Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Education system dehumanised: HC

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Says it has become a machine that mass-produces clones, frowns on individuality

The education system has become “completely dehumanised” into a machine which is “mass-producing clones” and frowning upon individuality, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday.

“It (education system) is completely de-humanised. It is a machine. The human element has been completely taken out. The contact between teacher and student is perfunctory. There is no connect,” a Bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Najmi Waziri said.

The Bench said, “Are we producing clones? We seem to be mass producing clones. It seems individuality is frowned upon now. You must conform at all costs, else retribution is swift.”

The court made the oral observations while hearing a plea initiated by the Supreme Court in September last year on the alleged suicide by a student of Amity Law University. The matter was transferred to the Delhi High Court in March. During the day's proceedings, the Bench said there was perhaps an “element of callousness” in how the university handled the deceased student's “cry for help” before he took the extreme step.

Sushant Rohilla, a third year law student of Amity had hung himself at his home here on August 10, 2016 after the university allegedly barred him from sitting for semester exams because he did not have the requisite attendance. He left behind a note saying he was a failure and did not wish to live.

“The student reached out to you (Amity). He cried out for help. But did you respond? Perhaps there is an element of callousness in how you handled it,” the court said. “Implement your rules, but do not put students at risk,” the court told the varsity, which claimed it was only strictly enforcing its attendance norms.

‘Systems not in place’
“Systems are not in place in your institution which is why a student took that step,” the Bench said. The varsity, however, said that systems were in place, but there was always room for improvement.

The court did not appear to be convinced by the claims of the varsity, which is affiliated to Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU), and said there should be safeguards in place so that a person who wants assistance gets it immediately.

It also said that this incident would have scarred the lives of the deceased's family, friends and batch mates. “It is a continuing trauma for them.”

Meanwhile, the amicus curiae appointed by the court said the status report filed by the Delhi Police regarding the incident was “shocking” as it said there was nothing in the complaint which required examination of any person.

The status report also said the suicide note was probably not written by Rohilla, the amicus told the court. He said the investigation carried out so far by the police appears to be "compromised" and therefore, should be transferred.


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