The role of the market is ever changing and the effect it is having on today’s education system is now under a crucial state.
In a country where degrees are given much more importance than education, literacy rate given more focus than actually being literate, and marks given more emphasis than knowledge, the point that this article aims to make should not come as a shock. We are living in times where terms like consumerism and capitalism have become a part of ourselves and needless to say, we have become a part of them too. The intensity of the effects of these concepts has heightened to such an extent that our education system has also not been able to save itself from its iron clasp.
A couple of years back in an article on education, the newspaper of the socialist party claimed about the state of education that “it is in a state of crisis.” In times such as these, we have an urgent need to prioritize and plan. The purpose of education, which was once to inculcate within human beings rational and moral values has now diminished to merely a validation on paper. In the changing times it struggles within the grasp of market forces and grapples with issues of not only being measured in terms of money, but also by being deteriorated to only the level of a commodity.
To understand the market forces at work, it is important to first understand capitalism, which is an economic situation under which we all are working at present. The basic premise of it is to leave everything to market forces to decide the workings of the sector. A professor from Delhi School of Economics says, “There are two primary decisions, one for consumer and another for producer. Ideally it has been the governments which have been playing the role for this decision but slowly when everything is left for the private sector which operates in the market, market decides what to produce, what to serve and the choice left to the consumers is to choose from the available.” Thus, the relation between us and education is one that needs to be viewed in the light of this fact.
But of course, like a coin with both sides, the role that market plays in the education system has positive as well as negative effects. Where on one hand, it has led to a more objective criteria of perceiving education, on the other hand it has also led to a greater awareness and power in the hands of the people. It is they who decide what happens with them. It is therefore now up to us to decide how we let the market forces influence our education system, and in turn let it affect us.
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