Education- Sole way of improving education

“Pros and Cons of the current education system”

Having an immense sense of pride in the education I’ve received here in my country, India, I’m an aspiring Dental student, looking forward to continuing my further studies abroad. Throughout my years of education in India, I’ve come across a lot of situations which make me list the merits and de-merits of the current education system. In this particular blog, my prime focus will be Indian education system, since I’ve been experiencing that first hand, for all these years.

Indian education system has seen a lot of significant, contrasting changes over expanding periods of time, in phases I’d say. It all began long before the early 1500s, with the teaching of traditional elements such as Indian religions, mathematics, logic at early Hindu and Buddhist centers of learning but restricted to a few, followed by the traditional system of gurukul, which focused not only on teaching subjects like science, medicine, warfare, archery, literature and many more along with the equally important and essential basic life skills and humility. Entire face of Indian education changed again when India got colonized by the British and Europeans and they changed the core of Indian education system for all the years to come by. And somehow also convinced that this was a superior, structured and more Disciplined way of education, as they used to call it.

From originalists, we were moulded by their system into Skilled copyists.”

Here’s listing 13 opportunities and challenges surrounding our education system.

Opportunities

1. Child labor has seen a significant decrease since the enaction of Prohibition and Regulation of Child and Adolescent Labour Act 1986

2. Right to Education Act, enacted on 4 Aug, 2009 highlights the modalities of importance of free and compulsory education for childen between age 6–14 years.

3. Policies, like Radha Krishnan Education Commission(1948), Kothari Commission (1964–66), National Policy On Education (1986), Five Year Plans, etc are passed to ensure the ease of entry into education

4. Programmes like Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madyamik Shiksha Abiyan (RMSA) are major programmes of Education of Ministry of Human Resource Development to ensure that the underprivileged kids get education

5. Schemes for educational development have been passed, like Opening of residential schools, Pre- and Post-metric scholarships, free textbooks and uniforms, hostels, bank account schemes, grants etc.

6. Reservation for the underprivileged and scheduled casts. The system dates back to 1902 when social reformer Raja Ram Mohan Roy found that Indians in certain castes didn’t have access to education. Credit for continuing this goes to Bharat Ratna Dr. Ambedkar. However, there is a lot of controversy surrounding this for the abuse of the original purpose of the law in today’s era, which would be a topic of detailed discussion some other time.

7. Most of the Indian institutes condemn the use of electronic gadgets, primarily in the school and mostly on the graduate levels, i.e. the lower tiers of education pyramid. This attempts in having undue and undistracted attention of students.

8. Scholarships and grants to students belonging to economic backwards classes of society. Again, the ease of getting this and where it is abused or not by the upper sections of society is in questions and debates.

9. E- courses are available for distant learners

10.Compulsory subjects and streams doesn’t allow kids to change subjects or streams easily, giving them time and to think it through, giving full exposure of the subject and trying to get the hang of it before deciding to leave

11.School projects really bring out a lot in a student, especially when done on their own. These include models, Book reviews, projects.

12.Almost all institutions have one yearly event, which include activities from all genres of education- music, art, dance, drama, award ceremonies. This motivates and gives opportunities to a lot of students to present their co-curricular other sides.

13. ‘Blackboard-chalk’ system keeps the professor in touch with his/her students, being able to keep a tab on their progress, involvement in class, their individual strengths and weaknesses.

CHALLENGES

1. A major loophole in the Indian education system I consider, is the injudicious implementation and abuse of the Reservation system.

The attempt of reserving seats for backwards sections of society, especially in higher education tiers, has crippled the merit system.

2. A lot of school and universities, especially in Private sectors have become more business-oriented, and leaning less towards the main purpose of education and working for it. A lot of have become too expensive that only elite sections of society can afford.

3. Rote- learning is the basis of learning in a lot of boards, which underrates and overrides the importance of understanding the concepts, and kills creativity in a kid.

“ We’re expected to rote-learn the entire presentation present it, while most of the times, the faculty plainly reads out their presentation from a slideshow which has text copied and pasted from the textbooks” is a common complaint amongst students

4. Lack of teaching of the Innate and essential skills required to live a life filled with all sorts of troughs and crests. While all the emphasis is on developing the Intelligence Quotient, nil emphasis on the Emotional, Spiritual, and Creative Quotients.

5. The above mentioned point, has ultimately resulted in increased number of Indian students falling into a spiral of depression, anxiety, stress and in uncontrolled cases, suicide!

6. The system of Hierarchy, especially seen in Medical schools and amongst their fraternity- Seniority, a system which discourages questions to be asked to superiors and dampens the ability of the junior to exercise reason.

“ something to think on: it is this system of hierarchy that led to the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, the worst nuclear disaster in history, rated 2nd in severity after the Fukushima Daiichii nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011”

7. Heavy emphasis on scores and marks, right from the preschool period.

“ my brother, who’s in 2nd std came from school with tears in his eyes because he got an A, instead of A+ in his class test. This is when I realized how wrong the entire system is. 2nd std is not a class to worry, but enjoy the childhood luxuries of playing on slides with friends! This really saddened me’’ says Saloni Bhardwaj, Computer Science Engineer,VIT and a full time teacher and fellow at an NGO, Teach for India

8. Encourages flock mentality. Education in fiends like Pure Sciences,Speakers, Culinary, Writing , Journalist, Aeronautics , Marine engineering, biotechnology, teaching, social work, forensic medicine, etc are underrated over the options like becoming a Doctor, engineer and Accounting in general.

9. Liberal licensing and unqualified faculty, which cripples the joy and enthusiasm for pursuit of education and knowledge. “Teaching” as a skill and passion, for quality and effective learning is completely Underrated.

“ Passionate teachers have the ability to create the excitement that influences learning, emphasizing a link between learning and education. These teachers contribute to making positive difference in student achievement –Hamdi Serin in his article dated Sept. 2007- The Role of Passion in Learning and Teaching”

10. A lot of subjects are taught theoretically which proves to be a burden instead of providing education and provoking curiosity. Some classic examples of this on school levels, are the subjects like History, literature, which being compulsory subjects aren’t found very welcoming by all types and sections of students.

11. Non-liberal ways of teaching, which fails to inculcate education for its own sake and personal development, and teaching of values.

12. Abuse of power-point presentations, by overloading It with information, making it non-appealing, reading out the whole thing in a plain bland manner creates a barrier in the teaching and learning procedure.

“ Power point presentation, according to me should act like a guidance point, to refer to, in between teaching with the appropriate use of content and graphics” my personal view

13. While the schools of various elite private sectors provide for a variety of extra- and co-curricular activities, like Swimming, Basket ball, Lawn tennis, Table tennis, Horse back riding ( yes! I’m not kidding), the schools which aren’t flooding with funds, deprive the students of those opportunities.

Summarizing it all, every decision, system, organization, has its merits and de-merits; hence, the educational system in India is no exception. As far as I’m concerned, considering the above mentioned points, certain personal experiences, along with numerous occurrences with my near and dear ones, the cons over-weigh the pros for me personally.

Further addition of fresh challenges to the entire education system came with the sudden and shocking advent by pandemic of COVID-19, the impacts of which on educational sector, I’ll be discussing at length in another blog.

Stay tuned.

Creating beautiful smiles, as a Dentist, an Artist, and a lot in between. A freelance content writer, a thinker, and an amateur entrepreneur!