Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Some Solutions!

All right, am back with another important post. In the past I have criticized a lot about the flaws in the Indian education system, etc etc. Now I believe it’s time we take a look at the plausible solutions for improving our education system, rather than just remain passive lookers and blamers.

I am listing down a few things which can be done, and these are definitely not ALL the things which need to be done, but just a few important things which can be done. And they are not arranged in order of importance.

1) Funds: Obviously, the number one thing which comes to our mind is allocation of funds. Reservation for education has been usually 3 percent of the total budget or less. Which is clearly not enough. The Government has ignored the Education sector for over 40 years. Its high time it looked forward to improving the quality of the poorly managed government schools and colleges. Infrastructure is also important. It is very important to build facilities for drinking water and toilets for both boys and girls. Many schools don’t even have such basic amenities. As a result, even the poor prefer to send their children to private schools. Then there is again the problem of absenteeism. It is estimated that 50% of the teachers don’t even turn up most of the time. Lots of other problems can come in this factor.

2) Autonomy: It is ironic that at one hand, thousands of dubious private colleges are duping people into joining their institutes, and the genuine colleges are being over-burdened with useless tasks related to bureaucracy. Even the IITs and IIMs do not have ultimate autonomy to take their own decisions. The Government, by interfering into the private decisions of the colleges is making things even worse. The colleges should be free to design their own curriculum and to allocate the faculty they deem fit.

3) Curriculum: Most schools and colleges follow an outdated curriculum which is hardly related to contemporary events. For example in Engineering, many colleges still teach courses which may no longer be relevant or required in todays workplace. A complete overhaul needs to be done. Latest equipment and other facilities should be procured, so that Indian students can do research in India itself, rather than leaving the country never to return.

4) Rote Learning: This archaic age old idiotic practice should be banned. I find it hard to believe that this is still practiced widely almost everywhere in India, starting from schools to colleges to even PhD. Most students are encouraged to just memorize whatever is written in the textbooks and vomit it during exams, for the sole purpose of getting good marks and beating the fellow student. There is very little scope for independent or creative, out-of-the-box thinking. Neither teachers nor parents are interested to encourage the child to try out something different or to pursue his/her passion. All they can think about is to force the child to become an Engineer, Doctor, etc so that he can get a job[which he will almost surely hate]. This mentality of avoiding risk, especially in middle class is also a cause for the downfall of creativity. People still rely on books for all of their knowledge, and hardly any importance is given to vocational training and practical implementation of ideas. Thus we should focus on a more industry oriented curriculum and one which encourages lateral thinking.

5) Killing of Passion: In India, there is market for only a few traditional streams: Engineering, Medicine, MBA, etc. It is comparatively easier for a student to get a job under these traditional streams, than to get a job after doing say, Philosophy or Geology, etc. Hence most parents force their children to sacrifice their passion or interest and to get into a stream which will ensure that they get a job. And considering that there are more than 700 million poor in India who do not even get food to eat every day, getting a job may mean everything for an average Indian student. This has resulted in one of the biggest catastrophes, according to me, in the Indian education system. Instead of getting decent painters, singers, dancers, sportsmen, athletes, chefs, psychologists, astronomers, biotechnologists, botanists, photographers, or even bird watchers, we get instead a million useless engineers produced each year, most of them unemployable and almost all of them frustrated with their lives. We need proper career counseling not only for students but also for parents. Parents are inadvertently spoiling the careers of their children, and not helping them.

These are some of the remedy measures that can be taken. More on the education system in future posts.


Mary said...

This is a list of excellent solutions to your presented problem. I didn't realize that the education system in India was that degraded. It sounds like education needs to start with the parents. That may be the most difficult obstacle to overcome as you will be trying to change years and years of culture. But you are correct, in order for educational profiles to change, people will need to change. And government will need to recognize that schools need to provide an updated curriculum. Thanks for sharing! Great post :)

Satwinder Singh said...

@Mary: Thanks for the reply. :)

Nandini said...

very well put....but we need to do something about least i guess we can encourage creativity n the imp of knowledge gaining in our children...n do our bit in whatever ways we discussing all this with parents who come across us n who need such directions so that they dont end up ruining their child's life as well as our nation's future...also granting autonomy to our finest instis is v imp n a prerequsite for ensuring the quality of our nation....but its sad that politicians r busy in opting for the easiest ways out n opting cheapest means like reservations to secure their power seats...
its really commendable that u take out tym for wat needs to b done to improve the quality of our nation...

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