Posted by: Sharique | February 16, 2006

The education of IIT UG is the education of Caliban

Caliban is a character in the Tempest.

The education of Caliban can be compared to the forcefully imbibed skills of an under graduate of IIT. There were various stages of education of Caliban. During the initial stages Prospero was biased towards Ariel and treated Caliban with contempt. His biasness can be attributed to the fact that Ariel was a submissive and efficient slave to Prospero, with his magical powers, as compared to Caliban. Professors in IIT are biased towards Post-graduate students as compared to UGs. The reason being the same; PGs are a great helping hand to the professors and show greater respect as compared to the UGs. And many of the UGs prefer going abroad thus denying India of the brain power she paid for! Caliban says “you taught me language; and my profit on it is, I know how to curse”.


The initial education of Caliban was strict and Prospero further tightened his controls after the sin he committed with his daughter. He had to be strict so as not let Caliban dictate terms to him and also to maintain his dignity. This can be compared to the attitude of professors towards UGs. They have to be strict so as to maintain their self-esteem, if not the students might take undue advantage of his leniency. Caliban had evil in his heart so Prospero was right in putting his foot down on him else he would have caused harm to Prospero, given an opportunity. This strictness is also necessary to make students imbibe skills or else their laziness would overwhelm them. So in a way this strictness is necessary. But this strictness has crossed all bounds and even lead to suicides. The fear of punishment coupled with competition among classmates drives students to take this step.


Prospero also tried to imbibe civilizing education in Caliban but failed miserably. UGs in IIT are required to take humanities courses so as to make them aware of their social responsibilities but these courses are looked down by students and generally they fail to get the essence of the course. This has something with the inherent nature of the students who come to IITs.


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