Education And Ethical Aspects : Bam Dev Sharma
In educational attainment and performance, two things seem often to be critical-- whether education should incorporate moral and ethical values of the society or it should only give justice to the individual desire to attain quality life. This debate has persisted since the wake of the twentieth century. Many educationists like American educationist and thinker, John Holt, made a very harsh comment on the prevailing education system in America during 1970s. He criticised that American schooling system, which he thought, was defective in making students in their normative years to be less creative and dull because of the cumbersome class and routine bound teaching and learning.
This, in fact, created a big uproar in the USA though the schooling system did not come the way he wanted. Nevertheless, there was some change in the prevailing norms of the society and many schools slightly modified their teaching and learning system. In the similar vein, Bertrand Russell made scathing criticism against rather petty collectivist approach of education in Europe to frame whole education system as collective code. He said that even plants and animals need separate row, ground, and nursery bed for their growth. If all plants get mixed together, they may not grow well. But ironically, we all set our creative minds in a room and try to make them utterly have similar goal of achievement. Though these ideas sound a bit impractical, they have sense: they purport the value of education is not just the performance, but it has some purpose beyond this.
In general perspective, majority of us like a good person, morally and ethically sound and competent in his field. But we may shun a performance of the person who is competent but not ethically and morally sound. If we prefer the person of the first category, we should not discard the idea that education should be utterly free from moral and ethical values of the time.
However, it does not mean education should be reflection of social and moral values of the time. It should encompass all compatible values of time and equipped a person with skills to make him a good performer for the desired achievement. However, the lurking question is: Does then education should be free from moral and ethical value? Should it just be commodities as the market goods displayed in the show rooms? Many of these questions cannot be answered in just one go, for they require deep analysis.
Ever since the origin of the idea of the university education, it has been a place of education and moral excellence. Long ago, the famous thinker, Michael Oakshott, thought that university is the place where educational ideals are generated so as to pave the ground for the educational excellence based upon moral grounding. This apparently justifies that university education cannot simply be professional achievement. University is a place where educational integrity is nourished and formalised.
Education without proper moral and social value simply become a performing machine whose main duty is to produce, but not for the social and social welfare. his rather idealistic ground of education is now obsolete in one way or another when many contend the views that education, like many other market commodities, should also be commercialised. This is the point of fallacy where modern education shows its gradual degeneration, though some can make outcry that it has been diversified. This is the syndrome that has pushed education towards the brink of an enterprise, completely disrobing its beauty--- the beauty where educational integrity must flourish.
On this backdrop ushers in the anomaly in the education sector in Nepal when the Tribhuvan University initiated a policy to give affiliation to many privately established institutions in the late nineties so rampantly that whose repercussion are ubiquitous so as to call for a strict monitoring and revising of the policy, thereby setting up some strict guidelines for curbing the irregularities.
Having said so does not mean such affiliation is totally a failure attempt. In fact, it has helped in flourishing of the universities which are earning repute in south Asia attracting more and more students. However, affiliation, just in farcical drama, not only discredits educational standards of the students engaged, but also defames educational system as a whole. Obviously, educational reform is a long process. But there should be awakened gestures and foresight as to how institutional arrangements and policies should be in place propagating positive repercussions in the long run.
Money Making Enterprises
In Nepal, as of today, the affiliation process and institutional make up some private institutions, like medical colleges, are becoming a common invective. A simple and common man can easily make his conjecture that it is not place of learning and educational excellence but a money making enterprise. If things are not changed as they do prevail today, we may soon be watching news in the television channels that medical sectors would dominate most of the news frustrating general public while creating never ending labyrinth of corruption and unethical practices.
Another equally shocking thing for us is the disregard for the Tribhuvan University by those who have exploited the university for long for their petty benefit. These folks seem to be utterly irresponsible as they tend to go to foreign universities on behalf of the TU and never come back as soon as they get some better prospects. This unethical act on the part of the TU teachers is plaguing the reputation of the university. It is, therefore, high time the authorities took measures to control these kinds of practices prevalent in Tribhuvan and other universities.