The Student And The System

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education is an Act of the Parliament of India which provides for free and compulsory education to all the children of the age six to fourteen .

While the act in itself is a good initiative it falls short in its delivary. One study has shown that only about 10% of the schools fulfil all the norms. (TOI)

The basic infrastructure is corruption-ridden and there is also a shortage of teachers. The quality of education provided by government school has come under scrutiny a number of times. This lack of good primary education cripples the child. Private institutions are way too expensive for everyone to enroll their kids in. Parents should not have to choose between keeping their household afloat or send their kids to schools and colleges. Basic education contributes to income gap in the future. Education will help reduce poverty and also help create better and more aware citizens and right now we are ignoring it.

We’ll talk about government schools specifically and teaching methods in another article. This article will focus on education- its positive and negatives in general.

  • The present education system of India focuses on grades more than anything else. 
  • While tests and exams help in analysing our strengths and weaknesses. Our tests focus more on learning through memorizing rather than understanding the concepts. Standardized testing fails to judge a students potential. 
  • Schools test memory more than intelligence. We are completely dependent on text books, more importance is given to text books rather than teachers. Also the student-teacher ratio is screwed so the teacher is unable to focus on the student’s needs.
  • Theoretical education is given more preference as compared to practical and research studies.

  • To make learning fun and interesting, students should be told relevance of the topic and it should go beyond ‘because it is in your syllabus’. Why’s are important too.
  • Main focus should be on creating self-learners and critical thinkers and analysers rather than just focusing on getting good marks to get into a good college which will help in getting job. The whole mad race is for a good job which also raises another question since it is all for a good job more focus is on fields like engineering and medicals, humanities and arts are ignored like Eurus Holmes.
  • Rising coaching centres and tuition hubs for students are another evil resulted by poor education system which couldn’t provide better guidance to students and make them ready. Stress on competitive exams not only for good jobs but also marriage proposals puts extra stress on the child. 
  • Proper counselling and career guidance is not available for students which is why they are often confused as which subjects to choose or what to do after completing school. Throughout school life they are told to focus on studies and not taught how to deal with life struggles. Unable to deal with the competitive pressure student suicides are increasing day by day.
  • Moral science or Value  education, a compulsory subject in catholic schools needs to be a compulsory subject in other schools too to teach ethics to students.

          Are students ready for universities after completing school education? 

          Even after students finish school are they really ready for college and the stress that competitive exams bring. The recent hike in number of suicides among students prove that they are not ready for the stress. We have seen many instances in news where students fed up with it all take a step they can’t change.

          Are the schools and their teachings not enough to help them deal with the real problems, cut-throat competitions? Are they even taught that or is it just get into school, get good marks, get into college, land a good job, where does it end? When do we give them a chance to explore their interests, find their potential? A piece of paper is not enough to judge a student’s caliber .

          Indian education system needs to change and the change needs to be swift otherwise we’ll lose more students. It needs to become more flexible (for eg: double degrees at the same time, changing stream midway etc). We need to create and environment where the teacher has more flexibility with the syllabus and the student is empowered to choose what he/she really wants to.

          The role of education institution to nurture and develop the entrepreneurial and innovative talent is the foundation for the future generation. It is important that students come out of their comfort zone. There should be a program that allows students to explore the process of starting an educational or social venture. Seminars, discussions, debate, extempore, practical learning, industrial visits, start-up stories, lectures, speakers, conferences, debates enable students to understand the entrepreneurial mindset. Students should identify their abilities to make their jobs more creative and satisfying. Youth today should find skill based career instead of money based career. Fine tune ideas should give us an understanding of the real world issues. Blend of both digital technology and education can create a revolution and create better leaders for tomorrow. The question is – how long will it take for us to see this revolution taking place in the education system and transforming millions of students help decide their future.” — Annie George  (on linkedin) 

          (To read her complete article click here )

          Education today focuses more on gaining a degree rather than becoming a learning experience for the student. It teaches us everything except one – Life. 
          Our education model created a long time before to fulfill the need for then. Why are we still following the outdated model? The model that offers very little to students, has no place for creativity. It basically judges and tests their ability to follow orders like in a factory. 

          Are we creating individuals who are able to think about themselves and society or are we creating mindless factory robots?  

          Time to change. 

          The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education. ~~Martin Luther King, Jr.

          For more information visit these websites –

          Government spending on education 

          Group discussion on education in India

          *I don’t own the illustrations. Credit goes to their respective artists.*

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