Humans are better than other creatures for not these reasons that they have built up the stunning Tilottama city in the world or enlivened the ease of living for the centuries or enforced their inevitable dominance on the animal world. A human being, especially a person as distinguished from an animal, is the best creature in the world due to his birth characteristics. Humans are extraordinary in revealing their birth. Every animal in the world is born in its own form and nature. Once an animal is born, it almost completely retains its successful nature. So, it is seen that ducklings swim soon after they are born. Lion passes its life as a lion. This is definite and final. Man is born as an animal just like any other animal. The human being means all the qualities and attributes that are complete in our eyes, with all its possibilities and incomplete expression. The human being started its journey in this world of light, air, and soil. Every creature is perfect and complete creatively. The only human being is imperfect and this imperfection exists as an unprecedented possibility to perfect man. Education is the bridge between human nature and its full potential. Man can reach possibly to the “idea of human” by crossing only the bridge called education. It is not the learning of school, college, and university to get a good earning outline and this education is the journey from death to immortality.
Education has two meanings; both are meaningful and important. The English word ‘education’ comes from the Greek ‘Educare’, which means the journey from darkness to light. Ignorance is darkness and sin. We know from Greek philosophy that human is ‘good’ or does well according to the idea of overall goodness. The ignorance, unconsciousness, and stupidity of human beings create darkness inside of him. There are inferiority, parasites, and the feeling of hateful beasts in the darkness. When a man gets the idea of goodness and meets his soul, the walls of darkness collapse. When the light of education comes to the human mind and they are cheerful, enterprising, beautiful, and loving, the glowing flame of education is exposed in thinking of human actions, in a word, in the life of a person. We call him knowledge.
The Quran teaches people, “Allahumma Rabbi Zidni Ilma”(O Allah, grant us wisdom).
And in the Upanishads say, “Tamsa Ma Jyotir-Gamaya” – O Lord, guide us from darkness to light. It is wrong to think that man is only for his body structure and there is a dormant fire in the structure and there is a living seed in the fire. It is the education which seed will turn into a tree while a flame of the fire into a lamb.
The other meaning of ‘education’ is originated from Sanskrit, which means “self-digging” or “self-exposing”. Each person is unique as an individual. It is the motive of education to discover the unique and help recognize the inner self of people. It is another purpose of teaching to match you to yourself. The motive of education is to dig into the potential of everyone and make it true. The object of education is to introduce yourself to the ready celebration of life. The task of education is to establish own’s sovereignty by discovering oneself. The purpose of education is to know oneself and show others the same path. The task of education is to make people fearless in their journey and introduce the inside to the outside.
But our conventional education system does nothing when education has such motives or works. This dreadful, dilapidated, and almost dark path of education forces people to imitate. You follow others, walk in a familiar way, and know the determined questions. This system will tell people that you have nothing of them own. He is a blind passerby in a big traditional way. This education system will make you cowardly and greedy. This system can give you a lot of information — your good income and a good job. This education system shows the fear that if you are not properly educated under this structure, you will not survive and sustain. Your path will be violent. These works of such type of education are like swift arrows. You will throw and hurt others as well as yourself. Society spreads the illusion of comfort and convenience to the people and cherished it. It says that you will find the prescribed materials of comfort if you exceed the definite standard. People fall into this trap. Society will give people luxury items but takes away the inner man of man. People will get relax and comfort but they will lose their soul and peace of mind.
Real education teaches people that they are unique and completely different. Nothing is made in this world as per your size. You make it to your size. Search the quality of your creation. But capitalisms cannot pass their days with this great education. They need some biological robots. The current university-centric institutional educations are creating doctors, engineers, agriculturists, bankers, teachers, secretaries, officers, employees, such as diverse professional instruments. They just will waste the time of life to push the wheel of civilization every day. They will not realize life. If anyone does not wear these conventional shoes of the society, the society will become harsh. Because there is a need for the uneducated persons in society to sustain power and politics. The uneducated people will be the “guinea pig” of war. It is such kind of danger If someone doesn’t shoot even after getting the order of shoot. So, this education system kills the feeling of “saying no”.
Great education tells people to be careful. Life is not a competitor to the real proposition. No one can pass anyone here, which is not even necessary. Because everyone’s location is specific and their journey is dissimilar. Don’t just create an obstacle in the way of someone. Just enjoy your life beginning with endless possibilities. Connect with your privacy and all the developments arisen in this world. Breathe among beautiful music, philosophy, and human feeling. You will be happy and immortal.
