“I failed in some subjects in exam, but my friend passed in all. Now he is an engineer in Microsoft, and I am the owner of Microsoft.” – Bill Gates.
Education is an important tool that can help people harness their true talents and do something for the society. The literacy rate in India is 74.4%, but it lags behind USA, Japan and the European countries when it comes to scientific as well as humanitarian contributions. Why? Because we are literate and not educated.
One of the prime reasons is that our robotic education system makes us mug incessantly for exams but not think on our feet. In Japan, the first subject in the school is respect, obedience and goodness. The teachers are highly skilled and of course highly paid thus the average attendance of the students is very high. However, in India, the teachers in the primary schools are not highly educated and also paid measly. The students are deprived not only of morals and ethics but also on effective ways to learn and understand subjects.
Even the higher education system is a big failure. The universities were made to impart creative ideas but are now run on the basis of a specified syllabus, and the students are required to cram theories in order to get high grades. The competition in our education system is for marks rather than receiving knowledge which leads in the loss of creativity. And without creative minds, there could be no innovative ideas and thus no development.
There are plenty of examples of people in India who are either drop-outs or who left their jobs that they got on the basis of marks. What needs to change is how one thinks about the outcome of their education.
The education system needs to appreciate students’ creativity and abilities. The PRATHAM report ASER 2017, says that the students from poor families working in the informal sector might be not studying at an academic grade, but they can easily do basic arithmetics correctly because they are required to do so on a daily basis. The demographic dividend can only be harnessed when young Indian minds are allowed to access the entirety of what a good education offers. Reading and writing are just the tips of the iceberg.
Interdisciplinary learning allows one to do things which are of their area of interest rather than just part of their academic curriculum. This helps the students to apply knowledge again from one field to other. Veteran chemist C.N.R. Rao said in an interview with The Hindu that, “Indian science should embrace an interdisciplinary approach”.
The only thing which remains unchanged is change; the education system has to constantly evolve and adapt to what’s happening around the world. Schools are more than just buildings; playgrounds are also an important part of life lessons which children learn.
Educational institutions should aspire for the overall development of a child and not just awarding them numbers in mark sheets.