Head Held High | Poverty cycle in education system – 95% of graduates in the North Karnataka district are unskilled and minimally trained
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Poverty cycle in education system – 95% of graduates in the North Karnataka district are unskilled and minimally trained

Analyze this. Many districts like Gulbarga and Bijapur in North Karnataka have several B.Ed colleges. They must be churning out on an average 1000 B.Ed (Bachelor in Education) graduates, every year per district. 95% of them are unskilled and not so trained but are encouraged to acquire degrees. On the other hand, 60-70 new schools in this district need English and Maths teachers. Schools cannot hire them because they have paper based degrees with zero or marginal teaching skills. Professionally qualified persons keep wondering what’s wrong with them. And this charade continues.

Here’s how the system works. No detention policy at school ensures you pass class X, using mass copying and irrational grace marks/internal marks. Each student keeps going ahead on the conveyor belt, till they become a graduate. They may have the reading, writing skills of class 3rd student at the age of 23-25. They have neither regional language capabilities nor English language abilities. These get into BE/MBA/MSW/B.Ed, whatever course comes to mind. They can acquire certificates, degrees to become ‘paper tigers’.

Schools, colleges, NGO based skill development projects need trainers /teachers/professionals. Local jobs that can pay Rs.10, 000 at village levels! But only 5-6% has some amount of expertise in the required domain. None of the potential English language teachers can speak error-free sentence. When we checked with B. Ed graduates what do they understand about the words – pedagogy, lesson plan, mixed learners, there were no responses.

We found that they have managed to enroll themselves into the course by paying Rs. 60,000 and are more worried about getting the return on investment. They have zero skills, so investments can be pretty much deemed as sunk.

Many B.Ed colleges across the country have schemes.

  1. You need admission for the course. Buy your seat by paying Rs.60, 000 only.
  2. You want proxy attendance so that you can stay at home, pay Rs. 30,000 more. You can directly attend the exams.
  3. You want an exam invigilator who is friendly and will allow you to copy. Pay Rs. 10, 000 for malpractice.
  4. You want to hire a scribe to write the exam on your behalf? Off course, pay another Rs. 25,000.

None of the graduates have been exposed to real time teaching projects. They don’t know how to manage classroom full of students. During their student days, they were keen to be in home by 2PM for lunch. Some of the colleges do make attempts to provide serious, full-day sessions but that hasn’t worked out well. Some of the teacher trainers impose security restrictions, to hold them back. It may not work with such mindset.

This system is so finely etched and protected by quasi-ownership, political patronage and corruption that implementation of processes becomes a challenge. Poverty of minds ensures that teachers are untrained, insecure and left to fend for themselves. They may join some school eventually to assault, rape, and humiliate students. Revenge on the system, perhaps. Payback, return on investment is no more a taboo.