When a lie is made to breathe and simultaneously forged into a familiar phrase or a catch sentence, it becomes deception. Advertisements are meant to make trespass tolerable. The ringing tones don’t cause any irritation after we get used to hearing them. The affection of advertisements metamorphoses into welcome deception after sometime. People go shopping and make purchases not what they need but what they remember!

But what is golden deception? A tricky question! I think when deception takes the better of human psyche and is retailed in educational institutions deception becomes golden. Here the trust is made to provide glitter to the deception. This makes the deceived to pay with great willingness sans coercion.

I am not comfortable with the number line math as was popularised by the Europeans. I had to initiate my web site to tell to the world, for example:

If +2 is greater than -2, how come two unequal numbers add up to Zero?

“Profit is sweet if it comes from deception.” And profit there is! The Union Budget for the current financial year had earmarked Rs 80,000 crores for education sector. Now double that amount which state governments spend from their resources. Add to that four times the amount which parents invest to get their kids educated. Now, this is a huge river of cash flowing uninterruptedly throughout the year. And there are finite number of people who take this money home. But when I tested Twitter population with a simple question: Why does water boil at 100 degrees at the sea level, I receive no answers?

So, what is being taught in schools and colleges in the name of education?

 II

Deception, collusion, fakery, prevarication….! There are many synonyms for deception. “Lucifer is master of gradual deception!”

Kota, in India, is one of the many notorious places where private coaching centres teach what CBSE/NCERT fail to teach in schools. Now why can’t even prestigious private schools teach what coaching centres teach? This is a question nobody asks. “Familiarity breeds acceptability” says Ayn Rand. The desire of parents to enable their wards get into prestigious engineering/medical colleges is so overwhelming that they risk money and wellbeing of their own children to achieve the desired results.

When deception colonises brains, firefighting becomes the order of the day. The beauty is that the deception is compounded by carrying out studies and researches to discover why things don’t work  in the desired manner? Means, don’t worry. We care! We have solutions for everything!

“You have to listen to my tune. It is unfamiliar but rewarding!”

Very recently Tata Institute of Social Studies (TISS) released a study of the enervating effects coaching centres foster besides teaching whatever they teach.

Why was the study conducted? Who invested money for the study. Obviously, the coaching centres fear that bad publicity can affect business negatively.

“Self -harm, substance abuse, bullying, sexual experimentation and the possibility of pregnancies, sleep related issues, loneliness, weight loss….are common among students in Kota, the coaching class Capital of Rajasthan famous for offering preparatory courses for IIT hopefuls.”  ToI reproduced the nuggets from the study in Jan 28 ’18 issue. The study was commissioned by the district administration to find out reasons for student suicides. The administration pretends not to know, because the state takes a cut from the revenue generated by these centres, it distances itself from the residual muck.  The suggestion/advise to the parents is patronising. “Do an initial recce, if possible to understand the atmosphere here in Kota. It is not the best place for all children”. And the administration washes its hands off the problem.

While introducing himself to Faustus, Mephistopheles says, “I am the part of that whole which wants to do good but does evil.”

In America teaching mathematics in schools is more difficult than say teaching adults how to make atom bombs. Since business-oriented persons hold the veto to suggest what to teach and what to ignore is what makes reforms difficult. As the degree of difficulties increase in schools the cash registers show healthier prognosis of the business. No publisher I think has ever filed for insolvency.

The Tribune (Jallandhar) on 10 09 2015 published news about a study carried out by experts from Stanford School of Medicine to discover the causes which foster Math phobia. Prof Vinod Menon PhD (Professor of Psychiatry and behavioural science) and research associate Kaustubh Supercar PhD, using the idea that the principle of exposure-based therapy might also apply to math anxiety produced interesting conclusion.

46 kids of standard three where tested for simple addition problems while having their brains scanned via Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. “Anxiety about math problems can be relieved with a one-on-one math tutoring programme. The most exciting aspect of our finding is that cognitive tutoring not only improves performance but is anxiety reducing.” Eureka!

So, the experts dealt with the problem by categorising kids as patients or mathematically challenged. The deception works because every body thinks that math subject is the “touch me not variety” subject that it is immutable. Nobody musters courage to say: Let us check what we are teaching? The clerks in HRD Ministry can’t think, the teachers don’t care and the publishers keep churning out new books, aids and tricks to somehow make kids to learn.

So, math teaching is not a problem which we face only in India. It is an affliction which is intentionally sustained to keep rural kids away from schools. They in turn roam streets, become street smart and now are being absorbed by the global terrorist organisation. They wilfully agree because a gun in their hands makes them to not only source better food and entertainments but gives them much needed self-respect. The battle of wits between State and non-State actors will tilt more and more in favour of the non-State actors.

