Thursday September 19, 2019

Politics and Education: A Relationship that contributes a lot in shaping our Future

The 21st century has seen a remarkable increase in student potential and their early growth.

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Children studying in school, India, Twitter
  • Students have been the driving force for politics and nation building
  • The education that brings up the students of our country is of prime importance
  • Political systems are required to put more emphasis on education policies for the personal growth of the children

June 3, 2017: 

The political environment and the education system of the country are absolutely essential to its progress and the overall well-being of the society. It is however, complicated how they perceive each other. Education has served the political system without a doubt. After all, it is what the children are taught that ultimately shapes their outlook of the world.

Their ideologies are so strongly tied up with their personalities that they become curious to find the right answers. The political system has come a long way. From an absolute tyrannical sovereign to democracy. It is through education. Through what we have read. Through what our ancestors have left in writings for us and what they have warned us about.

And yes, the political system has returned that favor. Through constant support in the form of policies, funding, and infrastructure it has made sure that education of the nation runs smoothly. Politics has tried its best to provide for these young voters. As we shall see later, the type of political system has great influence on education quality.

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The relationship is thus mutual and it has to be that way for the society to sustain. Any loopholes that distance the two may be a threat to the very existence of this whole structure. Education consumed politics.

Political Science as we know became a field of study in itself because of the importance of the subject knowledge. Student Parties emerged as a result of inquisitiveness as well as willingness.

History tells us that during invasion or war certain things tend to happen. Men are killed. Women are raped to bring up the victor’s offspring. Country’s resources are exploited. And education is controlled. Burning/ banning books (or opinion at large) is an approach that the invaders use to suppress any revolutions. It is to suppress ideological opposition (political, cultural or even religious).

Knowledge is Power. Pixabay

In China, the Qin Dynasty after taking over the territory ordered for burning of books and killing of scholars. Confuscious’ works were destroyed. Valuable Chinese works were burnt that time. Alexander the Great had his army burn Zoroastrian Scriptures when they invaded the Persians. During the Soviet Russia, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s works were burnt and banned from public. Solzhenitsyn was an incredible critique of the Soviet Communism that claimed millions of lives and the absolute torture that the people had to go through. To burn the books was to stop the people from enlightenment that could reveal the true nature of the system that they depend on.

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On numerous occasions, politics has controlled the quality of education to serve those holding on to power. But education has massively helped the masses in realizing their right to self-determination. Decolonization was a product of the colonized people learning that they deserve their own economic and political system. Asians and Africans learned democracy from the colonizers and fought them. Nation building too was a product of quality education.

Decolonization was a product of the colonized people learning that they deserve their own economic and political system. Asians and Africans learned democracy from the colonizers and fought them. Nation building too was a product of quality education.

School Children in rural India. Wikimedia

Today, as the society we understand the value of good education. The students expect the quality of education to be premium, and they expect this from the government. The government itself wants the product of education to comply with the political system of the country.

The quality of education varies. It varies locally, domestically and globally. The curriculum may remain standard, but the approach and methodology adopted vary to a great extent.

Here is an interesting story from India. Last year (2016) a ridiculous incident took place. A girl had topped in humanities and arts in the Bihar State Board. During the celebrations and many interviews, she fumbled. She did not even know what Political Science was. Her extravagant marks were fraudulent. The reason behind this? Corruption, political contacts and the absolute mockery of education.

After that an inquiry was done and ‘sufficient measures’ were taken to avoid this kind of neglect on the part of Education Ministry. The result? This year 2017, only 35% children passed the Bihar State Board Examination. 65% failed!

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The reason for highlighting this incident is to highlight the status of education quality. Children were passing through fraud. And when that approach failed, they failed. It highlights that marks are the ultimate aim of the student. Can it be the fault of the education policies?

Indian political system is often in disagreement with its universities. In the past three years, we have seen many events that highlighted the conflict between the central government and university students.

Presently, there is a debate on ‘moderation policy’ of central examination board that quite seriously had the students and parents sweat and stress unnecessarily. Just before the nationwide announcement of the result, a political debate started whether grace marks should be allowed or not. Just days before the result!