The institutional education of universities will say that you are young and can’t do it. You will live for stopping hunger. This university will teach you the technique of curbing hunger. You will just eat. You will be taught in these universities how to snatch good food. Lock the door of your mind first. You bow down. You have no responsibility for the good or bad of others and their life and death. You have no commitment to yourself. You just run. Don’t raise your head in one breath as you don’t have the sky. You’ll just learn the techniques of running. You will be defeated if you stop. You are hungry and You are poor. Someone else will eat your food. You have no day, no night. You will be taught in these universities how to do the business of selling your soul in exchange for food and luxury. You will be educated on all the techniques to increase the value of your soul and how much you can sell at what price. Basically, all these institutional educations are nothing but making a barbaric strategy. There will be a scope to create a brainless, heartless slave, and moderate clerk here where everyone is everyone’s enemy.
If one desires to make a nation rootless, half-dead and maimed, the nation must be taught the education that has nothing related to cultural heritage. This unscrupulous vile education system of schools, colleges, and universities in Bangladesh was born in line with the manipulative education policy taken by the British. Before the arrival of the English (and especially before 1857), the main medium of education in the subcontinent was Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, and Urdu. When the English took over the country through the company (from the middle of the eighteenth century), there were no local laws here to consolidate the system of governance.
The English established various educational institutions including Mohammedan College, Hindu College, Fort William College for the sake of developing communication with the people of this country (for rule and exploitation). These colleges were initially set up only to review the law with Muslim judges (Kazi) and Hindu scholars. These judges and scholars were considered as ‘social special classes’ in the social structure of the eighteenth century as they had knowledge of the English language until the company’s expansion policy was implemented through the Charter Act in 1813. At the end of the eighteenth century, especially after the so-called permanent settlement, there was an influx of Christian missionaries in the country. They taught the people of this country, especially the Hindu community, the English language behind secular education. They had a motive to convert their (Hindu) religion. This education was conducive to create inferiority and hate to own tradition and culture.
The British no longer needed Hindu and Muslim law to rule the country by that time. They closed the English learning institutions for the scholars and judges. But they opened the alternative door of an educational institute. They willingly established Kolkata Alia Madrasa and Kolkata Hindu College (1817). They had the intention to introduce priests of two religious’ groups with secular English education and the glory of English civilization so that they can make at least some of them join their group. The English had been able to implement their purpose, although it was somewhat.
The education system was very close to religion during the rule of Muslims in India. It was mentioned in ‘UNESCO-Studies on Compulsory Education’ published in 1954 that education and religion were considered as very close during the Muslim rule. The leaning of the children of Muslim families used, to begin with, the teaching of the Holy Quran at that time. Historian AR Mallick writes: “a review of the past history of the Bengal Muslims shows that a child began education when the age of the child reached four years, four months and four days. Some parts of the Holy Quran used to recite to the child through a special ceremony. The child used to repeat it. It was a tradition in every Muslim family.” (A. R. Mallick, British policy And Muslim in Bengal, p.149)
It is considered from the evaluation of William Hunter that how strong the education system was in religion-based British India. Hunter writes: “Muslims were the best nation in India not only in the field of good governance but also in the field of education before this country came under our rule.” Hunter said “Indian Muslims had such education system, which was inferior to the imported system but it by no means deserves hatred. The system purified the development of a high level of knowledge and intelligence. Although it was an old formation, its foundation was strong and undoubtedly superior to all other (educational) methods at the time. The Muslims easily gained mental and financial supremacy in this education system.” (Source: William Hunter, The Indian Muslims, translated by Abdul Moudud, Ahmed Publishing House, Bangla Bazar, Dhaka, p.116)
The imperialist British formulated a new education policy as part of a conspiracy. Lord McColl was given responsibility for formulating this education policy. McColl’s statement describes the purpose and the future of the education policy. On February 2, 1835, Lord McColl said in the British Parliament “ I have traveled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief, such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such caliber that I don’t think we would ever conquer this country unless we break the very backbone of this nation which is her spiritual and cultural heritage and therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation.”
The speech of Lord McColl is found in the book ‘Saving Humanity’ (pages179-170) written by Swami Vivekananda.
What is the goal of the education system formulated by the English? Addressing the Kolkata Governor Council on February 3, 1835, Lord McColl said “…They Will be Indian in Blood and Color but Appetite and thought Will be a European’ (Woodrow, Macaulay’s Minutes on Education in India-1862: Translated by Abdul Maudud.) That means, the British wants to set up such a class in this country through the introduction of learning English, which would act as an interpreter between the British rulers and rule in India. People will be Indian in the shape of blood and flesh, and physical colors but they will be pure English in terms of taste, principle, and intellect. ‘
There were some people, who learned English, in Kolkata and other parts of India before the English came to this country. The English mediated the trading between the European and Indian merchants. The demand for learning English increased after 1757. The business structure became larger due to the Company’s Expansion Policy in 1813 this is why the need for English-speaking employees increased. The British taught English to people of this subcontinent for only office purposes. The curriculum and environment of the colleges were the same. This situation has not changed yet after the English left the country more than seven decades earlier. Nowadays, the persons, who can speak English, are proud of the country’s people. They also respect the people who imitate anything of the British. Many stick out their tongue when they see men of white skin. The universities of this country are still making the ‘domestic servants’ of that company. The entire education system is being completely conducted in line with the colonial ideology.
