Thursday, 18 July 2013
We're sheep, all of us. We're vacuous and we're full of fluff and we're always on the lookout for something to pin all our precious hopes on and when that fails, something to bear the blame. We're always on the lookout for a large crowd to blend in with, pinning our precocious hopes on that pied piper who has promised to rid our city of that mice menace. He's convenient too, co-incidentally, because when we fail and he's taken our children away too, we can spend the rest of our lives blatantly blaming him for ruining our lives.
Gods have lost their glamour and even the most devout deadbeat in the world knows that praying isn't going to help you get prettier or pass that exam you've been failing for five years now. Look away from your light for a bit and find a large herd of people following a new one, a shinier one. It has a name too, it's called "MASTERS'S COACHING CLASSES." Yes, with that apostrophe. Yes, in all caps. Oh, but look it has an experienced faculty from the best colleges of the country and air conditioned classrooms! Shiny light, a shrine must now be built.
|Like this. But more Chemistry.|
Colleges have lost all credibility and studying by yourself is unheard of and that's how it starts: At first there was one class, then there were three, then there were three for every subject and now there are twenty, in one area of the city.
This class business is no child's play. You need to start looking for one well before your results are out and you belong to an (official) educational institution. You need to find out what subjects are taught where, at what time, in which area. You need to decide the best class for each subject and approach them before they are full to the brim with children sitting on each others' laps and windowsills too. No, but that's not it. You need to be good enough. There are, of course, entrance tests to classes that prepare you for entrance tests (Oh, look. My head isn't the only place where that sounds foolish.). These entrance tests decide your fate: general batch, genius batch or genius of genius batch. Let the inferiority complexes begin.
No, these are obviously not enough. Foundation batches that start a good five years before any sort of entrance is expected to be tackled. Because who needs a childhood when you have brains (optional)? This, it seems, is the new trend. Parents of the children who have decided what their children absolutely and unequivocally must do with their lives, even before they enter their teenage (I am of the opinion that being made to decide your career path in your teens is fatal, but nevermind that). So ta-da! Foundation classes. Condition the child for five years to look only at one career option so he doesn't make the mistake of believing he has a choice. Yes, obviously the greatest idea they could have come up with.
|Yeah, these bacteria are all that exists. Not like you have a choice.|
But it's necessary. But college doesn't have good teachers. But college doesn't prepare you for entrances. The education ministry must play some role in the conduction of these entrance exams for the government institutions. So if they can provide education that enables us to give one exam, why can't they provide education that enables us to give another? Why can't the 'good' teachers from the coaching classes teach in colleges? But that would be impossible now, wouldn't it, the upheaval of the entire system? And that's how these classes make a living. One party can continue doing nothing at all, the other can continue to earn money. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.
But they have found a way around that too. Integrated classes, where you have one division of a college reserved for the students of a coaching class, who pay extra fees, and study for entrances in a college/school campus during school hours. So, you know, you don't waste time at school and you can study instead. School/college involved receives lots of monies. More mutual back scratching.
|Kind of like this. No, exactly like this.|
Oh, but you can't expect it to be so easy. If you are poor, if you are highly intelligent but extremely poor, you won't get the privilege of a coaching class, now. Exorbitant fees, with the figures getting more and more uncanny with each passing year ensure that you are only entitled to an education if you can empty your pockets for it. The more difficult the entrance, the higher the fees, the richer the kids at the coaching class. Sure, starve yourself for your child's education and send him there, but he's never going to fit in there, is he? He's going to be that kid in the corner who doesn't talk to anybody, the social pariah, who doesn't hang out with the others after class, who can't buy the entire class an expensive cake on his birthday. Yes, that one. You know who I'm talking about. One lakh rupees for two years of education and an alphabet soup of complexes thrown in for free.
Class system, yes?