We always talk about how good our country is!
“Unity in Diversity” feels good hearing it right? No matter how many problems we face, what type of governance we have, how “good” our economy is, we find ways to defend the poor structure of our country with facts that are even uniform in the whole nation.
Well, the article is not written to talk about the poor conditions of the country but something that impacts all the sections of society- EDUCATION!
The Educational Infrastructure
In our nation, there are around 25 different state boards, the CBSE which is the most popular as run by the Central Govt, and the ICSE that is a private board associated with the French Board.
Don’t think the education criteria are the same in all these, their syllabuses, patterns of exams, and difficulty levels differ to the extent that children studying the same topic will have a completely different understanding of it.
What’s wrong with it, you ask?
Well, my readers’ right and wrong is decided when these students step into life and put that education into practice, and it’s not for us to say the varying levels of spirit same ages of children with the same level of education would have!
Along with that, the poor which by the way need the best education can only afford the State Board, only available in government schools, and well the conditions of govt. schools in India have always been super world-class!
Talking about the learning atmosphere in these schools, and even the “absolutely amazing private schools present everywhere” it’s completely pitiful.
The effort is always more on rote learning than concept learning. Children are taught to run after marks from a young age without even considering whether the knowledge learned would be used somewhere or not!
Kids are forced to sit in assembly-line-like conditions in infrastructurally deficient schools on three or four-seater benches which by the way is a luxury in comparison to government schools and are forced to cram everything meaningless to ‘get established’.
By “established” don’t think that they’ll get their desired career path, the child who could have been the next Picasso or the next Ronaldo sits in the line of a horde of Medical/Engg. aspirants from which only a few get selected.
Many lose their dreams and self-confidence, some even their lives!
Understanding what they learn
Let’s take a JEE mains entrance question and ponder over it.
Everyone knows that JEE mains clearance is the path one takes to get into the engineering streams.
Rohan is one such student who wants to become a CS engineer. Here’s a question he gets in his exam.
A mass of 2 kg oscillating on a spring with a constant, 4 N/m passes through its equilibrium point with a velocity of 8 m/s. What is the energy of the system at this point?
C) √(4096) J
D)None of these
He’s relieved that he knows the answer and answers successfully. The solution is as follows.
K.E = 1/2(mv²)
He grasped the concept well, got the correct answer, marked it, and went home happily. When the result arrives, he finds out that he’s marked wrong for the answer.
Why? It’s because the root to any number can also be in (-).
So was he wrong?
Was the question asked to check his understanding of the “useful” concept of physics or his consciousness of maths?
Well one might argue both, but for those people, you do know that most of the students who sit for the exam are not doing it by choice and out of love for the subject right?
For them it’ll only act as a means to move forward somewhere but with no direction, and such questions, incorporated to just break the student’s confidence!
What’s the point? Making sure that only the cream of the crop moves forward? Is it ethical?
The Never-Ending Scenario
We didn’t even talk about sports and art and already found so many problems with the academics side of our education system.
And the cycle isn’t limited to only the entrance exams!
Future doctors have to bleed through the complex torture of physics and chemistry just to get into college!
Any use of that knowledge? None!
The physics-chemistry essential for engg. exams only remain useful to a few streams like mechanics, for rest like computer science, what’s the use???
Even before higher secondary education when students are fixed to take streams based on their 10th standard marks.
To the rule makers out there,
Sir, can you explain how a percentage that was decided on our language, and rote learning of history-geography decide our potential to grasp concepts taught in PCBM streams?
Coming To “What’s Taught” and “What It Should Be”
Education is given so that one can become ready to face the society, when did it become a method to make robots, well during the way no one understood!
There is no emphasis on experiential learning, practical implementations, or a novel approach to theory in what students are taught.
For example, in physics, students will learn the numerous approaches for solving a problem WITHOUT understanding what the problem is about and where it can be used in practical life!
Students’ knowledge levels are so low that they can’t remember the majority of what they taught even the following semester!
Where education was about making us ready for life, all it became was about MARKS.
Marks that decide our future, marks that decide our life, and marks that will decide our self-worth.
And the most pitiful fact about this scenario? Even after knowing these problems, even after recognizing them, the condition has stabbed so deep that even taking it out doesn’t do any good.
The “what it should be” remains unknown because no one dwells on it.