As the Assembly election approaches, it is important for the youth to understand what they want from their government, especially in the education sector, writes Abhijnan Pritam Sarma.
The Assam State Assembly elections are just around the corner, and, as usual, the youth of the state will play a crucial role in determining the fate of all the candidates. Although Indian families have been known to cast their votes in favour of the same political party, over a period of time, the youth seems to have opinions and choices of their own, and they are very aware of what they want.
No doubt, the youth’s aspirations and expectations are more or less the same across the nation but they are definitely not a homogenous group. Some may belong to the economically weaker section and some may belong to the privileged section of the society. Accordingly, they differ in their demands. Any youth from a middle-class family would want a secured and well-paid job after completing a graduate degree. Getting a secured job usually means getting a government job. Personally, I have known young people who agree with the fact that there is a phase of struggle after completing a degree. It simply means that a degree does not guarantee you a job – you have to work for it. The level of competition in India is enormous and the youth is aware of it.
Elections are the greatest celebration a democracy can have. It brings in hopes and promises that become a deciding factor in who will form the government. For the youth, it has been always about job creation and new opportunities.
In India, we have several government institutes which provide quality higher education at a minimal cost. A student from a low-income family cannot think of studying at a private high-cost institute, and they have to rely on government institutes. The more government-funded universities and colleges, the more opportunities the youth will have. Therefore, it is vital for any government that comes to power to focus on the youth and the education sector, and, they can do so by subsidising higher education.
Essentially, there is no shortage of degree holders in our nation. A graduate might want to start his/her own business or he/she might want to carry on further studies. The fact remains that somewhere down the line, youths get disillusioned about themselves as they are unable to secure jobs and a healthy standard of living. When a person grows up, he/she understands what they are really into and love doing, but it might not offer a suitable income for living.
Talking about the changes, the New Education Policy (NEP) of 2020 is a huge turnaround for the youth and the whole education system. It advocates that primary education should be provided in the vernacular medium. The policy also aims to establish Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities (MERUs) at par with IITs and IIMs, which will allow students to pursue multi-disciplinary courses. To sum up, the NEP will facilitate a dynamic way of learning which is evident from the fact that vocational training will be provided at the school-level itself.
For the students of the upcoming generation, the new system of education will be very different from the old system of “one course-one subject-one method”. Therefore, it is important for the youth to understand what they want their government to implement, especially in the education sector.