When India took its first step into the world of colonial system of education, we deemed it to have been the most efficient system, which would eventually help us to evolve and grow as a nation. Today, decades after that period, we seem to have been successful in achieving our goal. Indian educational institutes are now equipped with the latest technology and have chosen to provide a sophisticated learning atmosphere to their students. This makes us question, what will happen if we remove this garb of the seemingly modernized education system? Well, you are in for a major revelation.
Nowadays, the best schools are the ones that charge us with a truckload of donations right after they give us a tour of their state-of-the-art facilities without which the children would obviously be a bunch of good for nothings. The whole structure of education sits on a mountain of money with corruption as the base rock, while the students suffer the brunt of this extortion. As the families empty their coffers for creating a safe, secure and financially sound future for their children, the educational system just scoffs at their efforts. This is because even though we have adopted the new trends and brought in the modern technology, our mental boundaries have refused to extend farther than the colonial mentality. In a way, we are still stuck in the past, caught in a cycle of degraded education system, that stops the creative and original mental growth of the people.
So now, it’s time for a quantum leap to the era of real development in the education system, which would enable us to apply the knowledge we gain from theories, to our practical lives. In the present system, we have tons and tons of books to hammer our minds with knowledge, but do we really understand what the words actually mean? We sit and study for hours, weeks, months and years, all while cramming our heads with the data that would eventually be of no use in the real world. Let us be honest and answer this one- Do you remember what you learned in history in class 8th? “No, that’s impossible”, you’d say. So then, why do we even study the things that we would not remember in the long run?
This vicious cycle of lack of interest, imagination and creativity harbored by the system of education has to be broken down. The students should be encouraged to participate in various seminars, activities and projects that would teach them team building, aid in their personality development and teach them sportsmanship. We need a structure that would base its ideals on the practicality of education and stress on developing the process of understanding the theories rather than rote learning and memorization. Just stuffing our heads with data and then vomiting it on paper is not going to get us anywhere. As of February 2017, there are 789 universities, 37,204 colleges and 11,443 stand-alone institutions in India, as per the latest statistics from the UGC website. More than 90% of these institutions fail to the rightful education to students, as they are supposed to. Hence, there is a pressing need to restructure this hackneyed system of learning.
We might know that the planets revolve around the sun, but we don’t know how. We would claim to be an engineer, but in reality only 8% of India’s engineers are employable. We can say that we are erudite scholars in English, but we cannot differentiate between “they’re” and “there”. More than 95% students of our nation are not appropriately trained to meet the demands of the globalized world. This might seem brutal, but it is the reality of the education system of our country. We keep on saying that there is no exposure in India, why is that? Because, we are still outdated when it comes to our education system. Our country needs a revolution, a movement to usher in new changes that would widen the horizons of people and enable them to apply their knowledge practically.
Our anachronous system of pedagogy is not applicable anymore. The system of education is choked with low paid and demotivated teachers, who choose education as the last resort for money making. On the other hand, the syllabus comprises of every unimaginative and uninteresting thing you could think of. Yes, some of the content is useful as well, but most of it is just crafted into pieces of information that bounces over our heads, without giving us a hint of actual knowledge. As a result of this, the students get tangled in the web of uninspired teaching, laying waste in their impressionable minds. The higher education system in India faces several challenges in providing job-ready skills to the graduates due to the lack of technology driven and application-based studies. We, as intelligent human beings, have the skill set to make incredible changes through the means of our minds and knowledge, but if the knowledge providing system fails to equip us, then it will be an intellectual catastrophe.
They say, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”, but today, the world has to change its approach so that education can play the role it was intended to. It’s high time we make a move and save our future generation from becoming prosaic and monotonous robots, that cannot think out of the box and are devoid of understanding practical application of their education. By observing a recent survey called- ‘Upskilling India’, we can note that our Indian higher education is unable to respond to society’s changing needs. Moreover, about 61% of education leaders agree that the Indian education system is obsolete and has failed to keep pace with the developing market economies. As per the survey, while the future looks bright for India’s economy as it is fueled by an entrepreneurial culture and youthful workforce, “a looming talent shortage could threaten that future”.
A large mass of people spend around 15-20 years on their education, but the present trend of education is all about marks, grades and percentages, defining the careers, salary packages, designations and titles. The elements of moral values and character building are not a part of this system. Now let me ask you, would you really want to be as dull as dishwater? If not, then we must understand that the Indian system that has long remained without any minor change in structure and governance, requires neither reshaping, nor reinforcing, but recasting in a new mould, as stated in The Hindu, one of the leading newspapers. So now, it is in our hands to spin the wheel of education in the right direction because, as the saying goes- “an investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”