Students are seen participating in politics, USA. VOA news

In the USA, students are often worried about the student loans that they take for higher studies and the little scope that they have of paying it back. Students at large are demanding that interest on student loans be dropped. The university students are well active in political debates and social justice movements happening on college campuses.

The responsibility to provide good quality of education is with the government. This includes everything from policies to equality, and to combine it with further scope of employment. Education must make good leaders. After all, we are the ‘Young Turks’.

– by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393

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Next Story

India Grapples with Credit Issues

While the framework utilised by the rating agencies that has led to a delay in ratings relaying the correct credit information to market participants

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India, Credit, Issues
Recent news whereby credit downgrades have just preceded defaults by Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) is a case in point. Pixabay

As India grapples with credit issues, one of the primary factors that needs analysis is the broken transmission mechanism that relays credit quality to market participants. In common parlance, the transmission mechanism that provides information regarding the credit quality of the borrower to the lenders is unable to do so efficiently. Recent news whereby credit downgrades have just preceded defaults by Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) is a case in point.

While the framework utilised by the rating agencies that has led to a delay in ratings relaying the correct credit information to market participants is partially to blame for the inefficacious credit transmission mechanism, issues around rating agencies are only part of the problem. For sure, rating agency regulations must be improved, but we must also realise that “credit market frameworks” are much more than ratings.

We must realise that credit ratings have limitations in terms of predicting credit cycle ups and downs. This phenomenon isn’t limited to just India but is a global feature. The inability of the credit rating mechanism to adequately price in and predict the credit cycle implies that a multi-pronged approach is needed to ensure that the credit quality transmission mechanism works effectively. Essentially, India needs to develop other features of the credit market that will assist market participants in gauging credit quality, thereby reducing the risk of a “jump-to-default” scenario we have witnessed repeatedly over the last 12 months.

Indian policymakers need to start working on a framework that will allow a liquid and deep secondary market to develop in credit products. Credit products here refers to the entire universe of lending, including bonds, loans and other instruments. Market pricing of products and risk and therefore increased participation by investors will help in “price discovery” of the credit quality. Constant pricing of credit risk and the concomitant information and structure that entails will imply that lenders will have a better information set with which to make informed credit decisions.

India, Credit, Issues
As India grapples with credit issues, one of the primary factors that needs analysis is the broken transmission mechanism that relays credit quality to market participants. In common parlance, the transmission mechanism that provides information regarding the credit quality of the borrower. Pixabay

A market that allows for secondary liquidity, albeit even small amounts to start with, will also incentivise borrowers to manage their credit profile better. More importantly, a secondary market for credit instruments will go a long way towards avoiding the bunching of credit as it happens in today’s market. A credit market has a cycle, and without the existence of a robust secondary market, in expansionary credit cycles, poor quality credit gets excessive access to capital. On the contrary, once the credit cycle contracts credit access for all businesses is diminished to a great extent.

We must work towards breaking the above trend that has plagued the Indian economy significantly. A secondary market for credit instruments will incentivise both lenders and borrowers to behave in a way such that the entire available pool of credit goes towards the most optimal usage.

Policymakers also need to start utilising vehicles similar to Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) or Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) to allow for the pooling of credit instruments. While debt mutual funds exist in the market, the aim of the new “credit pooling vehicles” will be to enable institutional investors to access credit instruments across the spectrum, and not just limited to certain corporate bonds. Access to vehicles that allow for greater liquidity and transparency will go a long way in increasing the capital availability and investor participation in Indian credit markets.

As India looks to boost economic growth, it is essential to realise the credit interlinkages in the economy. To boost exports, a primary aim in India, credit access will be a vital component, if not the most important. If credit is constrained by inefficiencies in the credit information transmission mechanism and therefore leads to inefficient lending in the real estate sector, then it is essential to realise that not only is the real estate sector severely affected but so are other areas such as exports. Primarily, an improved credit framework will lead to both higher availability of capital and credit availability at more affordable rates.

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Credit markets, like all businesses, will move in cycles. Indian policymakers must aim to start building on the blocks that will allow credit downturns to be less severe and shorter. The ability to provide the market access to better information and investment structures will go a long way in improving credit pricing, and thereby credit access. (IANS)