Thursday, June 20, 2013

Indian Education System - Needs to be Overhauled

Indian Education System, a much talked about education system that generates probably one of the largest set of Graduates in various disciplines in various streams is a flawed education system.  Yes the system that generates Engineers, Doctors, Business Management Professional is indeed a flawed one.  A recent article by Ramendra Singh on Times of India highlights that India Lacks Research Based Education System.

"The highlight of the article is the Non-research based Education as imparted by the Indian Institutes and Colleges. It states - "The absence of research-based education in the country has put Indian education way behind other universities across the world, senior associate dean of Yale School of Management, USA, Anjani Jain told TOI."
Article by Ramendra Singh 
  • Citing the example of universities in USA, he said, "The US was also not much known in the field of education in early 20th century. But they concentrated on the research work in 1930-40. The result is there for all to see. That country now has some of the leading universities of the world."
Article by Ramendra Singh 
While reading the article, I recalled many debates that I had been party to on this perspective have always ended with a note "Indian Education System Produces Babus and Clerks".  The various opinions that I received from various quarters include - 
  • Our Education System is still carrying the legacy of the British Raj. They developed an education system that they wanted to produce clerks and babus. The current Education System is no good to produce quality
  • Our Education System is designed to clear exams and get marks.  Higher the percentage higher is the recognition.  Cram up the books and you are done.  Write the Bookish answers that teachers want to read in the language they like and you are done
  • Engineers that we produce do not have practical outlook to work and they have to be trained for at least 12 to 18 months before they can give productive output.
  • Doctors that we produce are so lethargic that they forget their instruments inside the Human body when operating the patient
  • Every occupation that we see is so highly maligned with the set of expensive donation schools that they end up spending their fortune to get educated and when they finally come in the job market their expectations are too high as compared to the prevailing Job market. Yeah somewhere when these people get in the government job, they try to cover up for their cost of education and for their children - and we end up dealing with corrupt officials
So, coming to the square one - the education system that is prevailing in our country is - 
  • Old & Stale
  • Expensive
  • Inefficient and Ineffective
Though we produce large bunch of Job aspirants, but they are least effective.  That means we need to Overhaul our Education System.  As pointed out in the Article sited, the Indian Colleges, Universities and Professional Institutes need to drive their efforts on Research Based Education.  They need to support more and more initiatives by the students and need to promote such efforts.  However, I feel it is important and critical that research based education is rooted in the education system to tap the young mind that would help them develop better. Efforts need to driven from the elementary level itself when the traces of curiosities are observed in the kids.  Rather than suppressing their queries, they need to be instigated with leading answers and pointers that would make them do some of research on their own.With the ever increasing penetration of Internet and new age technology, this would certainly aide the quizzing minds and help them do more of research.

Education Institutes for that matter need to encourage students to do some "Assignments" on various topics that may range from History to Botany and make them develop papers that they would require to present to the School / College authorities.  The topics should be published and students be suggested to pick their own  topics on which they would like to work and develop their papers.  Mentors should be appointed for the topics and the mentors should guide students with periodic review of their work.  This certainly would lead to  the case where some student, if not all would lead their ambitions and will try to live their ambition in newer research, they would develop ideas and the only thing that would need to be done then would be to nourish their ideas and help them carry out their research.

Though the above para highlights some of the initiatives that need to be taken, there certainly is a need to do more than as highlighted above.  If you as the reader have thoughts around this, I would invite you to write them as comments as who knows our efforts may lead to a better scenario on this side.
Special Thanks to Ramendra Singh to have instigated me to work on this Post through his Thought Provoking Story.

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