A fresh take on: Indian education system
If you ask any Indian about the education system, most of them will have a similar answer. The answer will be on the lines of, “It is a very old system designed to make clerks” or “It is not meant for skill development” or “It is based on rote learning”. Some will argue that it has produced some great minds, from great scientists such as the former president of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to great authors and writers such as Shobhaa De, from some of the biggest entrepreneurs such as Sachin and Binny Bansal (Founders of Flipkart) to great managers and company leaders like Sundar Pichai and Satya Nadella. You get the point.
India has a population of about 140 Cr. or 1.4 billion, i.e. about 20% of the world’s population.
India has a population of about 140 Cr. or, for readers not from India, 1.4 billion, i.e. about 20% of the world’s population.With this size isn’t it expected that some one will have some great skills, and make a name for themselves? Isn’t it obvious that there will be some handful of great minds in this huge are not upto the population?
On one hand looking at general statistics Indians are considered pretty good at STEM, on the other hand the number of patents, research papers and innovations do not live upto the hype. However a common citizen might be better at STEM then the global average.
Indians are also very “jugaadu”, i.e. They try to solve any problem with minimum resources.
Now you might be wondering, what all of this has to do with the education system, right? I think, all these are effect of our education system. Though we are not taught, Jugaad in schools, it is possible that we don’t need to learn those skills from school and we get those skills directly from our culture. Though our system focuses on rote learning, it makes us better at STEM. We are culturally frugal, meaning we restrain from spending at inappropriately, making us good entrepreneurs, not necessarily demanding teaching. It doesn’t mean that, as the living standards improve, it will be needed to be taught to our future generations. Maybe we need skill development but I feel that, we also need the current education system as it imparts at least bookish knowledge. What needs correction, is the approach of the students, who think that it is just rote learning and study just for the sake of marks. When I was in penultimate and ultimate years of my high school education, I had realized that even knowing 50% of everything in our syllabus for the rest of our lives would help us in making in our everyday life better.
All in all, there is a need for minor changes in education system and a major changes in the mindset of the parents, teachers, mentors, guides and students. And anyways, system could take decades to change, we can change our mindset in in a few minutes! So why not do it?!!
PS. Do let me know your views in comments