What bothers me at St. Stephens College

St. Stephens College, University of Delhi

This apparent institution of excellence, which marks itself as different and ironically tags itself to be a “minority institution” seems to rather fit well with every student who comes here. The admission process distinguishes itself(from others) with a perfect blend of merit and religion. In an age where one is told to look beyond religion, this institution preaches it. There is an invisible aura(luckily) which surrounds this school. With a college known to be the best in the country, it sets its standard of education at a high pedestal. Unfortunately, it never lives up to this expectation.

As a rather average student, this college always felt like a distant dream to me. It set itself as a college where the smartest students enter and be successful in their various fields of work. This notion which entered in my latter days of school life turned out to be untrue after all. There is not a trace of contempt (for this college) which exists within me but rather a set of criticisms for perhaps letting this college live up to its name.

The attitude of students to blindly take down copious notes for probably no reason

This literally shocked me. I never really expected this from college. The words of a teacher are taken as the gospel truth and students blindly note it down. Strikingly,the notes won’t differ from any book. Yet there is a rather inexplicable urge from every student to pen down the exact words of the teacher. This is not to question the students but the entire environment the institution teaches. I believe the question of learning becomes pointless if all the teacher does is read out a book.

Humility which is awfully drilled into students

I was amused at this at first but later on concern quickly overshadowed laughter. Simply humility can not be taught but it’s rather learnt. When students make a conscious effort to tell themselves that we are humble. The only being affected by this is the institution itself.

The sermons of the bible to every freshman

Why does religion overpower education? This institution portrays that no matter how far one has achieved, it is tied to the shackles of religion. In a world of science, how can a college not be in direct conflict with its principles? The college’s tagline sums it up perfectly. “Ad Dei Gloriem” (“To the glory of God”) . The primary emphasis and goal of this college till date is Christianity.

No encouragement for research

This is, in fact, a no-brainer for any Indian Institute. Probably, the only reason why Indian Institutes don’t stand a chance against a Harvard or an Oxford. However one does expect any form encouragement from the faculty of the best college of India. There is no concern over individual growth. No one to administer the potential and growth of students.

The squashing of individual thought

This bears a striking resemblance to Indian politics today. The right to question is held only by a few. The thoughts of a few are superimposed upon the students of this school. Ironically, this subtle form of brainwash is not questioned by anyone. Those who question it , their voices don’t matter. I think Stephens resembles your role in any institution which is to be a mere member.

Above I have listed only a few of the many flaws pertaining to this institution. These forms of criticism certainly revolves around my thoughts of a liberal view and I expect a majority to differ from what I write. To me, an education is one which lets you learn and ask questions and Stephens in both these aspects fails miserably.

DISCLAIMER: These are just my views on the college and I might be wrong in certain cases. However, this is a first-hand account of all the doings of the college in my two weeks of being present here. This is not targeted at any individual or any institution, just a HEALTHY form of criticism and my views on education.

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