 III

So, what is the secret of prosperity of teaching centres? I haven’t done any research but I seek help in such situations from the resources of my common sense to proceed further. I think the secret is very simple. Prepare question banks, silly or sensible and make the students to practice them. From lower levels to higher lives they guide the students to match wits with the future rendezvous with the testing times. But this seems to be only the half-truth. The second part is that the examination body source questions from the question banks retailed in coaching centres. In this subtle way they keep the main stream students away from State run technical colleges.

The Coaching Centres, Teachers/professors, Examination bodies and Institutions are a tie.

 

Why do I keep saying: In case you don’t know math, choose any profession but never choose to be a ruler? In all probability you may end up in a battlefield!

The study by TISS was conducted in 88 cities of India where aspiring students with stars in their eyes try to match wits with question banks. In Kota alone 1.5 lac students enrol themselves for such courses. In case we suppose only 10 thousand enrol in 88 cities, the number adds up to 8.8 lac. A conservative estimate works out 10 lac students. Their parents paying say one lac each and the calculator will tell you it amounts to ten thousand crores!

But how many seats are up for grabs? A finite number of seats are being pursued by an almost infinite number of students! I recall the spectacle of the nuptial flight of the Queen Bee, when in the early hour of dawn, she desires to get pregnant in the limitless virgin space with the drones following for mating. As the Queen tests the strength of the drones, the lesser ones start falling to death till the only competent male passes on the gift of the future generation to the Queen to populate the hive.

IV

How can I continue writing if there is an entrenched numbness in the Indian minds! The entire intellectual dialogue revolves around periodic elections which is mistaken for grasp of politics-statesmanship. The Hindu political intellectualism survives on a tricky emotional farmland. India was almost Mughalized till the East India Company (EIC) played d spoilt sport. British business men came here to harvest riches through trade. But when they realised that an empire was up for grabs, intervened politically.

So, was battle of Panipat fought and won by EIC. That was the year 1757. By the time Mutiny happened in Meerut cantonment, the company had carried the Mughal Empire to its grave. That was the 1857. One hundred years of trade and tactical political interventions by the shopkeepers seized upon the opportunity and relegated the residual Mughal power pretence to a lumber room in Rangoon. 1857!

But Indian gentry was already Mughalized as were the Mughals Indianised at the time of mutiny. The Hindus and Muslim had accepted each other as natives. Brits were foreigners, hence enemies. The directive principle of freedom struggle emerged, as a consequence. Freedom meant freedom from British rule.

Anti-British Pro-Mughal Directive Principle guides the political spirit of the modern India state. The partition of India didn’t finetune the political narrative, didn’t attempt to make it acceptable to majority. If today Hindus find themselves living in a soft Mughal State and are angry the fault lies with the leaders of ’47. If ever they realise that they are not there where they think they are, the civil war will engulf India.

In India at the social level battle lines are drawn. The left leaning Congress which guided the drafting of rules and regulations recreated the Mughal State. Pakistan did the same. Both Nehru and Jinnah carried their respective states back in time and stitched it with the Mughal State. Theoretically both undid history of 90 years. But history hit back. Pakistan lost her East Wing in 1971. India is perilously holding on to Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan evolved into a hard-Mughal State; India evolved into a soft Mughal State. Once established the minority left leaning Mughals became rulers not only in the Secretariats but in every department as was needed to create a pathway for flow of authority to the people and obedience from them. Having lost much of power and clout, the present scenario in the social media domain is: Make the Right Wing angry and live off their follies. The RW intellectuals resemble like cooks in the LW kitchens. Since the RW can’t get away from the chains of the narrative of freedom struggle (Anti-British) their fate is sealed. RW has no ideology, no scholarship, no common sense. LW of India is invincible and that is my assessment.

 V

When cheating occupies the mainstream, deception occupies the high moral ground. Morality sinks in a junk yard. I was about to wind off, but had to add something which is more dangerous and scary. Recently, in order to have a tighter control over vigilance in examination centres in Uttar Pradesh (India), CCTV’s were installed. The results are mind boggling. A report filed by Anuja Jaiswal in Times of India.IndiaTimes.Com on 12th Feb says: UP policy of zero tolerance to cheating has dealt a blow to the aspirations of the students who hoped to sail through cheating. One student who was interviewed said, “One coaching centre had promised me 100% success by helping me to cheat. Since CCTV’S have been installed the centre has backed out now. I hope the things are not so strict next year.”

“I took the first test and found it difficult. So, I have dropped out. The school teachers had taken money to help us clear the examination but are now backing out,” said another.

According to UP School Board officials, ten lac students have opted out in first three days. Now imagine the graft that changes hands to create a false Nation!

“All good is hard. All evil is easy. Dying, losing, cheating and mediocrity is easy. Stay away from easy.” Scot Alexander.

  PS:

A massive scandal amounting to Rs 11,000 crores has been unearthed in PN Bank. This is more than 1/8th of the budget the Central Government allocated for Education in the current financial year. What kind of country did the three monkeys of Gandhi foster in India!