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Are we educated? Or are we just literate? In this era of cut-throat competition,...

Are we educated? Or are we just literate? In this era of cut-throat competition, is the compassionate self lost? Questions such as these appealed to the conscience of those present at Jubilare 2018, a panel discussion hosted by Shri Shikshayatan School on Saturday. Justice Samapti Chatterjee began the discussion on Modern Indian Education is Creating Educated Illiterates by emphasising the need to be a good human being first. "We have to be modern in our outlook but education is not just about degrees. A degree will just fetch you a better job but education means you have to be a good human being and that is of utmost importance," she said. Kalyan Mukhopadhyay, deputy commissioner, south-east division, Calcutta police, shared anecdotes from his 23 years of service. "We, so-called educated people, when we are on the road we forget everything and hide behind anonymity," he said. Mausumi Mukherjee, the associate professor of paediatrics at KPC Medical College and Hospital, took the discussion forward by talking about medical education and the need for good doctors in the country. She began by asking the students whether they would like to become doctors. Her motivational speech was punctuated with facts and figures. "We are standing at a crossroads where we need to encourage students to join the medical profession. We need to encourage research and documentation," she said. Life coach Moushumi Gangopadhyay explained the term victimology, her area of specialisation. "We are all victims of an educational system that is making us literate but not educated. We will find a state with 100 per cent literacy but not 100 per cent education. Good marks are important but there is no yardstick to see if you are actually educated." Rajendra Khandelwal, the president of Calcutta Chamber of Commerce, pointed out that it's not just the Indian education system but education throughout the world that lacks common sense. "Around 7 crore students graduate in the country every year.... They have diplomas and degrees but are not employable. Real education starts from home," he stressed. Samita Sen, the dean of inter-disciplinary studies, law and management at Jadavpur University, spoke like a true professor. She emphasised on the word education and explained that it has been overburdened. "The contours of the word education have begun to blur. Education has become the magic bullet for every problem. We need to be specific if we expect it to produce something." Home secretary Atri Bhattacharya, the chief guest on the occasion, acknowledged the need for right changes in the present education system and called for greater choice. Shri Shikshayatan School principal Sangeeta Tandon said such a discussion was essential to "make our children aware of the world outside". "We wanted a topic related to education and it was a very enriching session," said Shikshayatan Foundation secretary general Bratati Bhattacharyya. The discussion was moderated by S.V. Raman, executive member of the Calcutta Debating Circle and programme consultant to Victoria Memorial Hall.

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