not something that we CANNOT do; it’s just something that we DON’T WANT to do.

Speaking on this, let us move on to the pitiable condition of the educational institutions in this part of the world. Most of the young aspirants, since times immemorial, harbour a dream of getting into the top-notch institutions of the country. No offence, but strikingly, what extraordinary guidance do these institutions offer except maybe a job that pays better? Is there any scope for innovation? Hardly. Yet, why does half the populace aspire to get there? After all, scientists like C.V. Raman and Homi Bhabha did not belong there. And right there, comes this word, “pressure”. Peer pressure, pressure from parents, teachers, relatives and neighbours and what not? Not everyone manages to reach there, and the world moves on…

Next comes the dreadful thing called “cut-off marks”. Why do we need to judge someone’s ability by his/her marks? Why can’t they be tested in real-life situations? Because, our top colleges and universities don’t bother. They don’t care whether they are educating humans with brains or robots with photographic memory. But, they should care, right? After all, the deans and professors are training the “future” of our country. And the sad part is, we can’t raise our voice. Because, if we do so, they can screw up our career and we will end up being nowhere.

The demerits of Indian marking system and analysis in the competitive exams are often discussed and debated. Aren’t films like “F.A.L.T.U” and “3 Idiots” watched? Apparently not. And why should they, with 90% of the students purchasing guide books and model questions year after year?

I personally feel that no one can be judged by what one scores in examinations. How well we score in life is far more important than mugging up a few equations and formulae to get a good result. We should not study because we have no other choice; we need to study because we enjoy doing so. And yes, studies can be fun. We just need to know ourselves, and what we truly want to do in life. And if we really want to see the ‘change’ everyone is talking about, let us be the ones to start the change. Let the change begin, from our homes, our hearts, and with us.

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