Is competition necessary in the learning process?

What's my fault if I am dumb? OK, sorry! It is my fault if I am dumb. But what is my fault if my neighbor is smarter than me? If I get 98.9 percentile in my CAT exam I am denied admission by all the IIMs. I don't get a job. I don't get a wife. I am screwed for life. And my neighbor, who got just one more mark than me, got 99 percentile. He gets admission in an IIM, an amazing job, a beautiful wife. He has been blessed for life. Why does this world fail to recognize the effort put behind an eventual failure? 
pen and paper
Right to Education



Right to primary education! Primary education. Mind it! Now competition makes an absolute mockery of Right to Education. It makes people spend their valuable time and money, makes them literate, and then makes them regret it. You just have nowhere to go thereon. It is like a plane takes you into the sky and drops you from there without a parachute.

India has highest suicide rates among students. Someone said that if just 1 student dies out of 50,000, how can we dare to do injustice to 49,999 of them just for one. If a plane is hijacked, 10 terrorists should be freed but not one innocent person should be killed, that is what our constitution advocates. For God sake, we are talking about a life. Be it just one but a life is valuable. we cannot afford to lose it just because our system could not give him the education he wanted. 

34% of India's population is illiterate. 50% of the population is just responsible for 2% of the country's GDP.  Now when we talk about development how can we leave behind 50% i.e. close to 600 million people out of picture. We can't just keep feeding them for life we have to bring them into the working India family.

What should we do? Education for all should be the motto. One would say resources are limited and we lack infrastructure to educate everyone. We don't have an alternative to competition.  We just can't help it. Well, we always have solutions.

Firstly, extend that primary education bracket to secondary, senior secondary, and if possible, to graduation level. Encourage other streams! India is one of the highest producers of Engineers and Doctors second only to China. But when we talk about streams like psychology, poetry, philosophy, we are no where. The need of the hour is to encourage all streams. Encourage learning by correspondence. If we don't have colleges to accommodate students let them be at home and learn by correspondence. Well it is 2012, why don't we take innovative ways like learning by cloud? Shoot a lecture, put it on YouTube a student who can be on Facebook 24x7 can very well learn by that method. 

I would like to say, we should enjoy our education. It's not some forced labor, we should have freedom to learn what we want, how we want. There's should be a positive vibe around when you go to your school or college. You should enjoy my success, I should enjoy yours. 

I would conclude by saying,

If this world fails to recognize the effort you put behind your eventual failure, it's the time you do... it's the time you do...

Thank you very much. 



The speech was delivered as a part of a debate competition on the topic 'Is competition necessary in the learning process?' in CSI Region-I Students’ Convention (RSC-2012), Education Day celebrations on 10th November, 2012. The speaker won the 'Best Speaker Against' award and was part of the 'Best Debate team' award. 

CSI Region-I Students’ Convention official poster
 CSI Region-I Students’ Convention 




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