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Private Colleges in India: Travesty of education?

The current row on JEE and IIT has sparked a debate and has got the nation hooked on to the education scene, if only for a while. I would like to use this momentary public attention to advance my own cause. The one of private colleges mushrooming all over the place with substandard facilities and absolutely no focus on academics.
While the IITs have AIIFF, IIT senates, and their faculty fighting for them to ensure nobody walks over them, we students in private colleges are not so lucky. With no watchdog, and the monitoring agencies being corrupt to the core there is perhaps no place where the voice of students languishing in those colleges can be heard.
I am no researcher and hence will not attempt to generalize any issue. I will just talk about things I have experienced first-hand, things I can actually see, I will talk of a college located in the outskirts of lucknow. A dental college…
With the whole country going crazy about engineering, not many people are interested in reading about a dental college, but its not just about one college, it is a microcosm of private degree colleges mushrooming in every town of the country.
Charging an exorbitant amount of fee, one would expect the college to provide atleast the basic amenities, decent laboratories, staff and faculty. Far from it – showing the least concern for academics, the administration chose to appoint faculty with questionable credentials, probably saving a few lacs per annum in the process.
The least a teacher can do is be a role-model for the students to follow, be civilized and show some manners. The etiquettes of some of the faculty makes me doubt whether they were ever among the ‘good students’ of their class, or whether they ever attended a respectable school – their language abominable and a disrespecting attitude towards one and all. Their qualifications? Doubtful, very doubtful. The less said about it, the better.
Laboratories look like joke-houses with inadequate equipment and I will expect most of my readers to being able to relate to this scenario. It doesn’t need a Sherlock Holmes to figures out how they managed to obtain approval from the related authorities (the Dental Council of India in this case). The annual DCI inspection is a sort of festival in the college with temporary doctors in the hospital and fake patients.
Coming to the basic amenities in the hostels. The amount charged is so obscene that it makes me wonder why am I even living in the hostel instead of arranging for private accommodation. Poorly ventilated rooms with windows and doors which do not open on the outside, the college must have greased quite a few hands for obtaining the construction approval from the Lucknow Development Authority.
Coming to the sore point – the non-availability of electrical sockets in the hostel rooms. In an apparent bid to cut down on electricity consumption, the college has not only not bothered to provide the power outlets, they confiscate any electrical appliance as contraband in their routine inspections. Is this a hostel? Feels more like a prison.
The group running the college owns a private fleet of jets and a hangar and is acting miserly on electricity bills after charging Rs. 70000 per annum per student for twin sharing rooms in the hostels. Living approximately 20 kilometers out of the city, students are apparently not expected to own mobile phones (if they do, they cannot charge them), no table lamps, table fans nothing.
The worst part – home assignments. Our dental tools include motors which run on electricity – we are expected to use them and complete our assignments. Ask the professor how – Well, that’s not his business of course, he never stepped in the hostels. He just wants you to.
I know this article isn't going to change anything. But it seemed a much better idea than sitting mum and bearing the injustice and not even make my voice heard.
[The student who wrote this piece wishes to remain anonymous for fear of academic backlash from college for speaking out. You could publish it under the name “anonymous”.]
This entry was posted in Education and tagged Dental Colleges, Education, private colleges in India

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