Education is respecting students


OH YEAH? But in my city, the University under which my friends and I studied had a different thought altogether. Their quote would read this “The secret in education lies in cheating and torturing the student.” I will elaborate as to why I assume so and by the end of this write-up even you will agree to the statement I made.

In 2009, the batch of 1993-1994 finally bid goodbye to their second homes and were all set to begin a new life and pursue higher education in their respective fields. But that very year the Education Department of Mumbai decided to bring about some change “for our ease!” They came up with the ONLINE ADMISSIONS. This caused a chaos in all schools and colleges because when people have done the traditional form-filling and admission procedure manually since the start of this education system in our country, it gets a bit too difficult to understand the new system correctly and aptly in a short duration. We all like changes but a change this huge is not an easy task. There are trial and errors for sure and later all glitches get rectified. So, we were the “Experimental Puppets” for this new change in the educational system. Not all our parents and teachers are good with computers and nor did any of them have any clue about what would happen if you do this or that! We were forced to control a flight in mid-air without even being briefed well! [We all know how that ends] We all made mistakes in filling up those online forms and had to go through a lot to just a get an admission in the college you desired. They allotted us colleges that were not in our first preference or anyway close to the fifth either. The rule was to go and take admission in whichever college you get in the first list, if you fail to do so your name will be cut off from the second list as well. We were asked to pay the fee and they would return the amount once we withdraw the admission but they would keep around ₹500 from the total amount. So basically this was one money making racket, I suppose!
This was not the only time our strings were pulled! The next time they tortured us during our degree college years from 2012-2014 when they introduced “THE CREDIT SYSTEM” for our ease! This credit system has taken a toll on students and all the teachers and working staff in all colleges. Understanding this entire thing was a task for them and it obviously went above our heads. So many new rules and regulations were implemented. Every exam we failed we had to appear for a re-exam and if you fail that then you get an A.T.K.T. and you have to clear the A.T.K.T or you get another one. You could get two K.Ts and pass to the second/ third year but if you had more than two K.Ts you would have to repeat the year. In what way does this make it easy for us? In fact we tend to take it all very lightly. This re-exam was not needed. Give an A.T.K.T and get done with it, in that way the students would study properly so that they don’t get a direct A.T.K.T. But you know the secret behind the re-exams and K.Ts? Making some money for all those inside people! We had to pay ₹610 if we had to appear for a re-exam or A.T.K.T. even if it was one subject! FOR WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU CHARGING US SO MUCH? Paper supply and printing or for the teachers who have to set and correct the papers or are we indirectly paying for all their salaries? The amount of students failed for a few marks was really surprising! What planning and such a calculative mind. This is how they do business! *slow applause*

The TYBA results were released online on the 19th of July 2014 and the admissions for MA in Political Science, Eco, etc. were all closed already in colleges. It’s not like you’re a different university. Then how can you shut down the admissions before the results are out? After the results were out we had to wait for two weeks to get our mark-sheets. For those who have A.T.K.T’s or have other issues due to which their mark-sheets are held in reserve still have to wait till the end of this month and by then most of the universities have shut down their admissions. We also had to go all the way to the university to give them a letter to look into our matter and release our mark-sheets held in reserve. The ones who made plans to go abroad and study or shift to another university are all gone to the drains due to the lack of efficiency in the system. They won’t accept some “pavti” (chit) or a sheet with marks from your data base which has other student’s marks as well. Let me point out again, WE ARE THE ONES WHO SUFFER!

