OPED: Free Education in Sikkim; Boon or Bane?

Education is the first step for people to gain the knowledge, critical thinking, empowerment and  skills they need to make this world a better place. Education is the only means through which we can  uplift the society. Sikkim became the 22nd state of India in 1975 and during these initial days as an  Indian state, there were very few educational institutions and there were no higher educational  institutions at all. And in late 1970s higher educational institutions were set up and as per the data  of the 2020 we have nearly 1300 schools, and we have nearly 30 institutions including Colleges and  Universities which includes both private and Government. 

Today, the students of Sikkim are getting free education, and we see the politicians in the chair as  well as the opposition parties having their political talk. They say we will work to establish a better  education system, we will change the education system. But, the reality is that the education system  in Sikkim has become worse, the quality has degraded, somehow, or somewhere it has been  commercialized, the future of the students is not given preference. Now, the system is going into a  bad track and after five years the parents have to think a thousand times as to where their children  can get a good education?. At this point of time, parents are also in a compulsion to send their  children to private schools in search of better quality education far away from their home despite  having Government schools near their homes. Everyone wants their children to get good education  as education is the only means through which the weaker sections of the society can come up, but if  the education system is worse than how can we say that the weaker section of the society will come  up. And in Sikkim we are getting free education, but the government has to ensure that students  who have the desire to go for higher education are able to go to Colleges and Universities to study  the subject of their interest. If we go for surveys throughout the state of Sikkim and if we visit the  villages in the state, we can meet with thousands of young people who had the desire to pursue  higher education but couldn’t go to cities due to inflation and other economic hardships. Education  is free for sure, but there are various issues which the student has to manage by themselves like  room rent(accommodation), travelling to their campuses, procurement of books and stationeries and  the students from poor family background do not have houses in towns like  Gangtok, Namchi, Gyalshing etc, Which is indeed very hard for a simple family to afford and most of  the families have more than one child who pursue higher education. Thus, this has become a  problem which will lead to a situation where quality education will be available to only those who  have plenty of wealth and can afford to send their children to the cities for higher education. The  government has not provided good scholarships for these sections of students, and the amount of  scholarships that the students studying in Government colleges of Sikkim never crossed six  thousands in a year. And one can imagine whether that amount will be sufficient or not, till now no  person nor any politicians have raised the issue of the enhancement of the Scholarships to these  students. Some scholarships are pending for the last two years but the Department, nor the  Government, has not taken any action nor has it taken any steps so that students believe that the  department is for the welfare of the students. 

Students are studying with complete frustration, fear, financial problems and the Government  seems barking every time saying free education is given to all. Now, the time has come as we are 

witnessing that schools are running without teachers, without electrification, without water  facilities,and other basic facilities needed for giving quality education, Universities are  accommodated in Colleges. Colleges do not have access to good libraries, students do not have  benefit of excursions programme and while the students seek for the excursions programmes, they  have to act as a slave of the concerned Department and have to go to the Department daily and  unnecessary harassment is given to the students. 

The slogan of free Education is heard in the villages and if anyone is not satisfied with my writing  then interested can visit the villages and meet with the villagers who have not lived a life with joy,  happiness and full stomach because these people have sent their children to study in Government  institutions. 

So, education, despite being free, has become extremely expensive in Sikkim. This has forced us to  question whether we are really governed by a welfare oriented government?

20190424 140635 Sikkim Breaking News | Trending News

By Anish Sharma. He can be  contacted  at anishkhatiwara12@gmail.com. The views expressed are those of the author, not of Sikkim Chronicle

SC Bureau

Sikkim Chronicle is a unit of Yonika Infotainment Pvt. Limited. Sikkim’s first registered digital news platform which believes to provide right, reliable and credible news and information to the people of Sikkim and around. We have endeavored to appropriately credit the source of all intellectual property we share through this community.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button