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Maladies of Education System in India

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One of the Most Important maladies in the Education system in India is “Generating no interest in the learning and going towards competitive environment”.

Indian Education System is continuously going into path of building competitiveness from the primary level school itself. Children are forced to carry loads of books from the early age onwards and have regular exams quarter-quarterly basis which makes them keep on mugging up the things about the concepts or theories which they really don’t understand where to apply. Many of the children in rural areas are giving up the education at early age due to the pressure they get and fear of failing in the exams, there are also cases of some children committing suicides after failing in the exam. Children start losing hope on themselves in education and slowly there will be behavioural changes. Children spend their total time in classrooms without having regular extra-curricular activities. This makes them not to open up with the friends or their classmates.  Due to lacunae in our syllabus many of the children don’t know about the resources in their local areas, if there is any emergency situation to deal majority of our students have no idea to tackle it.

The parents of the student completing the school leaving stage 10th class get into an anxiety syndrome, worrying constantly about the subjects their wards should take up in the higher or senior secondary stage 11th and 12th class. It is at the end of the 12th class that the students must be prepared to get grilled appearing for a number of entrance tests like Joint Entrance Examination IITs , State level engineering or medical colleges.  After the students completing their higher education, many of them are not able to get employment opportunities due to different skill requirements of the employers.

Where is the exact problem of this?

The total problem lies in the childhood education, where children have taught in the controlled environment (like experiments done in Labs) with no innovative learning. When we see the education system in Finland is completely different from India. There are no mandated standardized tests in Finland, apart from one exam at the end of students’ senior year in high school. There are no rankings, no comparisons or competition between students, schools or regions. Finland’s schools are publicly funded. The people in the government agencies running them, from national officials to local authorities, are educators, not business people, military leaders or career politicians. Every school has the same national goals and draws from the same pool of university-trained educators. The result is that a Finnish child has a good shot at getting the same quality education no matter whether he or she lives in a rural village or a university town. The differences between weakest and strongest students are the smallest in the world, according to the most recent survey by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). “Equality is the most important word in Finnish education”. 

Indeed the main aim of early years education is not explicitly “education” in the formal sense but the promotion of the health and wellbeing of every child. Day-care is to help them develop good social habits: to learn how to make friends and respect others, for example, how to dress themselves competently. Official guidance also emphasises the importance in pre-school of the “joy of learning”, language enrichment and communication. There is an emphasis on physical activity (at least 90 minutes outdoor play a day). “Kindergarten in Finland doesn’t focus on preparing children for school academically, Instead the main goal is to make sure that the children are happy and responsible individuals”.

Besides Finnish, math and science, the first graders take music, art, sports, religion and textile handcrafts. English begins in third grade, Swedish in fourth. By fifth grade the children have added biology, geography, history, physics and chemistry. Not until sixth grade will kids have the option to sit for a district-wide exam, and then only if the classroom teacher agrees to participate. Most do, out of curiosity. Results are not publicized.

In India the basic platform has not been provided for the children to strengthen themselves and gain values through learning from real life examples in the form stories. There is a lack of brainstorm sessions which is the reason children are not able to think independently and this makes them to escape from the given task.  In Japan, children in the elementary school are taught about how to deal with disaster through simple stories like “Hagamuchi and the tidal wave” which consists children characters so they can easily understand and put themselves in the characters in dealing it. The class starts with the customary aisatsu (greetings) to the teacher and is followed by his question if students know how to solve a problem he had previously put up on the board. That day his/her class is supposed to learn how to solve equations with multiple fractions and he/she instructs his/her fifth-graders how to approach these math problems. The first student to finish shots a hand up. The teacher walks over, glances at the problem and circles it to signal it was correct. The student then gets up and away from his seat. Another hand shots up. But, this time the first student takes the role of the teacher, or the corrector. The subjects they study include Japanese, mathematics, science, social studies, music, crafts, physical education, and home economics (to learn simple cooking and sewing skills). They also learn traditional Japanese arts like shodo (calligraphy) and haiku. Shodo involves dipping a brush in ink and using it to write kanji (characters that are used in several East Asian countries and have their own meanings) and kana (phonetic characters derived from kanji) in an artistic style. Children clean the classrooms, toilets themselves regularly and even the teachers participate in the assigned activity, this gives automatically awareness to the children in how to maintain their surroundings clean.

By seeing the best examples of the above countries, Indian education system has severely failed in generating passion among the children in learning different aspects of moral values, learning creatively with deep interests and addressing the problems of children. Our education system is in the path of providing education to all but showing no clear destination to the children.

Local Government steps in minimising the maladies of Education System:

Local Government has done little bit part from their side by having regular meetings with stakeholders parents, teachers, local government officials under SMC, PTA monthly once. But during these meetings parents are concerned why their wards are not performing in the studies compared with other students. This lacks basic reason to constitute a meeting.

Recently many schools are established without having ground facilities, this made Local Governments like in Hyderabad had strict orders to school authorities to have a ground without fail. It has also warned the schools to reduce the burden on children by making them to carry loads of books to school and asked school management to provide infrastructure to keep the children books in the school.

Local Governments are also concerned about the learning pattern of the children in the schools, it made an initiative to conduct regular science exhibitions, film shows, book exhibitions etc. which made children to see the live experience of various concepts. It sought several Non-Profit organizations like Teach for India support in making local government school in improving their performance by creating interest among the students through innovative learning, so there can reduction in drop out and improvement in quality of education.

But these are small initiatives which is something like touching only elephant’s tail, it requires overall support of parents, teachers and government in changing this malady.

References:

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/sep/20/grammar-schools-play-europe-top-education-system-finland-daycare
  2. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/why-are-finlands-schools-successful-49859555/

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