I cannot talk on behalf of others in this aspect as I have no clue as to how they write their paper during a board exam but when you have seen them get great marks in class and college exams, you tend to wonder how they fared so badly in a board exam. Plus these are students who study months in advance and have highlighted notes and sticky notes all over their books. We have heard of many cases where the teachers who are supposed to correct the board papers are not doing their work with all their heart and soul. Some of them distribute the papers to their students at tuition and ask them to correct the work. Sometimes they have randomly ticked and crossed as if our papers are a game of X and zero. So as per the new rules if we fare badly in our theory paper [which is possibly not corrected correctly] our internal marks are scaled down to equalize the theory marks. So let me get this right- A student cannot possibly fare better in internals if their theory paper was bad? WOW! Such a logical thought!
A close friend of mine had given her exams and had written good enough to pass as per her judgement. But she was given single digit marks. She couldn’t accept such low scores and decided to apply for a Xerox of the answer sheets. The Xerox answer sheets never came until her A.T.K.T results were out. You won’t believe how furious we all got when we learned that one of her paper was not even her paper! It was someone’s Marathi paper which she had been marked for BY MISTAKE. Due to which she had to PAY! Per paper 200 is charged to get the Xerox answer-sheets. I guess these Xerox papers must be treasured after paying two-whole-hundred-bucks. Plus she paid for an A.T.K.T she didn’t have to give in the first place. I am sorry if this gives some of you an impression that I am talking like a miser but I am talking on behalf of all those who cannot afford to even go a single day by a cab/rickshaw to their homes. This concerns me deeply. Who have we surrendered our educational growth to? Teachers who have no interest in what we have written and care the least if we pass or fail? How can such things even occur? Is there any assurance that this does not at all take place? Is there a sole official that can prove me wrong? I am not saying all teachers are cheats. There are many who actually give in a lot more than needed to their work and I respect such teachers truly. During our last board exam we all made up our minds and accepted this corrupted system, gave in our hundred percent and left the rest to our respective LUCK! Most of us passed but many had some fault in their stars, I suppose! So if you are studying under this board, you better be lucky guys or you will have a marathon of K.T’s and a lot of expenditure for mistakes not made by you!

I can literally picture all those faces who frowned and faked-smiled since the time I decided to take up Arts as my field in higher studies. Arts is being stereotyped since its existence. WHY? What is so demeaning if you want to be an Arts student? It is very rarely that those who are not brainy take up this field as it “presumably” is not so difficult. AHEM, AHEM! I am an English Literature Graduate and trust me I put in a lot of hard work! But unfortunately we are always given less respect in India. We are by default categorized as the dumb students who can’t make it big and will earn just enough! The colleges and Universities too, make us feel the same! Our exams are held last and results naturally are declared after two full moons. We are given too many holidays during exams for no reason at all. If Arts was that easy why give a one month break after three board papers? Why elongate our exams to such an extent that we don’t feel we have exams going on! A convocation ceremony doesn’t exist for a B.A. Graduate or for that case B.SC. or B.COM. [If rumours are true, this year in December we will have a convocation, maybe that will be one good experiment on their most beloved puppets!]

Dear Education Ministers and Chancellors and whosoever this may concern, please do not continue implementing new changes. It does not make it easier for anybody. You can make great plans and think that this will be an amazing system in the future but it’s easy for you to dream of all this sitting in an air-conditioned infrastructure and sipping some great tea/coffee probably Skyping this entire plan while you vacation in some awesome place. But these great plans are not being executed well and in all that mess it is we “students and future of tomorrow” who are wretched. We have never been more tensed about our results than the past few years because in school and college we knew we got the marks we truly deserved because we knew how our teachers were but during the University Board Exam results we actually have to wear all those lucky stone rings and get our luck set right to get good results. We all know the truth! We all know how the papers are corrected and how less you pay the teachers. We can all clearly picture, some angry teacher, unaware of the subject given for correction, probably trippy or sleepy and correcting our papers by alternately ticking and crossing our answers and then laughing out loud like an evil villain!
You have unsystematic, lethargic, disinterested staff that are fed up of all the over-load of work and the 4-5 digit pay cheques. You can get enough of funds and actually repair all this mess if you’ll are not corrupt individuals! The college and University makes their mistakes but who repents? STUDENTS! These years of college life were a mess, trust me. Being students only we have truly experienced the consequences of these sudden changes. The mistakes made during our trial and error round were rectified perfectly for the next batch to pass-out. But hey, what about us? Why were we made victims of your faulty system? The amount of stress we all have taken and the amount of running around we all did certainly did not ease anything for us. We in fact developed stress related health problems but since some of us are diet conscious/fat we are really thankful to you all as we lost quite a few pounds!
Old is Gold, hence let things be the way they were when our parents and grandparents went to college. Upgrade technologically but don’t make major changes that you cannot handle or control. You may say what is done is done now why am I still ranting about past occurrences-because I care! I don’t wish to see more batches of students troubled the way we were. I have many cases to share about all the blunders the University has made but my time is precious and I wouldn’t want to defame this system anymore. But if you, readers, have been victims of this system and would like to share your true experiences feel free to comment below!
Hopefully then they will wake up and make up for their illogical and faulty actions and make education truly a wonderful experience rather than a running around business for documents and ripping of pockets!

P.S. Don’t be offended by my words rather start to bring about a change for good!


-Zainab Attari