Quality education teaches man to be strong. The sense of individuality of a man makes him like a beehive. Humans themselves create nectar and donate that nectar for life. Quality education builds respect for oneself. People constantly look for other people to make that respect.
The education of these worthless universities constantly immerses people in self-immolation. Man disregards his own self every day and fails to win. He feels short of breath even when he stays on the seat. He wants to beg for his own gain with promptness. He crawls for a little fascination and lives endlessly fighting with his own shadow.
Creating the thinking of world humans among people is one of many virtues of education. The word ‘university’ is a product of ideas. But it is a matter of surprise. Being helpless absolutely the students of this country snooze in the classroom with fragile ethics and educational materials in the same structure, which got decayed over the years. Those who are more alert, do it for the sake of mere subsistence so that the BCS can be crossed over. I am not saying that the university will send students abroad with separate funds to introduce them to world culture. That expectation in this country is indecent. I know, this is happening in Europe. There is a system of free credit transfer between different universities in that country. It is like a product.
If education is also a product in this free market, it should be a standard product. The semester-based free movement of students can be arranged in different universities in at least their own country. As a result, they will easily understand the differences between the university and the regional culture. If the work of education is only book-oriented and disgorging, why is it necessary to attend classes with struggle?
The works of any university are to introduce students to the soul of a country and point out the simplest way so that the students themself can find out the direction of their own path.
The work of the university is more comprehensive. It is not the works of the university to create a job’s scope for the readymade-students who have got admitted only after passing. It is seen that almost all the children get admitted in the primary school. Later, many drop out of school due to various reasons. All cannot cross the boundary of secondary. Which class of society will be kept the students stuck in primary or secondary education? They leave school and go towards uneducated again.
The situation of European people, who drop out of school, is not the same as the situation happened in our country. There are government patronage and thought behind the tackle of their bad situation. There are also libraries in different villages in Europe.
It is better not to discuss the library system of our country. People (poor peasants or workers), who only earn primary education, in the west also read newspapers in their leisure time while women read prayer books. However, you can now bring up the reference to the newspapers’ scarcity or communication system in this country. I want to give blame to the education system of this ignorant university even after accepting the lickings. There is no enough library in this country. However, we have not been able to provide local books useful for reading and translated foreign books to the villagers, although some libraries are in the country.
The more educated a nation is, the more cultured, elegant, prosper and self-esteem a nation is. Institutional education or syllabus-based impressed teaching guides people to them in a specific way as per the guideline of that education or syllabus. Institutional education cannot complete people’s insight this is why there is need thinking, analysis, and research for every man. Normally, institutional education is formulated, conducted, and regulated by contemporary rulers. If the ruler wants, he can formulate the education system as per their wish for the sake of sustaining a governance system or he can build the nation as a self-respecting nation.
Once upon a time, spirituality, morality, human values, and culture of Bangladeshi society were very rich. Here, thinking, honesty, jealousy, and empathy of people were ideological. Many tourists visited this country through the ages and observed the nature, soil, and people of Bangla as well as people’s simple way of life. According to their travel history, the tourists returned to their homes after being fascinated by everything. Education and culture are the souls of a nation. However, nowadays, there are many logical reasons behind the poor, aimless, and inferior society of our Bangladesh. Some reasons were influenced while founding the British colony. The imperialist attitude of the British was hidden inside wealth and the destruction of the Bengali nation and nationality. The burning example of the attitude was found in the speech of Lord McColl in the British Parliament, who introduced their formulated education policy in Bangladesh. Lord McColl said in the speech “I had traveled all over the subcontinent and never found any thief and any liar. The country is so prosperous, the values of people are so high and the people are so influential that we will have to hit the spiritual and cultural backbone of the country if we want to bring the country under control. For this, it requires a radical change in their education and culture.” If the idea is established in the minds of Bangladeshis that whatever foreigners and English have come from them (British), Bangladeshis will turn into a subjugated nation losing confidence in their self-esteem and own culture. We also will be able to establish our rule on them properly.
