“Culture is something that needs to adapt and change, and you’ve got to be able to have a learning culture. The intuition I got was from observing what happens in schools. I read a book called Mindset. There’s this very simple concept that Carol Dweck talks about, which is if you take two people, one of them is a learn-it-all and the other one is a know-it-all, the learn-it-all will always trump the know-it-all in the long run, even if they start with less innate capability.”———Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft.
Came across Nadella’s statement while surfing the net and it triggered the thoughts I am nurturing for sometimes recently.
I am circling around the Education system of India throughout my life. As a student first and then as a school teacher to college Professor. I have realised the changes or deterioration is going on every year. In this vast country where the population is diversified with respect to religion, language, economic status, cast, geographical positions- the introduction of a uniform education system is very much desired. The vast populace of India resides in interior rural, rural, semi-urban and urban places. Providing them with a single kind of infrastructural facilities, single syllabus, and single examination system is a herculean task but we should take up this task for the betterment of the country and the world. Shouting out a rectification never means the system is the worst. In fact, the Indian education curriculum is still following a system introduced by the British and the performances of Indian intellectuals worldwide are exemplary. Here scope of learning is diversified. At a tender age, children start learning so many subjects with many extracurricular activities. The syllabus covers many topics which one requires to know if one is interested in various facets of life. But learning the entire syllabus of a school curriculum needs a student’s fullest dedication. The peer pressure to emerge as a top performer in school needs the students running around schools and coaching classes. Many fall behind but the system doesn’t want to demoralise them. So the process of dilution begins!! Our Indian education system is now tasting the most diluted concoction.
Every system has its flaws; every system can be upgraded with powerful insight and can opt for reformation. I tried to figure out the flaws and summarised them as follows:
- Excellent quality education is not available to all children. Educational inequalities are there while learning Science, History, Mathematics and languages.
- Examination and result oriented learning are encouraging the practice of rote memorising. Read, memorize (with /without understanding), write the exam and forget.
- There is no standard procedure to evaluate the merit of every children i.e not all are measured on the same scale.
- The syllabus is designed for oral discussion based/ didactic lectures.
- Students have little scope for “hands-on” learning.
- More of theoretical knowledge cannot create curiosity among students and completion of the huge syllabus in short period of time do not allow them to think while learning.
- “System” means so many things – curriculum design, the school sub-system, the college and university sub-system, the exam-and-result subsystem, the competitive exams and coaching class subsystem. Maintaining a coordination between all subsystems is difficult.
- As government did not invest enough in education sectors, Private institutions came into the play and resulting in High Cost of Education
- Low salaries of teachers do not motivate people to take up teaching as a career which has created an acute shortage of teachers.
- Due to a very low teacher to student ratio in most schools of India, it is very difficult for a teacher to concentrate on each and every child in his class.
- Then there are the laws, policies, different regulatory authorities, accreditation bodies. Teachers/ Professors are spending lots of time in upgrading personal and Institutional data. They get less time to think about innovative teaching methodology.
- No Universities in India could make it to the Top 100 Universities list by “Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings 2016”.
Hence it’s time to think and act.
As Swami Vivekananda once said, “If you want to build a great nation, you have to build a great society.” And to build a great society we will have to renovate the methods of knowledge creation and its dissemination.