There was an interesting discussion on CNBC TV recently about whether the education system in India is better than the US. We have covered the pros of the Indian education system in the previous article. Now, we will discuss its cons or areas for improvement.
Most of the students in India are in technical colleges and universities without their interest and passion for the subject. The result is — inefficient and dissatisfied employees. India has a literacy rate of 66%, and the budget of the Indian education system is almost Rs.1 lakh crore (US$17 billion). The Indian educational system is also considered one of the oldest in the world. Nalanda University, founded in the 5th century AD. C., it was the first university to be established anywhere in the world. Currently, the Indian educational system offers the world the best technocrats, educators and entrepreneurs.
There are about 3,400 engineering colleges in India, which are approved by AICTE, the Indian regulatory body. The total vacancies available in these universities is more than 1.1 million. Of these engineering colleges, 65% are located in South India and 35% in North India. Similarly, there are about 350 medical schools that offer MBBS degree courses. Of these 350 universities, 160 are government universities and the rest are private. The total number of places available in these courses is around 65,000. Therefore, engineering, medicine, education, science, law and administration are the most sought after careers in India.
Basic system flaws.
In a random survey, it was found that most boys were interested in a career in engineering, while most girls wanted to become doctors after graduating at 10+2. It was also found that for most Indian students, parents strongly influence their choice of career. Young students are discouraged from pursuing their chosen professions. Most Indians feel that the current Indian educational system was gifted to them by the British, and their aim was to produce more and more skilled servants for the British Empire.
It is a well known fact that the Indian education system is seriously flawed. There is a serious lack of functional literacy. The lack of room for creativity is another serious flaw. Most curricula are based on textbook knowledge with little focus on the field. So it’s more about academics without serious practical exposure. There are disparities in various streams. Vocational streams are always looked down upon in the Indian education system and there are only three or four career options available to everyone. If you want to pursue a career of your choice, you will have to rebel against your parents and society.
Ancient and traditional methods.
The Indian education system is still struggling with the chalk and talk style of teaching. Multimedia, technology and computers are not fully integrated into the educational system. Another serious flaw in the system is the lack of world-class research facilities. If you don’t follow outdated curriculum and research, you’re out of the system. This system also encourages private teaching, due to the strong emphasis on book knowledge and this despite the fact that students spend around 7-8 hours studying in schools. It increases the tendency to hoard theory and discourages creativity and curiosity.
Lack of creativity
Most students are force-fed theoretical knowledge. But, when we look at the most successful people in the world, these were the people who followed their passion at a young age. IITs are considered to be the most reputable technical schools in India, but unfortunately people go there as part of a price race and for a better financial future rather than a “real technical search”. Even the best minds in India don’t have a plan for the future!
The first step in improving the Indian education system is to integrate technology as it is considered the best way to deliver education today. Teachers must be trained to use technology in the classroom. Efficient counseling needs to happen at the high school level, so that students can make the right decision about their careers. They must be presented with all the options and flows that are available to them. The hands-on approach must be brought into the classroom as Prof. Walter Lewin says it was done at MIT, while teaching physics, to produce world-class students. Sports and extracurricular activities should also be encouraged at the school level. Parents must stop the tendency to impose a career on their children. Rather, students should be left to decide which career they want to pursue.