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

How The Indian Education System Is Dumbing Us Down!polit

More from Kiran George

By Kiran Mary George:

It indeed goes without saying that the prevailing education system in India and abroad is no less than a terrifying labyrinth of sorts. It’s a confusing mix of never-ending catacombs and underpasses – with you in the middle of all of it. Those dark silhouettes of mathematics algorithms and applied linguistics and scientific theorems, much worse than your middle school expectations of high school and what comes after, appear to be closing in on you, giving you an only impetus to desperately commit to memory as many trigonometric theories and chemistry equations you possibly can to get you to pass that one important examination that’ll make dad ruffle the hair on your head and mum proudly chatter off about her smart young son . So you egg on, running through those tunnels as fast as you can, pretending your English is pretty enough to challenge Wren and Martin ( had they been around ) to a grammar contest, pocketing formulas and rote-learning a few history dates along the way. But then, you slip and trip somewhere along the way, and you’re lost in that knowledge spider web again, this time — you find you can’t get out.

Indian education system

Take what you’ve learned or memorized in your schooling years, for example. Everything’s just a blur now, isn’t it ? Little of what you were imparted by your teachers back then has remained intact in your head as actual retained knowledge, with practical understanding and application to real circumstances in the world outside. While you were taught animatedly about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s childhood so you can make a 95/100 in that history examination, those who claim to know the best with regard to your education ( aka : the school board or education ministry that devises the syllabus in the first place ) chooses to ignore the relevance of Occidental-ism and philosophy in contributing towards intellectual thinking and questioning with regard to people, their behavior and culture. For example, in India, in their desperate pursuit to create and harbor scientific minds that go on to become big names in the field of technology and creation, the significance of developmental sciences is highly sidelined, with little or no teaching of any humanities-related subject in engineering colleges, for example — even the idea of introducing a subject in school along those lines would be scoffed at and shot down immediately by self-glorified experts who strongly believe in its unimportance. It essentially promotes intellectual stimulation by teaching them how to think by being more open to change and development – opening doors to a better understanding of our beings and existence that complements almost all other fields of study to achieve an overall rational and psychological development.

Education today is seen as merely a means to achieving a shallow end – money. A job. It’s a little something we’ve essentially got to endure and imbibe if we wish to make both ends meet. And sometimes, a poorly framed education system where students’ academic needs are grossly under-met comes into place where student learning is in fact negligible. Ever wondered why Indian students always seem to do better than their American counterparts on American soil? Despite all the flak that our education system faces for overburdening students, the fact still remains that it offers a more compact and comprehensive academic system for students to excel in, but of course in a world where excelling means mugging and rote-learning.

The Indian education system is indeed your recipe to success if education to you is that B.com or MBA degree you’ve been eyeing for the last few years now, or getting into that top engineering college with the toughest entrance exam you’re looking to crack. A holistic development of the mind whilst molding it to be more open to new ideas and theories of study is not what you should be vying for if you’re looking for education, because most often than not, that’s exactly what you’re not going to get. Ever pondered over why an Indian hasn’t been the inventor of that revolutionary innovation you heard about just last month, or the one two months before that ? It’s because once we’re done giving that one entrance examination that gets us through to our college of choice, everything learned is forgotten. Theories rote-learned so you remember it while writing the paper fade away even from the crevices in your head, and you are left with little actual knowledge per se to be able to create and innovate. In India, Math and science are taught in a set method of cramming to ensure you make a good grade in your paper, and that set method of teaching has time and again served to make the two subjects appear to be intimidating giants to most young school kids who shudder at the thought of writing a chemistry or mathematics paper because they’re perpetually unsure of what they’ve actually learned.

Persons with the authority and power to bring change have got to take a closer look at understanding what exactly it is that we ought to seek out of the system and educating our students for years and years through methods that leave them highly lethargic and uninterested. A method must be devised to ensure that the students’ minds are continuously challenged to think and question systems, organizations and behavior on a regular basis to generate and maintain interest in diverse fields of study.

You must be to comment.
  1. adityaimpulse

    So your point is – rote learning is bad and we should induce more optional subjects in school education. Correct !!

    The mathematical algorithms thing is a bit exaggerated. I believe basic linguistics and mathematics (high school level) is absolutely necessary to be educated. Otherwise you will end up having lots 12 years old kids who don’t know how to add numbers, calculate averages and read and understand english. And of course you need to ensure that they learn it – hence the stuff like exams. This sets the ground for you to do whatever you want. That is what high school was meant to do at the first place.

    Also – you are suggesting that innovation and discoveries don’t come out of India because our kids are preparing for examinations and not discovering something new. You are making a fundamental attribution error. Yes, Indian education system is all about getting that MBA and getting that job and claiming a high salary. Indeed. Even the Ivy-league education in US is focused that way. Those who want to “innovate” or “create” don’t do that because the professor told them to do it. They are mostly self-motivated to do that. And you can do that as well. The reasons why there are not many innovations from India are many – probably because people are not even motivated to do it because probably they are too used to mediocrity, or probably because there is not an enough support system available, lack of success stories etc. etc.

    1. Rakesh Pandey

      The reason why we do not innovate is mainly because we are compelled to do something to make our ends meet. Innovations are product of luxury and can never be a side product of people fighting for their survival and bread & butter.

  2. jeeka krishna

    ever heard of pranav mistry ? Google him and you will delete this article on your own. He created something and gave it to the world for FREE! unlike greedy americans

  3. Support AAP Odisha

    Yes the poor education system in India is leading our education practice backward. Govt. should take the suitable action against this and should provide the proper training to the teachers who are getting appointed in the rural schools, because education doesn’t mean only to the urban areas. Govt. should understand the meaning the RTE rather than keep it on the pen and paper.

  4. Ayush

    I feel that there is no problem in education system as you portrayed; or in the act of forgetting things we learnt. Actually we must forget what we have learned so as to revisit when needed. The basic problem lies in not allowing the student to engage and discuss. It is not about a system, it is about the way the system gets implemented. Also, education doesn’t have to do anything with discoveries and inventions. Just try to research more on statistics, it is not that our scientists do not discover; in fact the kind of research done in India is simply awesome but the problem lies with funding to develop the ideas into products which fetch you more publicity. We as society do not respect discoveries and we do not respect science. You know every year atleast 2000 patents are sold to other countries just because the person who developed a particular technology or say did research does not have enough to transform his patent into a working model. We do not invest in research and science, be it on economic or emotional terms.

More from Kiran George

Similar Posts

By Soumya Tiwari

By Katha

By The YP Foundation

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