Governance · Law · Public Policy

Vacuous Indian Education System

What is the purpose of education? Is it all about knowledge and all round development or in today’s scenario is there a lot that people are expecting? Is Indian Education System becoming job-oriented? India’s education system is becoming a stumbling block towards its objectives of achieving inclusive growth. Indian education system is preparing students for the job market at the cost of holistic learning.

For case A: At the end of the day Education is an investment and the return of this investment is Employment. If the return is not received then it is a bad investment; it is paltry. With all wisdom and acknowledgement also, if a person is not employed then this fuel is a waste, it is a matter of discontent for parents and government.

For a case B: Education creates empowerment and dialogue. When empowerment is instilled in someone to critically think over things around, about one self and has right kind of rational thought of what can be done with the life then that is his own pocket of excellence which will create opportunities as per his demands. As far as creating dialogue in society, discussions take place. This parlance creates a dialogue as intellectual gain is present.  Excellence will create opportunity. We can only maximize someone’s utility and productivity only when that person is excellent in some sort of regard. So if knowledge is dispensed with the idea to get some sort of return then this will fend off people from lucrative approach of education.

The general education system is focused only on examinations rather than training students for the future and really testing their knowledge. Because of this, students are forced to take tests that show only their retention powers, not their actual capacity or knowledge. Today, students are completely professionally-oriented and they take examinations for the same rather than to gain knowledge, or do research in the subject. In colleges, there is infrastructure and good faculty, but there is no motivation to do research. The curriculum of some of the colleges/universities is more or less obsolete (poor quality of education, with weak infrastructure and inadequate pedagogic attention) and do not equip students with the necessary skills or impart latest knowledge. If a student passes out of a chosen course, it should make that person employable as a work force. Unfortunately, given the phenomenal share of lack of technical knowledge in the courses of education, students are found wanting in the desired skills and technical soundness.

In India, masses are present who primarily need societally stigmatized jobs out of education. Probably people fine up for education keeping that employment in their minds. That is also a requirement of today’s times but not at the cost of real learning. India’s education system looks at commercial gains only and students are trained to look at their monetary future. The curriculum is also built around clearing an exam and getting into particular professions. Learning is not a priority. That is the only sense of Indian education system becoming job oriented. Skills that help in employment and earn living are not imparted. India seems to be entering the phase where education is a big business for just monetizing and making money. Child’s thought are molded into this thinking of investment that a return has to be received and in this view the ambit of education is narrowed down.

Very small chunks of Indian students are graduating from IIMs and IITs. Ultimately the industries recruit the students from these institutes. But a large number of students are also graduating from the institutes which are unheard of and smaller. Companies are hiring on the basis of education. Even if we have education but we do not have the skills to go to the companies, they are not hiring. There is a little application of what we learn in any field. The attitude we have towards education- do a project, submit it and pass the exam is the whole prospect of education today. Learning something, building something and becoming some about individuals with the capabilities can invest in the country. We need not just benefit job and education but a larger goal- that is what is missing in the system.

84% of graduates lack right levels of cognitive ability. 90% of undergraduates don’t have required proficiency in English communication. Lack of English knowledge, poor computer and concept learning are the major deterrents to employability. 47% of graduates are not employable in any sector. Those regulating and those making policies are equally responsible. If the system has deteriorated to this level where learning has been substituted by a race to clear an examination, regulators and policymakers are to blame for not acting on time to correct this anomaly.

Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has stressed the need for an all-new orientation to higher education system in the country, giving greater focus to entrepreneurial skills that could generate immense employment potential. “There is a great mismatch between skills required for modern economy and education imparted to students. Besides, economic growth and investments have not kept pace with availability of human resources,” said Dr. Kalam. He said universities — Government and private enterprises — should become facilitators for fuelling the great Indian entrepreneurial juggernaut. The education system should invariably prepare students right from college days for a career in entrepreneurship, which would give them the necessary creativity, freedom and the ability to generate wealth. Then only it will react on an optimistic note and job-oriented education would come as a bonus to students and prepare them for the challenges in the highly competitive job market.

Certain policies to improve India’s education system and enhancing an individual to a productive work force are immediate requirement. As the biggest problem is the cut-throat competition to get into an IIT or any other reputed college, a system should be built wherein a student should be evaluated on the aptitude and skills related to the course they are opting for. This will change the mind-set of the parents, as it will now encourage them to explore rather than to cram all the stuff.

There needs to be motivation for the students to specialize in their fields which happens only when the standard of education delivered at the undergraduate level is inspiring. We see many students losing interest in their core disciplines due to the fact that their 3 or 4 year Undergraduate program never triggered any love for their disciplines. Let us work towards strengthening the system from its base.

We need to upgrade our Higher Education Systems like Masters and Doctorates. Invest more in Science & Management Research as well. India can invest tremendously in Management research, looking at the way we manage our country, and Science should go unsaid looking at the number of our people pursuing Masters and PhDs abroad. There should be flexibility in introducing courses which are contemporary for people who wish to pursue. We need to change with changing times!

Meanwhile, before we change our higher education system, we need to re-structure primary education. Our primary education system is one of the most hectic ones. We need to reduce the work load for the students by involving them in a more practical world rather than theory. The education system should move away from ‘you need to know all this’ to ‘let’s see what you can learn based on your capabilities’.

In the system there is no such provision as verbal examination. There are students who do know the answers but are weak when it comes to writing. There are students with maximum number of answers to every question asked in class, but when it comes to expressing thoughts in examination paper, they are not able to give their 100%.

The system of State Boards and Central Boards is different in spite of living in one country. Let’s keep the same board and the exams can be conducted in local language with zero syllabus difference to make it easy to evaluate the students at higher levels and also increases the flexibility.

Lack of good faculty and resources is also a problem. What if we can share the faculty and resources? Like IITs have the best Faculty, what if we can provide live lectures from IITs to every college in India? This all will be possible after completion of this project. They are planning to lay down high bandwidth fibers all across the country connecting all the top level institutes. Once this is done then Video conference will be a common thing. Students or even Faculty from various colleges can discuss and solve problems.

When the mentality that parents and students carry because of the graved education system will change and the relevant measures and steps will be taken up by the government along with their successful ramification then only India can grow as nexus of talent in right direction.

Besides, taking a leaf from the western hemisphere, India should try to become ‘knowledge economy’ to promote inclusive growth.

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About the Author

PicsArt_1401725409511Rashi is currently pursuing her second year in Electronics and Communication engineering from Jaypee Institute of Information Technology, Noida. Her areas of interest extend to Administration and Politics. She is looking forward to a career in the same, in future. She wants to be a change for the society as she loves interacting with new people and stand apart due to her out of the box vision. She likes to read, play badminton, travel, and explore new activities. Currently, she is interning with the Model Governance Foundation.

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