Shillong, Nov. 17: Militancy and other crimes in the Northeast are the products of a faulty educational system being followed in the country in general and the Northeast in particular, Meghalaya Governor R.S. Mooshahary asserted today.
In his inaugural address today at the 83rd annual conference of the Association of Indian Universities at North Eastern Hill University (Nehu) here, the governor said militancy, kidnapping, extortion and other social maladies were directly linked to the faulty system.
Of the many objectives of education, the one that aims at empowering students with the art and skills of self-reliance is perhaps the most important, Mooshahary said.
Education without skills is unproductive. An uneducated person will till the land, work as a wage earner or an artisan, but the degree-holders in India will not do so because our education gives them a false sense of pride. This makes them a misfit for work done by uneducated persons.
These degree-holders were a social liability and potentially dangerous, Mooshahary said, adding that universities and colleges were just awarding general degrees to a huge number of students.
According to him, it will not be wrong to say that the universities have become mass production units of degree-holders without the wherewithal to empower the youth with the skills for employment and self-reliance.
At present, there are nearly 300 million illiterate people in the country and the accessibility of the youth to higher education is merely eight per cent, compared to 89 per cent in the US and 63 in the UK.
This means that the students do not get admission to courses of their choice for higher education, according to Mooshahary.
There are around 11.5 million students at various stages of higher education in about 415 universities and 20,675 colleges in the country. To attain the gross enrolment ratio of 15 per cent by 2015, there is a need for setting up of 1,500 more universities, he said.
Mooshahary said private-public initiative in the education sector by extending financial and logistical support to establish new universities for vocational training was the need of the hour.
Meghalaya higher and technical education minister Manas Chaudhuri said under the Look East Policy, Shillong could become an ideal knowledge city because of its proximity to Southeast Asia.
Though there is a mushrooming of engineering, medical, management institutions in the Northeast leading to a high rate of literacy, the quality of education is very low leading to a brain drain in the region.
Brain drain in the Northeast is taking place as many educated youths prefer to study outside the Northeast and also get employed outside the region once they complete their studies, Chaudhuri said.