The increasing trend towards commercialisation of education has become a matter of concern for students, as they feel that quality of education is compromised for monetary gains.
City students expressed their views about the issue at a recently-held state level inter-collegiate group competition based on the theme of ‘Need for value based education’.
St Vincent’s Night College of Commerce from Pune bagged the first prize at the competition, organised by St Xavier’s College, Mumbai, on September 5, in Mumbai. Several colleges from across the state participated in the competition.
St Xavier’s College, Mumbai, and Night College of Arts, Commerce, Ichalkaranji, Kolhapur, secured the second and third places.
The team from St Vincent College comprised students Blesson Varghese (TY B.Com), Karan Mudaliar (TY B.Com), Rahul Choudhary (SY B.Com), Hemangi Ojha (FY B.Com) and team leader, Bhavani Iyer (M.Com).
The participants touched many pertinent questions such as, does the present education system respond to value based education; how parents and guardians are instrumental in inculcating values in our modern world; can values be re-defined in these changing times and is gurukul system needed to develop discipline in modern society.
Second year student Rahul Chaudhary said, “Education must not be restricted only to those who can afford or have time. I have been working for the last six years and aspire to appear for IAS exam. The evening college has made it possible for me to complete my graduation.”
Echoing the same sentiment, team leader Bhavani Iyer said that evening college has given her an opportunity to complete her M.Com while working.
“Such colleges are a boon for working students like me. There should be more such colleges for other courses as well,” she added.
Competition committee coordinator and manager of St Vincent’s Night College of Commerce, Fr. James Selvaraj, said, “Treating education as a market product has made higher education unaffordable for students belonging to economically weaker sections. Providing affordable education at evening college is the best option for those who have to work to meet their financial needs, but also aspire to pursue their studies.”
To encourage students, who work in day time and attend evening college for education, alumna of St Vincent College, Rumy Mehta, said, “I completed my graduation in 1991. Evening colleges are a boon for middle class students who work to meet their financial needs, as it helps them realise their optimum potential.”
“Since ours’ is a commerce college, we train students for the corporate sector. It was started initially as a degree college and later, junior college and postgraduate courses were also added to it. We have over 450 students at the evening college,” said Selvaraj.
St. Vincent College of Commerce was started in 1970 by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). It was set up primarily to offer an opportunity to working youth, who wished to pursue higher studies while working.