This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Youth Ki Awaaz. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Education System In India: Make A Living or Make A Life?

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

By Pallavi Murthy:

Yet again a teacher sent to jail for having slapped a child and yet again a student at IIT attempted a suicide! On one hand is a teacher who threw acid on a girl’s face because she rejected his marriage proposal while on the other hand is a student who falls in love with his teacher because he finds her ‘hot’. On one hand is a student who finds it hard to take the pressure of clearing the examinations while on the other hand a student fails in all his exams but still gets promoted and gets a first class degree because of donation and bribery. These have become an everyday news headline now. So who is to be blamed for all this- the Education system, the teachers, the parents or the children?

First let’s start with the basic meaning of education and its purpose. Education is the process of imparting knowledge. In simple words it involves two main processes i.e. teaching and learning. The main purpose of education is to develop knowledge, skill and the character of a person. It is process of passing information from one person (teacher) to the other (student). We know the basic law of heat transfer. It states that ‘in a system, heat always flows from hot body to the cold body’ to maintain an equilibrium in the system. The same thing goes with education, where the ‘system’  is the ‘society’ we live in, ‘heat’ is ‘knowledge’  and the ‘hot body’ is a person with ‘more knowledge’  and the ‘cold body’ is the person with ‘lesser knowledge’. The need for education is to maintain a balance or equilibrium in the society.

“The only purpose of education is to teach a student how to live his life-by developing his

Mind and equipping him to deal with reality. The training he needs is theoretical, i.e.,

Conceptual. He has to be taught to think, to understand, to integrate, to prove. He has to

be taught the essentials of the knowledge discovered in the past-and he has to be

Equipped to acquire further knowledge by his own effort.”

-Ayn Rand

Education can be divided into 2 main classes: Value-based education and materialistic education. Today education is just a social symbol to prove that a person is literate. It is both the passport and visa for getting a job with a high salary package. But can a person with many degrees, holding a high position in a reputed company and having no moral values be called educated?

Today, education has become a mere business. In an attempt to increase the number of educational institutes, the quality of education is being lost. As the number of institutes increase, the need for teachers also increases. In today’s educational world money plays a very important role. There are many teachers who teach for the sake of good salary and easily shift to another school if he/she is offered a better pay. I do not deny the fact that we also do have many teachers who teach whole-heartedly. The parents of the students have to pay through the nose. Most of the admission processes in schools happen through donation and in the schools the students learn the lessons of earning money, not being moral. Modern schools may teach discipline, but when it comes to ethics and moral values, all of us know very well what the result is. The present system teaches how to make a living not how to make a life!!

What is life without morals? Where has the values-based education gone? There was the time of Gurukul education where the moral values were given more importance than the materialistic book knowledge. Teachers were treated like Gods. In the Gurukuls everything was taught right from the Vedas to archery, Forestry to meditation. Also, education was free and at the end of the learning process the shisyas (students) would give guru dakshina to the guru as a token of gratitude. I know it would be foolish to say that in today’s times — we should have free education!! Slowly the Gurukuls took a back seat with the advancement of education and emergence of the various fields. Then the schools and universities were set-up which ended up giving materialistic modern education. I am not saying that we should get back to the Gurukuls and learn the moral values and Vedas.

In our education system moral values and material knowledge should be balanced. The syllabus in schools should be made flexible to accommodate for both the essentials. The outside world is changing everyday and so should the syllabus being taught in schools and colleges. If the students are supposed to just rattle off the same things that their parents and grandparents learnt years before, then what is the use of such education? The syllabus should include courses that enhance one’s thinking abilities, that builds up one’s character and of course give an introduction to the subject chosen by the student. The choice of the subject should be a bridge between the child’s ambition and future.

Also, parents play a very important role in determining their child’s future. A child should be given freedom to choose his/her own career. Right from 7th standard the parents pressurize their kids to study well so that they can get admitted in top colleges like the IITs and NITs. They send their children to coaching centres who are ‘manufacturers’ of IIT and NIT ‘products’. But they don’t realize that it’s ultimately their kids who are going to suffer.

I am not here to talk about the drawbacks of the educational system. If I lay further emphasis on the flaws in the system, you’ll surely say I am being too pessimistic. Every coin has two sides- the good and the bad. I have spoken quite a lot about the bad side. The modern educational system is scientific and more realistic. It helps in building up a competitive spirit which is most required in today’s fast paced world. It has been bringing a socio-economic transformation in the society. The Indian education system is considered one of the best systems of education. It makes the students mentally strong to face the cruel challenges of life.

The system could be made better with the cooperation of the students, parents and teachers. The students first need to be clear about what they really want to do in life. The next step has to be taken by the parents. As parents their role should be to encourage their kids to take up what they wish to do. After a particular class, say 8th standard, the educational institutes should make it optional for the students to choose subjects of their interests. In the college level instead of an examination every semester the students should be given the option of writing a year end exam. In colleges, instead of laying much stress on the book knowledge, what could be done is give an introduction about the subject to the students and then make it compulsory for each student to do a research/project on that respective subject and finally give a presentation on the research topic given by them. Well, it is just a suggestion given by a handful of college students!!

A bit more moral-based education and a more analytical and practical approach rather than a theoretical approach could make the educational system in India stronger and education more worthwhile. As an individual we surely can’t bring about a change in the system but if each and every one of us who is a part of the educational system right from the authorities at high levels to the students does our bit individually in trying to reform the system we surely can succeed up to a certain limit. It is up to us to decide whether we wish to opt for a living or a life!!

You must be to comment.
  1. Sadhogopal Ram

    Nice write-Up, Miss Murthy.

    More than anything, the education society needs along with the changes and suggestions that you mentioned, “Tolerance.” For it is tolerance that is not to be found today. Not in the teachers, and neither in the students, especially in the students.

  2. Anirudh

    Its a nice article!The education system has really become very materialistic over the years.Not only a realistic attitude but also sincerity is needed from the young teachers and other important people of the educational fraternity to initiate a complete change in the system.Being open to suggestions and willingness to change is something we should all learn.Only then can we make the Indian educational system perfect.

  3. sanjeev

    these points helped me a lot actually i have a debate 2morrow.

  4. Venkatesh

    Hey great one!! Reposting it in Facebook…

  5. Aparna,S.Menon

    Your idea and views are very apt madam!!! I find that these are some of the main evils of our society.Why don’t you make a nation wide network campaign?? You have power to change atleat few

  6. Abhay

    gud one madam…!! this article really helped me a lot to improve my knowledge.

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

Similar Posts

By Tripathi Balaji

By A R REZA

By srishtishankar

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below