What is Wrong with the Indian Education System?
Education has a crucial role to play in the development of a person, and subsequently, the entire nation. Though the history of the Indian education system has some positive examples to exhibit, it has been receiving some flak from the world nowadays and the fact can’t be denied that we are falling behind in the field of education for quite some decades now.
While a significant portion of the population is devoid of required facilities, the majority that manages to attain the highest level of education moves abroad in search of better-paying job opportunities. The government is paying attention to education in India and making every move possible to educate each and every child in India as a basic right. As a result, the literacy rate is climbing up the stairs, but there are bottlenecks in the process, nevertheless. Where exactly are we headed wrong?
In our country, we measure talent by the grades of the students. It is not uncommon to consider a student fetching over 90% marks as “brilliant” while those getting average marks are considered weaklings with no substantial future. The form of curriculum designed by our colonial masters is still in place now without many healthy modifications where too much emphasis is given on getting good grades than achieving an all-round development. Bookish knowledge is passed down to generations and generations of students.
90% of the education is theoretical with minuscule scope for practical learning and research on the part of the pupils. There is no space for creative learning and thinking and students are always bound to a specific syllabus and are not really encouraged to go out and about their seems. Our teaching methodology is highly monotonous and there is an absolute dearth of mobility and agility in it. Students are mostly subjected to long lecture hours wherein the sum total of learning that they get is highly questionable. In such times an interesting mode of teaching not only helps the students but also brings out a sense of real interest in them to pursue the subject in a different manner.
The year-end results and board examinations in the Indian education sphere hold utmost significance and not getting enough marks may subject students to a series of mental bullying, humiliation, and loss of confidence. Sports, art & craft, extra-curricular activities aren’t held in high regard by society, parents, and institutions. Academic subjects are given so much importance that teachers are often seen using up the periods allotted to sports and other extra-curricular activities to finish up their own syllabus. There has to be a base understanding of the very process of learning here. Learning is a creative process, an individual is expected to think, react, act and process the information with a blend of creative and practical conclusions. The entire weight should be shifted to learning and not just scoring marks. This has to be done both from the school and the parents end.
The objective of education is to educate and empower people to achieve desired success in their lives. Not every kid wants to become a rocket scientist when s/he grows up, he or she may want to become a poet, or a singer, or a sportsperson, or a public speaker. The issue with our current system of education in India is that all these students will have to study the same subjects and go through the same method of education even though many of the subjects being taught will be of no relevance to them a few years down the line. Of course, basic literacy is necessary, but making them study the same subjects for 10 long years before they can actually opt for a field of study looks like an outdated provision.
Our system has to change its parameters of “good subjects”. We have been pioneers of mathematics and science, but that is not the only thing that we can do. There has to be an equal emphasis given to other social and literary subjects. In fact, a change in curriculum to add creative subjects along with the regular maths and science will great a great blend and help the student understand the bigger picture right from the beginning other than realizing their actual passion in the latter half of their lives.
The syllabus is one thing that needs a change, while teachers and teaching methods require a whole new makeover all together. Our teaching methods are dated. We still use blackboard and chalk as the only mode of teaching. Even though there has been a wave of the switch to the E-learning mode, but that has happened in a very small proportion. Not only is our teaching method inefficient but so are our teachers. The school should take measures in up skilling them with newer methods of teaching as well as adapting them to the agile e-learning teaching. E-Learning is a creative learning process, but only with a combination of a good tutor. If we can combine a good tutor with a great agile learning methodology then we can reap wonders from it. It always takes two hands to clap.
If we can look into almost two decades of the syllabus from any Indian board we can easily conclude that there have been negligible changes in the syllabus. One thing that the Indian Education System lacks is market knowledge and functional aspect of literacy. In layman’s terms, we always know the definition of a certain process but never know how to do it. Functional literacy has been totally zoned out due to the extreme importance that our grades have. Along with this, our curriculum has zero basics of how the market functions and how the economy runs. The basic market education should be provided to students at least from the secondary level so that they have a wider understanding of the financial functioning of the world.
Education needs to be available to all, but overall development needs to be a part of the curriculum too. The need of the hour is to develop a system wherein kids are not forced to be showpieces of their hard work in the form of a grading system. Allow them to be curious, ask questions, and take up subjects they are really interested in early in their careers. Technology can play a vital role in the learning process. With the advent of audio-visual aids, smart-boards, online content, and connected classrooms, the job seems to be getting easier. Students nowadays have more means to learn via interactive ways than ever. Understanding concepts and retaining matter is easier. It’s high time India starts investing in more modernized methods of teaching (and learning). The government along with teachers and parents needs to work together on this to start implementing it at the base level.