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How The Indian Education System Judges The Fish By Its Ability To Climb A Tree

Posted by Arunchandra c in Education
February 24, 2017
Editor’s note: This story is in response to Youth Ki Awaaz’s topic for this week – #BeatExamStress to share some gyaan with students preparing for their finals on coping with exam stress, study techniques, or just how our education system needs to get exams right. If you have an experience to share, write to us here.

Indian education is exam oriented, where it’s all about scoring good grades. What is expected out of the students is memorizing the textbook content and spouting it out during the exams. Grades are given based on our ability to spout during examinations.

I studied in Kendriya Vidyalaya till 8th standard, the much talked about top-rated CBSE school, where all that my classmates and I learned was to memorize the syllabus and spit it out during examinations. It was highly stressful and tough, I struggled a lot. My scores were average, not because I was lazy (I was pretty hardworking) but because I was a student with a learning disability. I can see how the students who scored the A+ grade or high marks are doing in their life. They have an average salaried job and are bored of their daily monotonous life. They used to be the teachers’ favourite and popular, just because of their ability to memorise stuff from the textbook. I draw a parallel of this with Rajnikanth’s movie “Robot” in which all the books are memorised within a few minutes.

We still follow the colonial method of education. Apart from the IITs, IIMs and some other institutions we haven’t changed much. There was a time when youngsters were forced to prepare for civil services, bank exams or medicine. Now they prepare for Engineering and MBA, that’s it. I graduated from school in 2007 and since then, the education system is much the same except for some minor changes in the textbooks.

We focus so much on education, some even take loans to have access to good schools and colleges. Later, they struggle to find employment. They become just like any other victim of the mindless rat race. I am not surprised at the increasing numbers of student suicides every year. Parents worry too much about their children’s future and pressurize them to perform better academically, in fact, they are unknowingly pushing them into a shallow depth.

In European countries, education rewards creativity, problem-solving and valuable original research. I feel that this the reason that their education system produces genius, while our education discourages this. We mock risk-taking and there is no space for deviance. If we can allow for this, our education system can also produce genius.

We can claim that we have the most number of talented engineering graduates working in Microsoft and Google, but there is not much technological innovation here. We are here busy running call centers for the US and other countries. Our engineers end up in places that often, have nothing to do with what they have studied. I must say that it’s not just them, I don’t understand how I can put 80% of the things, I studied, to use in my real life.

What we need to understand, before we brand students as dumb and stupid, is that some kids learn faster, some learn slowly. The same method won’t work for everyone. We should have a system that is suitable to everyone, where there is more room for students with learning disabilities. I am looking for the change, I wish to see.