Amidst the frantic quest, where will the ‘average’ students go?


By Nawaz Yasin Islam

As the end draws near to culminate anticipations on the outcome of months of burning the midnight oil, there starts the 'opening of admission stores' scattered across the state.

Unfolding with the designing of attractive banners to catch the fancy of the student community like 'bees to a colourful flower', the admission season for the year makes its way into the life of every young dreamer, showing them hopes for a good…better…best future.

Kick-starting the 'festivity' is the fiery sale of prospectus, booklet after booklet glorifying the best features of every institute being handed out for a couple of hundred rupees, not to forget the 'admission form' cushioned between the pages of the prospectus, an A4 sized paper which at this time of the year, sells for nothing less than a hundred rupees!

Some specializing in catering the needs of the 'female section' of the society and some taking the responsibility of looking after the educative requirements of both 'boys' and 'girls', every institute gearing up to the lucrative process of taking students under their care has their own 'motto' and reason of being a pioneer in their field of expertise. From 'Deeds not Words' to 'Virtue and Knowledge', from 'Excellence with Integrity' to 'Knowledge is Immortal', the reasons are aplenty for choosing either of the reputed institutes in the city of Shillong and proudly flaunting the Identity hung around the neck.

Year after year, the admission procedure has just been a trend, plainly followed but discreetly analyzed with some 'hush hush' discussions between the parents and their kids within the confines of their living rooms. Of late, the competition has stiffened to extends that 'survival of the fittest or fastest in some case' can actually be linked to the entire procedure of admissions. With the 'spot admissions', the 'cut-offs', the 'first-come-first-serves', the concept of 'Knowledge for one and all' might just take a backseat to be dominated by the more influential lot of competitors, but again, it is a race that cannot be debated. The simple one liner here is "You have to be the best to be in the best…for the best is only for the best…Best of luck!"

It is not always about reaching the staggering 100% literacy rate which exemplifies the Government's success in the field of education but giving equal opportunities would also be a welcome 'offer'.

This write-up does not aim to criticize the admission procedures, but the analysis of details has been done to raise the most pertinent question…"Where do the average kids with average marks go?"

Parents and students hurtling from the office counters to the bank counters and back to the office counters are possibly at a greater rush to grab the 'pole spot' rather than look at the overall picture of whether we are 'rocketing higher' or 'spiralling downward' in this context.

Raising a topic for debate will help address pertinent issues that have been kept in the sidelines. Maybe an Admission Policy or more importantly Unified Admission Norms will help in looking into this area with a different pair of lens.

When talking about the progress of a country depending on encouraging and nurturing of youth as a positive force for progress, there should be guidelines and policies to harness the energies of youth for mainstreaming young people as active citizens for tomorrow.