The arrival of the results of the SC and HSC from Cambridge provides an opportunity for all sorts of pundits to pontificate about the system and content of education in our “plaisir” country. Views are expressed by people who take themselves very seriously and, a few days later, all is forgotten and we are back to business as usual. It is a fact that any educational system must adapt to new circumstances and it is the duty of all those responsible to structure the system to ensure that no child is left behind.
After speaking to some teenagers who have successfully gone through the rat race of the CPE and the grinding process of the SC, I have been struck by their insensitivity. It is a fantastic experience to be successful but being successful cannot and should not mean that those who are less successful deserve to be treated with contempt. It appears that the star schools and colleges have surreptitiously evolved a compartmentalization mentality. If this is not encouraged by the heads of the educational establishments, at any rate it is being tolerated.
Those who have obtained six units at the SC examinations shun all contact with those who have obtained seven units and this process continues on a descending scale. Such behaviour at such an early age speaks volumes about the values which parents impart to their children. This attitude of “cloisonnement” is harmful for the future of the country. No country should allow a system which abandons the majority for the sake of the few.
The system must encourage those who are good to help those less fortunate. Elitism of this kind will over time destroy human values without which no society can survive. Right thinking people engaged in the educational field are concerned about this and they are airing their views in the media. If the elitism which we are producing is the result of 3 billion rupees in private tuition – as this is a figure that has been advanced – then the system is rotten to the core. No child from a poor background can ever hope to compete against such massive amounts of money which parents are pouring into the pockets of the teachers who give private tuition. In a normal country which we were in the past, private tuition was for those who were being left behind. It has undergone a transformation with the result that those who are wealthy can buy into the private tuition system. It may even be happening that those who are the stars in private tuition are only coaching those whose parents are prepared to pay more.
The present system is breeding selfishness and is destroying the opportunities for the less fortunate. Those who are born with a silver spoon will go on to have a golden one but those born without any spoon have no hope of even having a recycled plastic one.
It is this situation that breeds revolutionaries. No one and no country is immune. This is why those who consider themselves to be the elite and who are in positions of power within the public service act in a manner which is callous without any humanity for the plight of vulnerable people. It is no wonder that no neighbour cared when a woman was cut up with a grinder at night. Please do call the Police should you hear a grinder at work at night…….