Future is not a thing to be sold. But the Modern Business Model sells anything and everything. We have missed a very important aspect of our preparation for life and even after knowing the mistake, we are ignorant of that. The truth is that we have got obsessed with the branded product 'FUTURE' and have forgotten that it is the present- here and now- that we need to live.
The foundation of a good life, sustainable education and resources is based primarily on how we treat them in the present. We know that our ancestors toiled hard to make their life comfortable. However, what was 'easy' for them is still a rigorous lifestyle for us. We are not habitual of collaborating and innovating for the good of all. Rather, we are the race that runs the rat-race to patent and profit things that could benefit humanity. There is no denying that growth is life is the right to everyone. We clubbed this right with the right to enjoy privileges and started selling 'Future'. I had always thought of insurance business as something strange to understand. How we are made to believe that there is something that we can do even after we are dead. We invest in an 'imagined future' and feel relived in the present. There are billions of people who are working just to secure their future after they are not capable of directing it. We are trying to control the future to our own aspiration because we have been made to believe that insurance gives you a life-cover which keeps things on track for you.
The business model of insurance has changed now. We have started taking this offer as an investment as well. The benefits of these investments are connected to the present where we seem to have made a bench-strength. The fascination to micro-manage the time-to-come has not ended though. The ultimate business model of 'Selling HOPE' has entered education. It is not about selling fairness-creams or some anti-ageing products to the ones who have lost self-confidence. It is selling the remote possibilities of Careers, Jobs, Money and Resources.
The claims in the tag-lines of the educational institutions give a feel of a vegetable market gone elite. The sellers are not behaving like common men and they have their obsessions, self-beliefs and have also developed a Cult of Personality. The students who do not know what they are doing and the parents who want to do everything for their children are the ones who are trapped and robbed by these mirage-machines. I do agree that we need more institutions in HigherEd and these institutions are doing something we need. But merely by imparting degrees to thousands and spending millions of promotional campaigns, the 'education market' cannot get rid of the wrong it has done to Life and Learning.
Aspirations are the easiest things to take advantage of. We may call them dreams but these are hopes and wishes that people want to accomplish. When no one can predict the future, the Sellers of Future, not just predict but give a 100% guarantee as well. They guarantee something that will come into rational context after 3 or 4 years. But we are so quick in seeing the future because we have been thinking of this only and get lured by the super-silky advertisements.
Education is the foundation and we cannot cheat people by promoting the product and not providing with the committed sense of perfect preparation. It is, after all, the quality of participation that decides what will be coming our way. The institution that has a culture of learning, supported by resources and rational policies and free from the worst of obsessions in the minds of owners, succeeds in reaching that threshold of future. There has been a trend to sell education as a commodity whereas, the premier institutions, still have their own image that attracts people. DU, JNU, IITs, IIMs, IISc, and many other institutions are names in themselves that people rely on. They do not predict and sell the future. They showcase their own PRESENT, because it is 'here and now' that actually matters. The Supply-Demand and Seller-Client nomenclature have destroyed the edifice of learning. The definitions are re-defined to suit the market. Accountability is not a thing as it used to be. The onus is on those who have nothing to do with policy and planning of learning in the classroom, i.e. Teachers.
As a teacher, I feel the pangs of pain and often sense a peculiar sense of annoyance in me. I try to put forward a rational thought that by offering true education and not making them 'buy' you, one can still make good profits. The focus of the welfare state is least on welfare but more on controlling the minds and masses. The budget allocation for education is diving deep down and there is no way to rescue it.
Our institutions should disdain from selling something that has not even been predicted by the Almighty. Claim what is to be offered in the immediate present. Competent and Motivated Teachers, Libraries and Labs, Facilitating Comprehensive Learning and development of 21st Century Skills, can make the present so competent that no future, whatever it may be, can deny a significant job or career to such students.
Job is not the ultimate thing. It has never been the sole objective of going to an educational institution. Now, even at the schools, we throw them to Kota Factory world and in HigherEd, they end up doing a job which they did not study for. Exposure could have been given and competence was possible. But that was not the agenda as well as a priority at that point of time in their PRESENT (now past). So, we see that what was sold as future, (present now) is jobless, skill-less and has the least amount of calibre to deal with the world around.
Forget about the Future that is a giant thing to train. We can do far better at correcting the present. The young minds, that make India a country of youth, are going astray. Beware the fact that if we are having the largest number of youth, we only shall have the largest crowd of UnEmployable people who can do anything as they aren't capable enough to excel in something. We are not going wrong with time; we are going wrong towards our Focus!
All this, because they bought the wrong dream which blindfolded them to see their pertinent present. The thing is that we are insecure in our present that's why we want to secure future. This conspiracy leads the business and unfortunately education is a colony of the market now.
We may still attempt to Spare the Future to its own fate and Correct the Present!
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