talking about freedom of choice in academics


academic freedom, the freedom of teachers and students to teach, study, and pursue knowledge and research without unreasonable interference or restriction from law, institutional regulations, or public pressure. Its basic elements include the freedom of teachers to inquire into any subject that evokes their intellectual concern; to present their findings to their students, colleagues, and others; to publish their data and conclusions without control or censorship; and to teach in the manner they consider professionally appropriate. For students, the basic elements include the freedom to study subjects that concern them and to form conclusions for themselves and express their opinions.

To the academics where major of the studies are theoretical, few vocational and rare practicals, education is believed to be burden in the earlier days. Only rare students are seen to enjoy learning, however most of the others in reality study for parents and friends. The main reason is compulsory theory subjects with no interest. And most of the schools also have optional subjects taught compulsorily i.e. no optional subjects for the students to choose to study.

The first time a student have the chance to choose is after 10, for the higher secondary study. However, lots of social and family restrictions exist in selecting the subjects. I have seen only few students who choose the subjects with real interest. Some choose the subjects to remain with friends, some because of availability, some by teachers and parents reference and some so called brilliant students in school to choose science as a morality, because of social pressure.

A year back, I met a lecturer from my high school, who found difficulty remembering me. But, after introducing him as his student in science faculty, in high-school, he soon offered me a cup of tea with him. I was very pleased to his response, but on further chats, I was very astonished when he categorized students in reference to the faculty he taught. I soon realized, if only had I been his student in Arts Faculty, I would not have been offered the tea. He was just an example of categorizing students on basis of faculty in high school, entire society has different prospect regarding the subject one studies and the social existence in reference to their study. When I was doing my bachelors at Dharan, I found many houses who only rented the students of “Central Campus of Technology” a science college, despite there were many other colleges teaching other faculties.

This social categorization of students derived from the profession hierarchy decided by the society, they will be engaged in Future. Our education system is more driven by the social beliefs and restriction then by our inner will. Until the discrimination among students exists, there exists a social barrier in the freedom of choice in academics.

Although we have no formal restriction, in practice we have restrictions for the freedom of choice in academics. I consider freedom of choice in academics, is the basics of academic freedom, which is a target to achieve by continuous change in the concept of people and we ourselves.


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