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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Educating MLAs

“I am happy that Goa University will be given Central University status,” said the Old Man on the Mountain.
“Many in Goa University itself are unhappy about that,” I said.
“That’s because they are afraid of competition,” he said.
“What competition,” I asked, “who will come to Goa to study? Only those who are looking out for a good party.”
“On the contrary, students will come in from other states and other countries and they will want quality teaching,” he said.
“But Shantaram Naik says we should not agree to it, because the land that Goa University occupies is worth crores of rupees and we should not let the Centre take over this prime real estate,” I said.
“That’s all he and his type can think of; they don’t mind selling the entire state to builders and they complain if the UGC takes over the university,” he said.
“Others are worried that our Goan students will not stand a chance against the students from places like Chennai and Delhi,” I said.
“Then how is it that when our Goan students go out of the state they do very well?” he asked.
“I don’t know; maybe the weather is better there,” I said.
“Our weather is fine; it’s our system that’s so bad here it can only improve once the Central University comes in. After that the colleges and schools and primary schools will have to pull their socks up,” he said.
“And you think that is going to change the system?” I asked.
“I have an even better plan,” he said.
“You will have to speak to the new education minister,” I said.
“Oh yes he will like my idea, have you seen his educational qualifications? Pathetic,” he said.
“Well the others are not very well educated either,” I said.
“So that’s my idea. The new Central University must have a high-security wing with forty seats in it for the 40 MLAs. They are in power for four years, yes?”
“Yes, you want to shift the Assembly to the university?” I asked.
“No! Since they will be occupying those seats one way or another for four years it is enough time for them to earn a degree through the University,” he said.
“But you keep saying that Arts graduates are running the world and destroying it,” I said.
“So they will learn Pure Sciences, Mathematics, Literature, Ethics, Accountancy and History for four years,” he said, “and at the end of four years we will have forty ladies and gentlemen who will know all about cause and effect. Since they are always re-elected, it would be taxpayer’s money well spent. They will learn all about the reasons for global warming, they will learn how to put into place good infrastructure and they will be statesmen, not a bunch of buffoons making merry with money that does not belong to them.”
“What about those who work in government offices,” I asked. “They too need to learn about cause and effect. That when they goof up or goof off, the repercussions are slow but devastating.”
“Of course. There will be short courses. For instance PWD staff can sign up for civil engineering courses; Electricity staff for electrical engineering and so on, where the medium of instruction will be Ethics. It will be so good,” he said.
“Ehhh, it won’t work; they will want free bicycles, laptops and raincoats,” I said.

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