Post Mortem

Education business in Assam

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 5/25/2020 1:56:05 PM IST

 Today’s world is a “Chaos in the Cosmos” where there is cut-throat competition in every sphere of life. Everybody seems to chase achievements at any cost. Being a professional from the education sector I feel that I have a responsibility to share my experiences with the readers in general and the management of the private institutions in particular. There is a rat-race for admission of students every academic session. 

   When we pursued our education from fairly good schools and colleges in Guwahati, three decades back there were very few schools and colleges in this part of NE India in the private sector and we only saw the advertisements in the form of admission notice, that too in black and white in the newspapers for information purpose solely and not an advertisement in any form, and only the “date of admission” and “form distribution dates” were published. Now what is the scenario, I think, I don’t need to elaborate on that, every institution beating their own drum of success and achievements and giving a clarion call to the student fraternity for admission in their colleges. As if, if you admit your ward in that institution you can be rest assured that your ward will come out with a flying career. But it is not so in most of the cases. 

  Had it been so, students passing out B.Tech in civil engineering would not have ended up working in a multi-national micro-finance company as an Area Manager. I am saying this quoting an instance where one of my friends who passed-out his B.Tech in Civil Engineering from NERIST at Naharlagun is presently working in a multi-national micro-finance company as an Area Manager in Kolkata. He is doing good but his degree of engineering hardly has any relevance with his job-profile. 

The credit for this goes to his hard-work, endurance, perseverance and his undaunted ambition to achieve something in life. Now the reason I gave this example of my friend because that was the scenario I am referring to three decades back. So you can well imagine what would be the scenario now.

  As the admission season comes every year, newspaper pages are filled with advertisements of educational institutions comprising local institutes, institutions from other states of India as well as abroad. Every institution claiming to be the best among the lot and almost all institutions guaranteeing a flying career for your ward after passing out. Examples are not wanting to establish the fact that practically the scenario is not as rosy as the institutions portray, in their ornamental advertisements. Guardians spending lakhs of rupees for getting their  wards’ a degree in engineering or MBA from a private institute , they become professionals but , more often than not , many out of the lot, fail to retain their jobs, even if they are able enough because of the hectic work schedule and the chaotic  rat-race in every organization . Thereby these disgruntled lot returns back to their home-towns and start some new ventures’ on their own. So as a guardian it is the moral duty to judge the pros and cons while admitting your wards as well as choosing a course and the institution.

  Institutions which are doing really good so far as their placements and faculty members as well as infrastructure is concerned, such institutions hardly give repeated advertisements in the newspapers, beating their own drums. The good name of such institutes spread from word to mouth. Such institutions simply give an admission notification that too in black and white.  But the institutions which give repeated block-buster advertisements in the print and electronic media need to ponder on the maxim , the great poet, Rabindranath Tagore said, I am quoting, “The diamond that is fake claims about its large size which is why its purity and authenticity becomes skeptical and doubtful” .

My humble request or suggestion would be, before selecting an institution, please check the following points – Background of Management & Board of Directors, Permanent infrastructure, Credibility of faculty members and Placement Track Record. These are the vital points that needs to be taken into consideration and not the colorful advertisements highlighting the names of the big multi-national companies where they have placed their students with ornamental packages to attract the students and parents, which are, more often than not, far from reality.

 There are new institutions as well as new innovative courses now mushrooming in the cities of NE India like the once-flourishing wine-shop and PCO business. Because for the business tycoons or the punjipattis, it is the best way to route the unaccounted money or the black-money accumulated by evading taxes, by registering a trust, by buying and showing that piece of land and functioning the institution in a rented premises in the heart of the city and starting an institution overnight with a temporary affiliation from the gullible universities. The Universities are also equally liable for granting such temporary affiliations to colleges being run from rented premises, just for the sake of earning the affiliation money. 

 Now these institutions growing overnight, without any professional market survey, start courses, seeing other established institutions minting money from those courses. But these institutions fail to foresee the future of such courses, forget about placements tie-ups or recruitment of deserving and experienced faculty members. The result is that these institutions have to run from pillar to post seeking admission for those unrealistic and less-demanding courses, where the employment scenario with such degrees in North East India is grim or already saturated.

 Under such circumstances, the college management should do a realistic and professional market survey by experienced professionals before introducing any new course and the same responsibility goes to the University also to foresee the employment scenario for such courses or degrees in their respective states and region before according affiliation to such courses, degrees and colleges. Also the state-wise students bodies of NE India has a pro-active role to play under the given scenario, without me, elaborating further on this topic. 

Universities should stop giving affiliation indiscriminately to anyone who has enough money to own a piece of land, registering a trust, appoint Board of Directors , recruit faculty and the working capital to start the institute in a rented premise in the heart of any city of NE Indian states. The all mighty Dept of Education of the respective states needs to wake-up from its slumber and take pragmatic steps to stop such Commercialization of Education, of course if the department can spare some time from organizing the acrimonious governmental flagship programmes of this department.

Manas Chakraverty, Guwahati


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