KERALA HAS POTENTIAL TO BE A GLOBAL HUB OF EDUCATION- THEJUS ENGINEERING COLLEGE
Discussions are taking place in all the media about making Kerala a
global education hub. The Chief Minister also has made suggestions to this
effect. A global education hub denotes a geographical area, where people
connected to education can meet. Those, who are in the business of providing
education, facilitating education and aspiring education, are always looking
for very conducive environment to come together and do their business. The word
“business” is no longer a taboo for education.
What makes such a conducive environment? What are the essentials of such
a hub? First of all, there should be physical and legal infrastructure.
Physical infrastructure includes buildings, roads, transport system,
electricity and water supply, health supports and a robust IT support. These can be either state-provided or
private-funded. However, the legal environment has to be provided by the State
itself. State should have a well designed policy to permit the education
providers to do their business of catering to the needs of education seekers.
Here the will of the politicians is important and is a pre-requisite.
Presently, the situation in Kerala there are many players in the
education field and nobody is able to play. There are Government institutions,
aided institutions, religious management institutions and self-financing
institutions. All these institutions are competing each other to attract
students by indulging in various practices.
Parents of aspiring students are
not at all charmed and they always look towards other countries and, if not, to
other states. The attraction towards “things- foreign’ has not yet weaned out.
People still feel foreign education is superior to education imparted in our
own schools and colleges. Those who can’t afford foreign, try to be satisfied
with so-called ‘”deemed universities” in our neighboring states. As a result, hard-earned Indian money is
converted to foreign currency to be spent in countries like China, Russia,
Germany, Australia and other countries, while the seats and facilities in our
own state are wasted and the institutions struggle to survive.
One can understand people migrating to countries looking for livelihood
and for higher education for which no facilities are available in own country.
But for undergraduate studies why one should go to other countries and states –
like ordering food from restaurants when home-cooked food is wasted!
Has any of the government agencies or social organizations tried to find
out the real reasons behind this and collected any statistical data on the
outflow of funds to other countries and state? Nobody has ever bothered to do
this. No investigative journalists or TV channels will do this job since they are
only concerned with the advertisement contracts they get from these outside
agencies. Even the educational institutions are not viewing it seriously since
they have no time apart from fighting among themselves.
The same people, who despise their State, make a hue and cry when their
life is in danger on account of various calamities and epidemics that affect
their country of study. At that time
they want somehow to reach back their own country which till yesterday was good
for nothing. They are not blamed for returning, but one has to question their
hollow arguments against Kerala not having basic amenities to live a peaceful
There are classic examples of foreign nationals who happened to be in
Kerala during the Covid-19 lockdown days praising the State for its excellent
and humanistic approach of handling the epidemic and, if possible, never to
leave Kerala and go back to their native places, in UK, USA and other so
called developed countries. Taking cue from these incidents, our people
should change their attitudes and misgivings. Find solace in mother’s lap
always – not in times of grief alone but in times of joy also.
Governments cannot make everything happen. Governments can only create
policies to regulate and control according to the needs of time and
circumstances. It is for the public, the business community, to utilize the
opportunity and come forward with financial and intellectual capital required to
make things happen. We have the
intellectual capital to compete with any western or eastern intellectual
standards. This has been proven globally long back. But we should realize
ourselves what we have and how we should utilize it – not for individual
benefit alone but for the collective benefit of our State and Nation as a
While scope for big industrial units is limited in our State due to
non-availability of land, we have a very fertile atmosphere for educational
activities to prosper. What is required more than attracting people from
outside, we have to retain our own people going out for education. Streamlining
and modernizing working of our universities, reducing the influence of politics
over the universities. The provide quality learning environment and world-class
teaching. In effect they should provide value for money. The Pandemic has
taught us a good lesson to be patient, to be health-conscious and to be
technically competitive. If these lessons can be turned as life-styles we can
achieve what we aspire.
So let us all work together. We are all stakeholders in this game. There
are no losers here. We can definitely win with our collective wisdom and
sincerity. By making Kerala a Global Hub for Education, we are creating a
legacy for our children to be proud of.
(The above material published on behalf of Thejus
Engineering College, Vellarakkad, Thrissur, Kerala is the personal opinion of
Mr. K. Kunhikrishnan, Director of Thejus Group of Institutions, Thrissur. There
is no intention to malign any individual, organization or any group as such.
The intentions are clear and sincere towards making our State a place looked
upon with awe and admiration)