Monday, December 28, 2009

KTWV 10 Issue 28: Crisis in College

There is a document being circulated amongst the Alumni which is entitled "Crisis in College". Leading alumni member Ashok Jaitly sent me a copy. I received several copies via various alumni groups that I am associated with. Many alumni who are readers of my Kooler Talk Web Version also sent me the document for my comment.

Very serious allegations are being levelled in this document. The fight between the Bishop and the Principal, former allies, has now blown into full scale war. That some of the staff are now in with the Principal seems to give his hand some strength.

However, the issue is much deeper than what is laid out in the document. It is the scramble for money and control of the money making machine.

As i noted on my recent visit to the college in early December, the state of the college and the upkeep were certainly not up to international standards. It seems that parts of the college are still being kept in the middle ages. The toilets are still squat toilets. There is no running hot and cold water. The green lawns in many places have vanished. The Junior Common Room was in shambles. There appears to ne no water harvesting on the college grounds. There appears to have been no effort to tap renewable energy resources.

It shows a lack of vision amongst the people at the helm of affairs in the college.

The college, rated as the best for learning skills should be modernised and maintained on par with international institutions.

Education is far more than just what one learns in the classroom. It is the inculcation of civic sense and modernisation of systems which make life easy and rewarding. It should eliminate waste and ensure new technologies are quickly implemented within the college so that the students go out with confidence to take these skills and knowledge into the outside world.

I was given the opportunity to make my views known by the Philosophy Department. Sadly my time in Delhi was cut short. I was unable to make what small contribution I could have. Maybe in these blog entries I can make some effort to bring some of the issues to the forefront in the coming months and years.

If the college cannot change with the times, it shows bad leadership. That is why the in-fighting and bad publicity are at the forefront. It is an effort to divert attention from the real issues.

Certainly the staff and the alumni must play a role in the running of the college, but if they spend their time in issues far related from what the situation is on the ground, they will remain as isolated as the Bishop and his cohorts.

At the Founders' day coffee session, one respected alumni member (1955) castigated another respected alumni member (1957) for a lack of interest in the affairs of the college.

Both are right as the alumni should be more than involved in making sure that the college develops on all fronts so that we can be proud of our alma mater. Success breeds further interest. Bad press drives people away from involvement.

Let us rethink our positions before we start taking sides with one group or another. Let us put forward a modernisation programme for our alma mater which will make any other institution in the world look up to our alma mater.

When we achieve that, and that is where our finances should be directed, not on the outside show, but the inner workings, then we will see that we are clean both on the inside and the outside.


John Dayal said...

I quite agree, Jacob
Every time I visit college, for a seminar or such like, i am annoyed at the spreadng squalidness, the state of disrepair, and the chalta hai attitude among the staff. the alumni however have little say in the staeof affairs.

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