Can we put the whole blame on institutions and teachers for the failures of students? Questions can certainly be posed to the ones in authority. However, the role and responsibility are reciprocal. If we give something good to the place, the reflections are certainly good. Still, this view does not liberate the administrators or teachers of their pivotal role in imparting learning.
Our thoughts transform our ways of living. Our lives have been trapped in a vicious cycle of 'not appreciating' anything. The sense of belonging has been a thing of the past. It will be an extinct thing if there is no check on the fall of hearts. The disconnect between policymakers and institutions; the gap between parents-teacher, teacher-students, and parents-children has been causing a great loss. The worst to happen is that the learners don't seem to love their own places of learning. It is not something that we should allow. Can we imagine a world where students do not feel attached to their alma mater?
The affection towards friends and the sense of pride for the institution should be the first thing for a student. But the market forces have made it a game where some institutions fail and some win the game of marketing. I have seen kids studying at one place and aspiring to be at some other institution. The sense of loss and a certain amount of incapability force them away from the inherent goodness of the place. The number of facilities and the availability of infrastructure does matter, but everything cannot be seen with this narrow lens.
There has been a free-flow of money-making organisations entering education and that has caused a certain fall of trust. There has been a trust deficit among all who are present at a campus. The reason is not some ancestral enmity but the communication and commitment gap. They think the students are clients and parents are mere sponsors. The fear to lose business forces them to ignore what we call concern and quality. Pandora’s Box opens this way. Poor Plans lead to all poor thigs i.e. faculty, infrastructure, curriculum, placements etc.
I studied at a school and a college which did have the basic infrastructure for a school and college. Of course, it wasn't state-of-the-art. But that was not even the purpose of education. We did well and were able to derive learning out of the life we lived. The generations that have gone to the same schools and colleges have failed to make a mark of sustained success even with the presence of advanced resources of technology and money. This generates fear in me. I am afraid that the youngsters are missing an important aspect of their life. The way I recall my old school, college, university and hostel, makes me realise that I have been able to keep these things alive. Of course, there were not world-class, neither was I. But, together we have been able to add goodness to my learning. When we have a love for school, we care for it. When we care for something, that thing also tends to RISE.
They are not learning to care for the place which is actually their own den. They shall be known by the name of the place they studied at. They shall have memoirs for a lifetime from these very places. Lack of Infrastructure or facilities was not a new thing in the past. That has been part and parcel of education in countries like India. If we consider private institutions as the agencies which must pay-back by giving 5-star facilities, we are losing the actual purpose of learning. The hunger to see 'trending styles' has made the universities sell themselves to parents as if they are customers.
The decade long experience in teaching-learning has taught me that the love and attachment that we have for our school, college or university is the actual driving force for any change there. If we hate something and do not join in the transition, we cannot claim to have improved things. When I get to see the Lost-Gen Youngsters wandering towards drugs, meaningless talks and acts, zero involvement in academic learning and negligible participation in extra-curricular activities, I can understand why a particular campus or premises does not have the charm. Comparision to utopia isn't the real things.
Have complaints and do curse the place, because it is your own. These are your homes and do we leave homes or pray for their failures if we do not get something we desperately want? NO, we rather choose to work together to bring that. Trust the Journey and have both eyes on the path, not on the destination.
If we do not carry a sense of pride, we disassociate ourselves from a place or a cause very soon. The firmness in our feet comes by the sense of belonging we have. Be it our love for our motherland or the possessiveness for our toys in childhood, the sense of belonging is the key.