By- Smriti Joinwal
The moment a child is born in India, his/her fate is decided and sealed. There is a joke that is doing the rounds about Indian fathers who tell their sons that “Beta, you can study any field that you want as long as it’s engineering.” Parents nowadays don’t want children but mechanized robots that are good at everything. This double standard is startling and is the root cause of the issue at hand. Since we got independence, a number of educational institutions have been set up by the government of India. They are well known to produce students who are the best at rote- learning, students who get above 90% always, students who are a part of a mindless rat race. Because these GREAT institutions hone the rote-learning skills of its students in such a way that they get nothing less than 90%, everyone including them suffers. We all know that the demand for jobs is always high but the supply is low because companies are not able to find the most suitable candidates from a sea of mechanised people who know nothing but how to learn everything by heart. Thus not all the above 90% students get a job.
All of the highly bright students don’t get a job, though they have a great score. Thus, this makes my point pretty clear. So all of us need to retrospect and find what has exactly gone wrong. According to me, rote learning is the key problem. It kills the originality and creativity of a person and replaces it with rigidity and compulsions. Epictetus, the Stoic slave-philosopher observed that only the educated are free but I feel that we need to be free to be educate ourselves. Thus, there is a systemic fault that we need to correct. Primary school students in India spend 51 hours more in classrooms than their counterparts in OECD (Organization for economic cooperation and development) countries according to a report. I hope that we all know that it is too taxing. While improving our GDP what we had not bargained for was this systemic fault.
By the RTE act, primary school students are required to spend 800 hours a year in school which is a lot as compared to the other equally prospering countries. Ironically, the longer the school hours may not mean better education, because ASER (Annual states of education) report suggests that though more students have now enrolled themselves in schools, the learning levels have deteriorated. In arithmetic, 18.9% of class III students in schools could not do basic subtraction and more. Thus, all of this points to one thing, a systemic fault. Our education system needs to find ways to guide and facilitate learning through informal ways. Eg- Through their gadgets. There is no scope of creative development left if students are forced to rote-learn. We all need to delve deeper into this problem and find a way out. most populous country in the world, we need to be proud of one
Let’s discuss some point:
1. We can introduce activity-based learning or recreational activities in the extra school hours. .
2. We can focus on skill based education
• “Give a man a fish and you feed him one day, teach him how to catch fishes
and you feed him for a lifetime.” I believe that if we teach a man a skill, you
enable him for a lifetime.
3. We can introduce massive technology infrastructure for education
4. We can redefine the purpose of education.
5. We can personalise education to suit every child’s needs for his/her better future.
I don’t understand that why are we letting ourselves become a part of a mindless mad rat race. We should not claim ignorance at the moment. Action is the need of the hour. We already have D-I-Y (do it yourself) conferences and there is a sudden spurt in home schooling which is surely welcomed. So we need to wake up and smell the coffee! The last few years were already inked in corruption, policy paralysis, economic slowdown and job losses which not only the government but even the common man would like to forget. So let’s make collective efforts and not let history repeat itself. We need to head towards a better education system in the coming years.