India is a land of more than a billion people from who follow different religions, speak different languages, cook different food. We are the 5th largest economy in the world. Our biggest and most valuable asset is our workforce. Indians have shown mettle in most fields and our talents are heavily needed all over the world.
Everyone has the right to education in India. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act guarantees primary education from the age of 6 to 14. Most parents spend a fortune on their children’s education, and what’s worse, it’s very difficult to secure admission in nurseries in a reputed or moderately reputed school without donations. Getting admission in a school is as difficult as finding a partner, as they need to showcase their influence, personal charm and even the family name in the process.
So what does the Indian education system offer?
I believe the skills we learned including playing sports, interpersonal communication, honing specific talents like singing and dancing were all mostly developed individually or due to some collective effort. For all these activities can we really give credit to the Indian education system?
The education system does a good job of offering a variety in the subjects taught at the preliminary level. We studied subjects like mathematics, social science, science, English, a regional language or Hindi, computer science. My school had two more specialized courses, one was Fine Arts (as I wanted to be the next A R Rahman), and a vocational course where we were taught how to cook and deal with electronics.
We aim big. We want to become doctors, pilots, football players and much more. According to me, preliminary education does a good job of helping us shortlist and narrow our life choices. My dream of becoming a doctor ended when I first understood what we really had to study in biology.
So my humble suggestions are :
Most of the information we learn during our school become redundant ,useless and not up to date with the industry in a span of few month or years.So in order to avoid a whole generation of students being illiterate , tell and teach in a way students learn themselves so they are interested to learn themselves not just till the age of 22, but for their entire lifetime.
Our former President , APJ Abdul Kalam once replied to a curious query of a student : Why should we learn?
His answer was quite simple and even personal .My father lived till the age of 99, I don’t know a single day when he didn’t learn something new
This quite clearly illustrates the importance of a life full of learning.
2. Stop spoon feeding
One thing which our system does totally wrong is spoon feeding . In our schools , teachers are evaluated on the performance of their student and its totally fine. In order to achieve good results, teachers ask their students to learn things by heart in parrot fashion.
Imagine a student learning the history of India without even knowing about how India gained independence, the incredible rulers we had who didn’t invade a foreign country for past 4000+ years.
I still remember learning 150 + equation for chemistry during board exams in class 12 , but I don’t even remember one of them today. This is the consequence of spoon feeding .So stop spoon speeding.
3. Embrace creativity in students
In a upcoming world , artificial intelligence is going to take over 80 % of today’s job and when automation is coming at a rapid pace . I believe one thing which differentiate us from machine is Creativity.
In our schools , there is a footballer, singer , artist , cricketer , director, actors all enclosed themselves in 4 walls of the school and let them follow their passion instead of merely becoming Engineers or Doctors. Identify their natural talent’s and train them . Make them to learn from their own failures instead of making a path of roses ,as most parents do. This will make them creative and teach them what life is
4. Broaden the streams after 10th
Instead of having just 3 streams after class 10 ie:
These are 3 streams usually in our schools. I know CBSE offers some choices for sports and arts but they are not present in 99% of schools in India.
5. Teach some essential skills
Education is not about mugging stuff from textbooks, instead its about getting us prepared for life. There are some essential skills to be learnt in life like :
a) Emergencies and accidents are happening daily , it would be useful for our society as a whole to introduce safety and training classes in the curriculum . At least some first aid classes can be introduced in the Curriculum
“You have to be able to communicate in life and probably the schools under emphasize that. If you can’t talk to people or write , your’e giving up your potential”
b) This quote summaries the point . Its more important to learn to communicate . It’s more important than learning to code , Grammar and all the English you learned in your high school.
A high five to all of you who read my thoughts and agree that education system should be improved .Any system has bugs and defects. Lets all join together to correct the defects in our education system.
This is just authors thoughts and some of statistics presented in article may vary slightly.
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