After Lord McColl delivered such speech in the parliament, the British ruling class was influenced by his speech and they accordingly formulated the education policy of Bangladesh. At that time, a group of pro-British intellectuals started supporting the education policy.The discourse of their formulated education policy indicated how to subdue a nation and dominate them. This is why the impression of slavery is being now reflected in the people’s minds of this country. According to their plan, the Bangladeshi nation believes right now that the westerns are advanced nations. Their language and culture are suitable for modernity. And we are underdeveloped which means third world people, although the first world was equipped with the result of oppression, domination, exploitation, and plundering in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
However, the financial development is getting priority changing the “theory of progress” where humanity is rolling on the ground. Physical needs are major while spiritual needs are neglected. But there will be a difference between animals and humans, where the needs of animals are only physical. Although there is no difference between them in westerners. The people of this country have forgotten about their spiritual needs. Western education and culture occupied the place of spiritual need. they have forgotten their responsibility on society, state, and human being intoxicating with consumption. Nowadays, all the educated and uneducated people of the country believe that getting a job by studying is the success of life. If a person gets a job by studying, he is successful. They do not think that study is related to the building of life. They spend as much time to get a job but they don’t so to build a meaningful life.
Nowadays, it is sometimes seen while interviewing a group of young talented people and they are asked what is the purpose of your life? They say that they want to be an engineer or software engineer or a doctor or a successful businessman or a barrister. Because there is a huge scope of earning money in such professions. Money is the main here. Nowadays, market-oriented courses are also placed in the first position in higher education in universities. Sociology, political science, and philosophy courses are placed in the next position. However, these courses are considered as elite courses in the Western and Persian countries. The young generation of this country is also not interested in studying these subjects. Besides, only market-oriented subjects are taught in private universities when the courses related to society and state are completely neglected. Professional courses have nothing to do with ethics and human values. Their aim is to create a group of materialistic graduates to meet the needs of corporate firms or multinational firms.
Now the question is that is every human being not a social and state creature? So, why don’t they study sociology, political science, and philosophy in higher education? Every educated person must have knowledge of basic sociology, political science, and philosophy. Why are educated people being kept away from social and state thinking? In fact, even in the case of the present higher education, our country is deeply affected by the aggression of the imperialist.
People are being taught individualism through this imperialist. The education created in the ideology of consumerist western culture is leading the persons towards their self-centered goal. Only consumption is the vow of their life. Individuals want instant gratification. The persons try heart and soul how to collect consumed materials this is why corruption has entered every corner of the state. Corruption and looting are always going on in all government and private offices.
Are the main thieves of this country not educated with higher education? The high educated persons are laundering thousands of crores of money abroad and do not hesitate to destroy national happiness for the happiness of their own families. They are trapped in debt following slavery to foreign lords. To pay the interest of the loan, they are imposing the burden of taxes on the mass people by increasing the prices of diesel, octane, gas, and electricity. All these oppressive ruling classes have oppressed this unconscious nation in various ways. Nowadays, the rulers also are sucking the blood of people like a leech. Will it be the work of a conscientious person to call them human beings? Why are they not human as they are highly educated? What is the problem in the education system that they are failing to be a real person despite being educated with higher education?
Once a time, a teacher was considered as the equivalent of a parent in our society. The dignity of a teacher was very high. The students of the previous society used to pay homage to a teacher with a humble voice when they saw their teacher and stand in front of the teacher bowing down their heads. But the present situation is so bad that the students are constantly raising their hands against the teachers, who built them (students) in the college and university when respect to the teachers is a far cry. They do not hesitate to stab the teacher if they (teachers) stop any student to take any unfair way in the examination hall. A student is stabbing another student with weapons due to political or any other reason and extinguishing the lamp of life. A group of terrorist and corrupted people is coming out of the educational institute from where a group of social workers was supposed to originate. Doctors, engineers, and lawyers are being produced through the education formulated by the British but how many people are real people?
There was no such bad situation of women in this country before the development of current technology. They lived in society maintaining decency. At present, women are being turned into commercial products after taking them out of the hijab in the name of modernity. Six trade using women are going on freely at the tourist centers. Some quarters are trying to give legal recognition to the sex trade. The media are exposing women making them look attractive by wearing indecent clothes. The more they are being exposed, the more incidents of eve-teasing, rape, and acid throwing are happening. Premarital relation in the name of modernity is going on freely is in this educated society. Nowadays, college-university teachers also encourage their students to engage in romantic love, which is a naked imitation of western civilization.
But progressivists say that humans will create their own values and receive moral education from their family, not from the educational institution. Now the question is that how can the corrupt and wicked people of the society give moral education to their children as they themselves are not moral. It is said that the current modern society has become civilized. In the past, people were uncivilized. Now, a man is killing another for the sake of little money.
Labor exploitation is going on in the country taking chance on the poverty of poor people. Inhuman torture and rape remain continued in society for happiness. Are not these a barbarism? By radical change of the education system in the backbone of the Bengali nation, the British ruling class had hit a place that needs to be restored. Otherwise, there will come no improvement in society. The nation will have to be established in the world with welcoming modernity in the developing society as well as ancient glorious language, culture, values, and uniqueness.
The author is thankful to Hasan Ali for translating the original Bangla article into English.