Although Swami Vivekananda had said “Education is the manifestation of perfection, already present in man” The question is whether our school system does much to nurture a child’s potential and make him a worthy and successful being in the real world.
India boasts of 74% literacy but does the system create well educated adults? Let us focus on the stark realities of the Indian education system.
The first being: lack of critical analysis in the Indian education system
Learning by rote utterly plagues our system. The scoring of marks based on rote learning overtakes the inherent quality of a child to be curious, prying and fascinated by the world of knowledge.. Paraphrasing is unacceptable to our teachers and we are expected to learn the text book word to word. We are judged on our ability of memorising a string of words rather than our ability to grasp a new concept and to understand it.in addition to not being encouraged to use our own words…if we ever dared to write “I think ”and express a personal opinion , it would be in the same category as a criminal offence.
We need to be taught to think on our own feet and be able to analyse topics rather than sponging up information in a decadent fashion. For this change to come to about i approach you to make it compulsory for all examination papers to have a question in which you have the critically analyse a topic. At the end of the year all students should also be encouraged to write a critical paper or extended essay on topic they wish to analyse which is outside the school curriculum.
Our education system needs to be revamped and built to recognise original contributions in the form of creativity, problem solving, valuable research and innovation.
Every other night, I sit in front of the tv and watch a show called “shark tank” in which investors place their money on aspiring entrepreneurs who came to them with novel creations. This show has made me realise that Today, originality is what makes you a billionaire and not just full marks on an insignificant test. So why is it that the Indian education does not encourage innovation?
One method to bring some change was by introducing the making of projects in the curriculum. This has definitely encouraged group work but the inherent nature if the student to simply Google search information and copy paste it has made them work like robots. When the student is asked to present the topic in a proactive manner, they are found to be uninformed, clueless and dumbstruck.
Whenever we read a book, be it fiction, historical, autobiographical or of any genre; we should read it to learn from it and not just to keep with the ever changing popular read lists. We should be able to delve into the subject of the book and chew on its matter. Similarly what we study in our curriculum needs to be understood and thought over rather than the mere learning of facts because “reading a book without thinking over it is like chewing food without digesting it.” Knowledge needs to go beyond the textbook.
The edu system does not pay heed to the enhancement of cocurricular activities.
The importance of all round development of a student cannot be stressed on enough. Co curricular activities like sports help to improve our, strategic planning abilities, our confidence and it helps us to analyse our strengths and weaknesses. Indian schools have constantly neglected this. For the sake of formality, students are given a football or cricket bat once a week and left on the playground to do as they please. In our school, they’ve done away with this formality too. Middle school students are expected to play ‘sent a letter’ each and every week in PE class. Co curricular activities are not just restricted to sports but many other activities such as art, dance, music. Every child should have the opportunity to do atleast one of these activities in their school day and not just once a week. It keeps the mind of the student and fresh and it helps them study better.
Theres is a need for syllabus updation
in todays world change is happening very fast. Almost every 5th year there is a new generation with a new outlook on things. However the syllabus remains stagnant over the years
When I talk to my parents or grandparents about my school syllabus, I realise that nothing much has changed in the education pattern over the years. However, when we look at our -Grandparents generation and our generation as a whole, we see how much change has taken place and how much we’ve evolved. Unfortunately, education has not changed with the times.
For instance, Middle school students are still taught how to operate ms paint and use basic when the technological world has moved much ahead from that. Today, students need to be taught how to use coral draw, Photoshop and coding instead of the programs which have become redundant now.
The goal of our new education system should be to create entrepreneurs, innovators, artists, scientists, thinkers and writers who can establish the foundation of knowledge based economy rather that a low quality service provider.
Take the case of an eighteen year old youth, with about 12 to 14 years of formal education. They should be able to function in the real world. However they are ignorant about subjects such as Bank/ Investment/ Price of vegetables/ Communication skills / Knowledge of the global situation/ Indian politics/ Inflation/ Taxation. So even after investing so many years in education they are uninformed and in a way illiterate.
Today, we know the function of each and every cell in our body but do we know how to use these cells when we are standing in front of an ATM trying to withdraw money to survive?
Our education system is geared towards teaching and testing knowledge at every level as opposed to teaching skills. “Give a man a fish and you feed him one day, teach him how to catch fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Thus, teaching skills to a man does enable him for a lifetime.
next reform which needs to be brought about is the balance of theory and practice in our school curriculum
“In theory, there is no difference between practice and theory. In practice, there is.”
Knowledge or rather information is largely forgotten after the semester exam is over. The fact is even a so called ‘high scorer’…maybe theoretically strong, but is practically disadvantaged to navigate real life. There was a time when a notebook and a pencil were sufficient tools for study in a classroom. In today’s world, students need much more to prepare themselves for the job market. The thing that has not changed is the impact a teacher can have on the life and learning of a student.
Present education system is not sufficient. It is mainly bases on the theoretical knowledge rather than practical knowledge.
Practical knowledge — helps you acquire the specific techniques that become the tools of your trade. It sits much closer to your actual day-to-day work. There are some things you can only learn through doing and experiencing. Where theory is often taught in the ideal of a vacuum, the practical is learned through the reality of life.
Practical knowledge can often lead to a deeper understanding of a concept through the act of doing and personal experience.
For example, when you study chemistry from a text book it might be difficult to recall the names of compounds and their colours. However, when you firsthand perform the experiment and see the effects, its quite easy to retain the information and learn it.
All this applies to the well known public schools I’m not even going to talk about a product of our government schools, or rural India. The education calls for an urgent revamp so that the youth are adequately educated and are able to help develop our nation further.
The aims of the ncert are to create such an education system where classroom boundaries do not become barriers, where value education is given weightage and where we can develop skills and self knowledge. But are these goals met?