Sunday, July 1, 2012

How colleges make our youth 'unemployable'?

The world bank has remarked that the Kerala graduates are 'unemployable'. It is common knowledge that our university examinations are memory exercises. Anyone can  graduate/postgraduate  with a few weeks 'mugging up' the prescribed portions just  before the examination. Once the examination is over students conveniently forget the whole thing and they are back to square one. Kerala  universities do not make the students appropriate the knowledge nor apply the same in their lives. It is not important too whether a student has an aptitude towards the same. If one can  store some data in the memory neurons (with or without teachers) and vomit it out into the exam sheets one can have the degree.

The saddest part is the way the universities appoint  lecturers.  UGC exam is an objective type one to gauge the  knowledge of the candidate. Nobody ascertains whether one has an interest in the subject or teaching ability.  Without an innate aptitude no teacher can do justice to the profession. Its should be coupled with his/her determination to become an expert by updating periodically. Teaching in a very ineffective way--giving notes, reading and explaining in a monotone or simply drawing a diagram from the book on the board--is not going to produce any result. The students will not feel like listening or absorbing what is taught nor will they be inspired to go in depth into the subject. Spending the allotted time perfunctorily in classrooms (waiting for the bell to go) is of no help at all. Many of our college teachers  do not have teaching ability,  nor do they develop 'how to teach effectively.' Why should they if the employers are not bothered?

College lectureship is very attractive these days; teachers are paid 35,000-100,000 a month for doing very little.(Remember this is a country where a clerk -almost equally qualified- gets Rs.5000/ a moth for working 8-10 hrs every day of the year without pension and a farmer fails to make Rs.30/ a day if he works for 12 hours a  day)   If lecturers  engage 2- 3 periods a day for 120-140 days in an year they pocket 4.2-12 lakhs ! There is extra income for exam duty, paper valuation and so on. Income from private work or business (using all the free time) cannot be properly ascertained. Above all there is life-long  pension (around  Rs50,000 a month!). College teaching job  is like a lottery. Little work, more holidays than working days plenty of money and no accountability. They need to spend the appointed time in the class (this is very easy with the internals even for a new teacher) to get the big salary. It has been reported that even some of the senior lecturers come to the class and start drawing a diagram on the board form the text book without bothering what the students do who may be phoning, taking lunch or talking to their friends or doing a mischief. When the bell goes may be the teacher is happy thinking about the big pay cheque.  In this context,  how can we expect higher standards in our students? Even without this sort of teaching students can pass the exams by themselves (as many do now). There is no need for these teachers. What an example they set! And they always blame the students! As youngsters model teachers & elders, how can they be blamed?