Being a student of the Indian education system for life, I have heard people say multiple times that something is terribly wrong with our system. I asked them what it was, and could not get satisfactory answers. After so much time, I think that I have found out what is actually wrong. The whole problem can be summarized in a single word.
Now allow me to elaborate.
Do you remember the time when you were in your school?
Let us go back to the time when you were in 7th or 8th class. What did you tell, when someone asked you what you wanted to become?
Now remember what kind of a career did you want (and maybe even worshipped) in 12th standard? Doctor? Engineer? CA?
If you had ever thought about your future in school, think once more what did you really want to become. Now ask yourself one thing truly: Did you ever desire to become a teacher?
That, my friend, is wrong with the Indian education system, or rather I would say with India as a nation.
So why do you want to become [insert whatever]?
Money? Fame? Respect? It’s not wrong to expect that in return for your efforts. In fact, it’s quite natural.
Because it’s the worst kind of a job that exists out there. (It’s similar to a gutter cleaner – the cleaner cleans the gutter, a teacher cleans minds.)
Moreover, if you glance at the data, the average annual salary of a high school teacher in India is around 2.5 lacs. An engineer, a doctor, even an accountant earns much more than that!
We are conditioned to think of teaching as some low-level job! If you don’t believe me, just tell anyone that you always dreamed of becoming a teacher. Just tell, and see their reactions. Then you would believe me. That is cruel!
What should one expect then?
Apart from a very few passionate people(who are very brave too), no one really prefers a teaching job. The bright students of a class go on to become engineers, doctors, CAs, businessmen, scientists!
And who become teachers?
Those who fail at everything else.
I agree that factors like reservation, inflexibility, standardization, etc. are hindrances, but the main culprit to shadow the growth of India is our own education system. Incompetence is the devil here, and it is fueled by what? People’s priorities!
Our government doesn’t even realize this now. But the sooner the better, this problem needs to be curbed, if we dare to dream of the golden bird again.
These six steps would ensure that we will have a better education in the future.
That would be the biggest game changer. See how the coaching industry flourished when the private players paid high salaries to competent people. Talented people would always flock where their work is valued. And high salary is a way of saying, I value your work.
Teaching is a divine task, and it must be treated like one. The coaching classes and the kind have made us believe that doctors and engineers are somehow above the rest of us. They aren’t.
You cannot get rich just by getting a job. Had I known this beforehand, I wouldn’t have stretched my four years of engineering searching for the perfect job. I would have developed my skills instead!
The school never encourages us to create value. It tells us to replicate value. That’s why we lag behind. Successful people always focus on giving value to the world. But again, that can be taught only if we have competent teachers.
This is happening. There are players like Subhash Chandra doing this. Online, we have the Khan Academy and the likes. Even on Quora, I’ve seen successful people giving knowledge for free(eg. Balaji Viswanathan). When people achieve some success, they are more than happy to teach it to the others. The only thing they need is proper respect and attention from the learners.
We disregard our teachers. In school, we treat them like shit. Even God won’t help you if you do that to Him. Why should the teachers, who are mere humans, tolerate that? Our ancients worshiped teachers, why should we not? They deserve such treatment.
Education is changing now. Degrees will soon become obsolete. Read Salman Khan’s Quora on what changes he expects in the next 10 years? Then why not change our priorities right now?
I will let you decide that for yourself.