By Bula Kalra
Education, as we all know, is a vital component of an individual’s development. It is responsible for the utilization of children’s raw potential and transforms them into rational, conscientious, and aware citizens capable of positively contributing to society. Without education, human beings wouldn’t have been able to create the advanced world that we’re living in today, full of admirable inventions and astronomical progress in almost every field.
Indian schools do not provide a holistic outlook on education.
However, the education system in India is marred by several shortcomings that prevent it from fulfilling its role to the highest possible degree. Instead, making it a negative contributor to the child’s mindset and outlook towards the world.
Schooling in our country has become a physical and mental strain on young students. With outdated pedagogy, an examination-centric approach, problematic curriculum, emphasis on rote learning, lack of holistic education, low priority to extracurricular activities and numerous other issues plague schools in India, thus leading to the failure to provide effective education.
In a system where students are taught with the sole aim of ensuring high scores in standardized, theoretical examinations, the very essence of learning is lost. With cut-throat competition becoming a norm, students lose motivation to engage in learning that genuinely contributes to their personal growth and remain focussed on that which helps them secure high marks.
For the development of a country, it must ensure good quality higher education that pays adequate attention to practical knowledge and equips individuals with skills that will enable them to perform well in the workplace by enhancing their employability. However, the Indian education system fails on that front since the higher education here is extremely degree-oriented. It also neglects certain topics like sex education and mental health awareness which are indispensable to the contemporary times we live in.
These are the issues that a team of 7 young changemakers sought to address and resolve through an informative and engaging presentation they crafted as part of YAH-India’s School Changemakers’ Program. Through their proposal of a comprehensive solution called “EDउन्नति”, these bright young minds put forward several dynamic changes in the education system that can help it overcome all the obstacles it faces.
They adopted tools such as surveys and intensive research and analyzed the data. The conclusions they arrived at were thoroughly discussed in their presentation. Beginning with a brief discussion on the issues persisting in the education system, the “Chillar Party” members went on to lay down their analysis of the responses obtained from the survey and backed up their arguments and conclusions with concrete facts and statistics.
They criticized the system for teaching students about irrelevant things like the ammeter and ignoring pertinent concepts like paying taxes. While touching upon stereotypes associated with streams in the Indian education system, team member Dorika quipped, “Indian parents are in a love affair with the science stream.” Further, they spoke in detail about their proposed solutions and laid due emphasis on things like vocational training and restructuring of the curriculum, to name a few.
A YAH-India mentor lauded the relatability quotient of the presentation and interestingly referred to all those present as “victims of CBSE”. It was followed by a Q&A session where the discussion turned towards the lack of sanitation facilities for menstruating persons in schools. As part of it, Diya shared, “There are no sanitary pad dispensers & if you get it from the clinic you need to pay for it. And this is about a private school in South Delhi.”
The simulative session ended with the members’ take on the National Education Policy 2020 when Amreen called it “a cheap emulation of the IB Board system.” The mentor then gave the cohort some constructive feedback about “EDउन्नति”, and ended the meeting with a bunch of questions for the SCP fellows to ponder upon.