The educated ‘idiot’

President Pranab Mukherjee mentioned last week that education is the key to achieve economic growth. Though students in the city agree completely with him, they share instances to show that education does not bring manners

The educated ‘idiot’

Yes, most of us agree that education is the key to economic growth. In fact, education opens many doors, especially those of the mind. And yet students of the city do not fully endorse this statement. There is a question of manners. And no matter who you are or what you do, you are expected to behave with manners.

“All you need to do is visit one of the bathrooms in any college. It does not matter whether you go to a degree  college or junior college or even a management institute. The students don’t bother to flush, they splash water all over the place, and generally create a mess. I have noticed this throughout my college life. The way these facilities are treated, you will know that students do not deserve these facilities,” says MBA student Jagan Pathak, who feels disgusted at the way these “seemingly educated students behave.”

With matters of civic sense, there is also littering. “In our group of friends, we are completely torn about this issue. On the one hand we have friends who propagate a clean environment and are always squabbling with friends and family to not litter, and hold on to wrappers and stuff till they reach a dustbin. On the other hand we have a few members who are least bothered about where they litter, and sometimes they throw chocolate wrappers near their seats even in the classroom. THE CLASSROOM! Unimaginable,” says pharmacy student Mehak Shinde.

Mehak says her greatest worry is that she and her other friends are not able to initiate any change in behaviour among these students who lack civic sense. “That’s what I meant when I said education does not breed manners. It is a quality that comes from upbringing and your surrounding growing up. It is something that is ingrained in you for a long time, and something that you will fight for, even if that is the harder way. You will not take the easy way out of just rolling the window glass down, throwing out the litter and speeding your car away,” she says, pointing out that it’s not just litter. Often, in classrooms, students find chewed gum blobs stuck on benches and under tables. “You don’t really have to be college-educated to know that you shouldn’t be doing that, and yet, you do it all the same!” she says in exasperation.

Apart from civic sense, there’s also behaviour. “They way students talk sometimes is beyond imagination. The language they use to refer to women and their anatomy. It’s disgusting. There’s no stopping students from ‘checking out’ girls, but to use such words? There’s something wrong,” says SYBCom student Leena Mansukhani.

Many students interviewed used the phrase “education cannot buy class, only a degree”. Architecture student Kshama Pandit goes on to explain why she used it. “We have model making all the time, and students often fail to clear up their areas. Our classrooms and halls are big to accommodate all the tables with drawing boards, and those who leave from one side of the class do not bother to switch of the lights and fans on that side. Worst still, when working on group projects, a few students just send you a miss call, expecting you to call them back for group work. That, clearly, is not the sign of an educated person,” she says.

This writer found that students who are particular have many such instances to share. The ironic part is that the perpetrators either deny that they do it at all, or just adopt an attitude like chalta hai or what difference will one person make, or even others do it and so do I.

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