Accounting and accountability are worlds apart

I have been involved with education and research for more nearly 5 decades. Do I know what the right objective of a university is? Are these the centres for knowledge creation, or the catalysts for social mobility? How does the first-generation university goer different from second- or third-generations? Are universities for breaking the social barriers? There are accountable deliverables, what about the unmeasurable deliverables? Where are the storytellers who can tell the difference between accountable and unaccountable deliverables? Should professors be educational entrepreneurs? How important is placement statistics in the delivery of education? How does a teacher prove her utility? Should education be devoid of the lure of political and social changes? Or, should the students ‘become the torchbearers of revolutions which would wipe out the redundant and decadent?’ Who should run the universities – teachers or accountants? In a debate between Tagore and Gandhi, on education, who will win in the present day context? Should one leave education for nation building, or reject it as a short-sighted nationalism? How about collaborating with the detractors, besides the followers? What kind of education are we providing that coaching institutes are preferred, compared to classrooms? Whose fault is it – teacher’s or student’s – if they don’t understand what is discussed in the classroom? How ‘free’ are our universities? Do they deserve ‘freedom’? Freedom presupposes responsibility. Responsibility, as they say, is not a popularity contest. It is not found in the battle grounds. A good teacher understands that accounting and accountability are worlds apart.