Make it merit based

The Dominion Post - - Opinion -

It is more than two decades ago that the mis­guided user-pays policy came to our ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor.

Of­fi­cially, our schools did not charge fees but in prac­tice, schools raised funds un­der one pre­text or an­other. Of­fi­cially, uni­ver­si­ties and other in­sti­tu­tions started charg­ing ever-in­creas­ing fees, the logic be­ing that if you earn de­grees and go on to bet­ter-pay­ing jobs, you need to pay for your ed­u­ca­tion, and no one else ben­e­fits from ed­u­ca­tion ex­cept the stu­dents.

Now stu­dents of the last two decades have de­grees, but earn nowhere near the sum once as­so­ci­ated with higher ed­u­ca­tion.

Thank­fully, we are see­ing a be­gin­ning of a re­ver­sal of that silly policy. But with that re­ver­sal comes the crit­i­cism that some stu­dents will scam the sys­tem. There is some truth to that.

We now need a sys­tem in place where en­trance to uni­ver­si­ties and other in­sti­tu­tions is merit based. So­ci­ety has to treat ed­u­ca­tion as an in­vest­ment. Stu­dents have to treat ed­u­ca­tion as a right that has to be earned, not de­manded. PRADIP MANCHANDA

Chur­ton Park

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