The ‘Rotten’ Indian education system

By S. Raghul

Embarrassment engulfed me when the world university ranking was released by THE TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION* recently. None of the Indian universities had made it to the top 100, leave alone top 30. One of the most prestigious Indian institutions Indian Institute of Technology (Kharagpur) managed to make it to the 45th spot in Asian universities ranking. But, in the world ranking it was embarrassingly pushed down to the 350-400 ranks category. Meanwhile, the California institute of Technology (rank 1), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (rank 6), and Harvard University (rank 2) retained their top spots in the ranking.

However, the ranking of Indian universities seems to have taken a great fall. This can be directly attributed to the poor quality of higher secondary education system in our country. While CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) and boards of education of different states are the major education systems in our country, most of the state boards take a back seat when compared to the quality of education offered by CBSE. However, even CBSE system lacks the hands-on practical experience which makes a huge difference between the education system in our country and other developed countries like USA and China. Here, students are taught that Force=mass*acceleration, but are not told why mass and acceleration affect force.

classroom

When it comes to the state boards, it becomes worse. The students are trained in such a way that they score very high marks and get admitted to a good college.
Students are really turned into mark producing mark machines who think that losing half a mark in their final exams is the end of their road. Now, where is the question of understanding concepts? I could not stop pitying a boy who told me that since the particular question was asked in previous year’s public examinations, there is no probability for that question to be asked this year. This is mainly due to the mentality of the schools who want to put up a banner saying that their school has achieved 5 or 6 state ranks and hence increase their revenue for the next academic year, and the parents who want their children to get admitted to top colleges. These two things dampen the student’s mentality and make them crave for marks.

Especially a chain of schools in certain regions of Tamil Nadu literally make the students to “live, breathe and eat” (for) marks.

Looking at the statistics, it is to be noted that only a mere 0.15% of the Tamil Nadu students managed to get into the IITs and no one from Tamil Nadu board could clear the BITSAT (Birla Institute of Technology and Science Aptitude Test) examination.

How could one expect such students to be concept –oriented?
The only answer is, to bring reforms in the prevalent education system in our country. But, how is that possible? Introduce a concept- rich education system which provides hands on experience and deals more with concepts than long theories and encourage students in undertaking projects and making innovations in their field of study.

This has to be analyzed more by the academicians of our country and a proposal for reforms has to be put forth to the government at the earliest. Otherwise the fate of Indian education system hangs unbalanced.

* The rankings correspond to a particular criterion set up by Times Higher Education. This article is an opinion piece from the author and is not specific to any.

By S. Raghul

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