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Saturday, 22 September 2018
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Strikes Protests and Ragging, the Crippling Education System. PDF Print E-mail

It was once claimed that education would round up a man, smooth out the rough edges of a Character full to the brim with flaws, and make him a better human being with integrity and idealistic values. He would glimmer in the darkness of mortal evils as a diamond would among pebble stones.

Yet 13 years of solid education and a good 2 to 3 years of higher education seem to have made some, lesser than human beings, highlighting some tragicall blows of our education system.

Offences of the most inhumane types are considered ‘fun’, while socially depriving hazarders’ acts of violence is accepted as means of expressing protest. While prescribing unnaturally moral crippling dozes of ragging for the ‘rich kids from town’, the readiness of university students for hoisting swords for the smallest of issues is a disturbing development in the already deteriorating situation.

The most recent incident of the many stories of student protests which is increasingly becoming the latest trend in the market for news stories, the Havoc at the Lotus Roundabout with graduates holding mass traffic jams were headline news. The members of the unemployed graduates union were ultimately dispersed with a violent clash of the Police, while being heavily tear gassed in the process.

In a similar incident a few days back when the Inter University student Federation brought the traffic along Galle Rd, Bauddhaloka mawatha and town hall to a standstill when they pledged to launch a mass protest with the support of the school children. The protest was organized in the quest for the release of Udul Premarathna who is in custody for offences occurred in a similar protest campaign. The students also pledged massive protests in the alleged Government moves to situate Private Universities in Sri Lanka, along held withstand for continual protest campaigns from students of Government institutions.

Likewise the Kalaniya Campus’ entanglement with a nearby village ending in a mini war zone in the grounds of Kalaniya Campus and other hunger strikes and protest marches of the Ayurvedic unemployed graduates continuing for more than four months are just the tip of the ice Berge in a whole crisis of suffocation in our education system.

Similarly two students of Sri Jayawardanapura University who were suspended for serious breaches of Ragging were initially followed by a mass student protest demanding the withdrawal of the expulsion. Following a complaint made by the vice Chancellor of the University, Dr N.L.Karunarathna, the Mirihana police arrested all students on the demonstrating protest.

Yet, Ragging of freashers in Universities in south Asia had been in fashion for centuries. The more harmless epistles of ragging when the new comers should sing aloud or dance to the tune of the latest hit songs is more or less the milder end of a series when dehumanized acts of assaults, sexual abuse and criminal intimidation are also been heard quite often nowadays under the title of ragging.

Interviews with Campus students, portrays the idea of playful trickery in opinion to having being gotten carried away by a few. The Barbaric and sadistic practicing of some ragging rituals seems to attain far from building Fellowship and camaraderie.  Incidents such as a number of 13 senior students assaulting a newcomer who had ended up hospitalized and later needed protection from authorities to finish his degree in fear of further assaults, is only one example from many such cases.

Many incidents when the students were taken severely ill eventually after they were asked to drink water from toilets or eat sand with rice or leftover food from the seniors’ lunch packets are not to be taken lightly when psychological issues also would erupt causing student suicides and depression.

All students of Universities agree that being from a leading National school would be extra torture just for that fact. If any fresher tried by action or dress style or language to set themselves apart, they would be ‘reduced to their standardized size’.

This matter of thinking process seems to apply just as well for the much harped establishment of Private Universities. The students and graduates of  Government Universities either could not or would not except the fact that paying for education is legitimate when all over the world it is being practiced and provided with better methods and facilities that could be offered to the students who are capable and eligible for university education.

So where is the loop hole in our education system? Why these moral dilemmas of our students emerging from local education criteria? The eminent in exception of the ‘Rich Kids’, the ultimate hazardous and unfairly crude treatment of children who had received better facilities of education and home comforts or the rebellious outlook in matters aided and abated by the leftist political parties are now a few notches above the level of total social inadequacy. Rigorous Punishment won’t make much headway upon the problem when the roots are as further sketched as all the society based controversies are concerned. 

The psychological brain washing or the under privileged students from the rural, where parents to teachers to religious priests to all elders of their society has taken the trouble to implement the constant gap of ‘having everything and having nothing’. The village based saying of ‘colombata kiri, gamata kakiri’ (while the city receives the best nourishment of milk, the rural gets nothing but cucumber!!) seems to have long lasting obsession, if not a rather sinisterly complex impact on the well being of the society.

It is up to the establishment to make necessary improvements and the important and crucial undertaking of development in the educational sector thereby making assurance of all children receiving an education on an equal platform.

The existing disguise of equal education must be replaced by the upgrading of moral stature in children where all concerns of public rebellion reside. After all the solution to all, is in our own hands.

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