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Right To Education

I just finished reading Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist and cannot agree more with the central theme of the book. There are very few people in this world who are true alchemists. The rest of them just want to turn everything into gold. This is not the fault of the people that turn out to be that way. Its the fault of the parents, the teachers, the education system, the friends and only then is it the fault of the individuals themselves.

The government, with its Right To Education Act, wants to ensure compulsory primary education for every child in the country. Noble as it may seem, it is no better than building castles in the air. It has only got the first step right. It has realised that the sole reason for the status quo in the country, inclusive of the rampant poverty and unemployment and a total absence of ethics, is the lack of education to millions of children. It is also right in wanting to change this scenario. But its absolutely wrong from there on.
Pitting these poor children alongside those from better backgrounds by implementing a 25% reservation quota serves no purpose. When the children from the better backgrounds themselves aren't being educated, it seems a bit ahead of itself when the government wants to bring the ones from the poorer backgrounds on par with these uneducated would-be brats. I will go as far as to say that the children who are unlucky and unfortunate enough to miss out completely on schooling, are not so unlucky and unfortunate after all. They end up, morally at least, on par with (sometimes they're even better off) those who gain a formal education for a quarter of their life.
The schooling today emphasizes on the end result at every single step. This was highlighted recently by a girl in my neighbourhood who jumped off a building and killed herself fearing failure in her board exams. When everyone around you builds an impression of you in their heads only on the basis of the end results and not a single person gives a thought to how you might have achieved it, it is only natural for you to imagine yourself turning lead into gold while not paying the least bit attention to the intricacies of alchemy.
Before the government decides to put all the children through an educational system compulsorily, it is imperative that it evaluates the effectiveness of that system and ensures it will enhance the personality of the children going through it. Before putting the RTE into effect, the government needs to improvise on the existing system that churns out people who meet deadlines and turn into a system that brings about an overall personality development.
We have enough 'educated' people in the country with zero ethics. We don't need anymore of them. In fact, its about time we lost the ones we do have. We need educated people where educated is not a synonym for high percentages, but an indication of the ability of the individual to comprehend the nuances of the world, the ability to be able to empathise with others, the ability to be courageous enough to pursue his dreams, the ability to stay away from prejudice, the ability to not stray from a morally right path, the ability to undergo apotheosis. This is the education each and every one of us has the right to. This is what the government should look to provide. But sadly, our lame duck PM and the cabinet he commands do not have the ability to even comprehend this as they are uneducated themselves. They should invoke the right to education on themselves before they impose it on the rest of the country.

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