To Be Well ‘Educated’ Or Well ‘Trained’: Here’s Why This Is An Important Question For Indian Students

Posted on May 16, 2014 in Education

By Gaurav Sharma:

If you have taken your initial education in India then you must have written small essays in school like ‘Importance of Education’. Well, same is the case with me. When I was a child, I used to think that being a student, it is my job to get an education. But now that I have grown up and become wiser, I figured out that it’s not an important job to get an education but it’s more important to be educated so as to get a job. Don’t you agree?

Education system

The education system in India is very harsh on kids and completely ignores their feelings, interests and ambitions. In fact, India has an exam system and not education system. Kids are pushed to study from the age of three and non-performers are treated as dolts and are often criticized by parents, teachers and the society. This creates a fear of failure inside each and every child as a result of which kids end up mugging each and every topic in their books. We emphasize on memorizing everything which restricts children from thinking independently. Students are no more curious to know and they simply don’t ask questions. They just remember things in one grade and spit it out in the next grade as they have to mug up fresh concepts again in successive grades. This makes them study only two or three days before examinations/tests and usually they waste their whole year/semester doing nothing. However, this exaggerated and unnecessarily hyped stress in education system dramatically makes India a country where people first become engineers and then figure out what they want to become. Isn’t that funny? A newly born starts telling eyes, nose, fan and ABCD even before he/she recognizes his/her own father!

Indian education is a forced model of education with an attitude of ‘you got to learn this’ while western education system allows everybody to learn with freedom i.e. ‘learn what you want to learn’ kind of attitude. We tend to study while keeping in mind the future possibilities and availability of jobs in respective market regardless of our interest and ambition.

Consider this example: Mr. Geek has a remarkable degree of interest in painting. He certainly wants to pursue his higher studies in related fields only. If Mr. Geek were residing in the USA, he would have definitely furthered his education in painting/arts. But unfortunately, Mr. Geek found himself in India and keeping in mind future possibilities of getting a job, he prefers to pursue any other professional degree course but definitely not painting. As simple as that!

Now consider this too. This happens in most of the Indian families. Mr. Nerd has an ambition of becoming a civil engineer. Luckily, he got selected in IIT JEE entrance. But either he can choose to pursue computer engineering from IIT Mumbai or civil engineering from IIT Delhi. He asked his parents, friends, relatives, neighbors and neighbor’s neighbor and came to know that pursuing computer engineering from IIT Delhi would make him able to grab more job opportunities than pursuing civil engineering. Every single family member told him not to pursue civil engineering if there are lesser chances of getting a well paid job as compared to computer engineering. Now what? Being an Indian student with typical mentality, he prefers computer engineering over civil engineering. To sum it up, Mr. Nerd suppressed his dream job/ambition in order to grab something which will provide him with glory (according to his parents, friends and relatives) in future. I mean who knows what is going to happen in the next four years? Just because Uncle Sam’s brother’s son has done computer engineering and is getting a well paid salary doesn’t guarantee you the same. Right?

Analyzing the current scenario and future scope of education in India, ‘Frank University of Outspoken Introverts’ (fictional, obviously!) has designed their admission prospectus, the first page of which looks something like this. (They are literally ‘frank’)

Admissions open for various professional degree courses. Admissions on first come, first serve basis.

# We offer a variety of courses but keeping in mind the future job opportunities, we will only admit you in Masters of crisis management so that you can manage yourself in case of any crisis i.e. unemployment.

## There is no entrance test because even taking an entrance test will not guarantee you a job.

Note: Educational investments in India have now become a subject to market risks. There can be no assurance that course objectives will be achieved. A degree from ‘Frank University of Outspoken Introverts’ is not a guaranteed or assured return of your investments. Please read the prospectus carefully before getting admission.

On a serious note, this should never happen. Authorities should raise the standards of teaching methodology in private as well as govt. schools and colleges. Emphasis should be given on practical aspects and this traditional exam system should be eliminated. Though I disapprove our practices of copying west in every sector but Indian education system can be improved definitely by adopting USA model of education. So, let’s make India a better place to learn and study. Start with your sons/daughters, make them well educated and not well trained.