Once again it’s that time of the year where students and parents run from pillar to post seeking admissions for their wards. Everyone tries to get admissions into the best colleges and universities in the city and the country. It is also that time of the year when the “Education Bazaar” starts in Shillong. Over the years the trend in academics and choice of courses has changed but is it for betters or worse? I have noticed that going to the cities for higher education has become more of a style statement and a status symbol rather that real academics. Parents feel proud to say that my child is in Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai etc .They should be proud because they work really hard to support their kids who are in the cities since everything is expensive out there. But while congratulating the parents for their dedication I would also like them to do a reality check and be realistic. Some of the colleges that their children are studying in, in the cities are not even worth mentioning and certainly not worth the money spent. They provide no education but just mint money out of the students. They may have fancy prospectus, fancy course names, provide free laptops, internships abroad but the reality is that such institutes are existing for business purposes only .Why are parents and children so blind and why do they fall for such fancy stuff? This is one of the reasons why you see so many “Education bazaars “in our state .
Students and parents should ask themselves, if these institutes which come to attract students through “EDUFEST” are good and well known institutes as promoted by them. Is there need for them to come all the way to North East and spend so much of money for publicity, setting up stalls, giving free iPods etc? I don’t see any of the IITs, IIMs, IISC or even the top colleges doing the same marketing!. We have heard so many reports of these EDUFESTS duping students. All that glitters is not gold. Parents and students should do their homework before they visit and fall prey to such scams.
Last but not least, why are parents and students choosing these money making institutes just because they are in Delhi, Bangalore, Pune? Why not be realistic and instead look at the courses our own colleges are offering. We have great names such as St Anthony’s college, St Edmunds , St Mary’s, Synod College, Shillong College etc. There are so many alumni of these colleges who have made it big in life. These colleges are good brands compared to the ones that come and buy out students and take parents for a ride. It would be good if the educators, professionals and ex- students share their experiences about admission processes and even more articles and write ups appear on why we should stay away from “EDUFESTS” that are eyeing our innocent youths.
Ranikor is 5 hours away from Shillong and one the road is in a pathetic condition. It is a small village bordering India and Bangladesh. The river Kynshi which is about 16-17 kms originates from a small town called Rilang and flows through Ranikor. It is rich in fish species like Golden mahseer, Chocolate mahseer, Goonch(cat fish), eels etc. Ranikor was in the news after huge quantities of fish were found dead in the river. Many officials visited the site and investigated the matter at different levels. The Director, Sikkim Manipal University (SMU) decided to visit Ranikor along with some Biotechnology and Management students and faculty. On the way to Ranikor while passing through some villages we observed that every house had a 100 watts bulb which was on even on a bright sunny day. People obviously were not bothered about switching off the lights. We visited the government hospital, talked to some patients and supervisors. It seems the Health department is doing well as the villagers seemed happy with the services. We spoke to villagers regarding fish poisoning in that area which different people claimed to be due to uranium mining, electrocution, coal mining etc.
The hospital supervisor told us that no patient has reported with symptoms of poisoning by consuming dead fish from the river. Police personnel had alerted the villagers not to consume fish from the rivers so they immediately stopped. Before visiting the village we were warned that the villagers were aggressive with the officials who visited the site. But we found the villagers kind and willing to talk to us. In fact one fisherman helped us to cross the river and took us to a site where the incident took place which is where the Kynshi and Rilang rivers converge. He helped us collect water samples. As the river was highly turbid we couldn’t trace any live fish from the river Kynshi.
Though hectic it was a wonderful research and study tour. Ranikor has greenery and a thick canopy of trees which was really refreshing. However, deforestation seems to have exceeded afforestation efforts. Several forest areas have been cleared for timber and other purposes. The government should have environmental awareness programmes on afforestation. The water samples collected from Ranikor will be tested at our college lab with the help of some officials. SMU will then put the results of the test in the public domain.
Tushar Kumar De