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Improvements required in education system for better future

 

The whole of Education system in India, from primary education to adult literacy programs to rural schools to vocational institutes and research universities needs complete overhaul on a priority basis. The present scheme of education and training has failed in introducing dynamic and responsible citizens for the nation. It has been a neglected area for a pretty long time. 

At present the quality of education is such, that it hardly makes majority of students either intellectually competent or motivated to do innovative and constructive work in responsible manner. It only encourages students to concentrate all their attention to get white collard jobs. That tendency has resulted in over crowding the institutions of education and training. The stress on quantitative increase has subverted all the attempts to improve the quality of teaching and learning. It has led to continuous fall in the standard of education.

The examination and evaluation system tests only a narrow range of skills, especially those of memory and suffers from grave errors, so much and so, that people question the legitimacy of a modern education system itself. Education at all levels put an undue strain upon the nerves of the Indian students and makes them crammers, imitators and unfit for original work and thought. It lays emphasis on giving students ready-made knowledge, systematically and neatly organised in the form of lessons, units and text book. It does not provide the basis for creative thinking. At all the stages of education, from preliminary through secondary right up-to the college stage makes mind a store-house of knowledge. It not only discourages original thinking, but also efforts for pursuit of excellence. It incites youth to chase blindly for success materialistically, which is mainly based on ruthless competition. 

Education is based mainly on physical and social sciences. It has eroded human values considerably. Power of science and technology, economic exploitation and political manipulation have given way to indefinite possibilities of doing harm and have debased human nature. In fact, man has not only lost faith in his fellow beings but also in himself, leading to violence all over.

Education in Western advanced countries especially in USA, makes people politically and economically independent, but people there mostly become emotionally broken/unhappy. There, people are concerned about the decay of family and community feelings. In India, traditional values and systems inculcates strong familial and social bonds in people, but there is a dire need to develop in students, political and economic independence and community values (like values of inclusion, attitudes and qualities needed for becoming responsible citizens and participate in democratic processes with confidence).

Education has unfortunately been misunderstood to be academic or theoretical studies leading towards award of degrees. True education is a relentless process of becoming. It is growth and consciousness. Its purpose is human excellence – improvement in the form of thought and action and full control over one’s objective self.

`Education’ is a continuous process and conscientious effort to increase knowledge and understanding as well as shaping attitudes of students enabling them to get adjusted nicely to their environment. The development of the mental and moral faculties, which has a material bearing on the formation of character is the task of education. In its wider sense, it embraces reading, observation and thought. It is identified with the complete up-bringing of the individual from the childhood. Within its jurisdiction, it embraces the formation of habits, manners and character, and mental and physical aptitude. Its primary concern is opening out the world to students, to know their aptitude, select their career, their way of living and understand rationally their own as well as their society’s interests.

A sound education system develops in students power of concentration and capacity of attention and observation. It ensures physical, intellectual as well as emotional and ethical integration of students. It gives them confidence and makes them aware of their real self and their place in cosmos.

It is high time, when the whole system of education needs to be designed carefully, because of India being a a democratic country with a great diversity and many inequities. Whole of the education system should should be formative more than informative. Following changes it requires to be made at various level –

Primary Education

Instead of being a weapon of uniting the people and an instrument of social integration, the way the present education system has evolved or developed, the temple of learning i.e. schools have become a source of dividing the society into two watertight compartments – “Haves” and “Have-nots”. Government or government aided schools cater the needs of poor. It is cheap, but does not maintain good standard. Private schools caters the needs of elite section of society. It is very costly and poor people can not afford. Private schools could be encouraged but in a transparent manner with effective regulatory system.

In 1964, Kothari commission of education condemned the separate, unequal school system in India, but so far little has been changed. He recommended an equitable – not uniform- education for schools be they government, government-aided, local body or private. In most advanced countries like US, Canada, Britainand several Europeon countries, there are fully funded government school system providing education of equal or near equal quality to all children. Common schooling system means -

  • a system of education of an equitable quality to all children irrespective of their caste, creed, community, language gender, class, social status and physical or mental ability.
  • Minimum infrastructural arrangements.
  • Qualified and trained teachers with an optimal teacher-student ratio.
  • A decentralized school management with adequate autonomy and representation of parents.
  • Common curriculam, with comparable syllabi applicable to all school but with adequate flexibility relating to text books, teaching-learning process etc.

Apart from this, the whole of the primary education require certain improvements, like –

  • To give more importance to character forming, for which modern families with both the parents earning, do not have time.

  • To implanting in the minds of young children those values and attitudes that will influence their entire perception of life.

  • to inculcate right values in them.

  • To prepare students to understand and adjust oneself to the environment,

  • To guide students to manage their daily lives, to organise their time schedule wisely.

  • To enable them not only to become responsible citizens, but also leaders of their society.

  • to care for other members of their society and their surroundings.

Secondary or vocational education and training – Along with reforms at school level, a change is required at Secondary level education also - be it general or professional. It is supposed to inculcates in students, attitudes to get better adjusted in their environment and skills needed to get employment and promote innovative attitudes and depth of perception. Education at this level requires -

  • to encourage in students desire to learn, develop abilities to stand on their own and contribute directly to the growth of national economy.

  • to impart knowledge and skills to get jobs.

  • to discover, explore and initiate new themes on their own.

  • to weave all lessons in language, history, geography, science and vocational skills, around topics in such a way that it makes students aware of the requirements, ways and means of the 21st century’s word.

  • To enable them to to look at concerns of their community and surroundings.

  • To encourage students interest in social and political issues, through well structured projects and to participate in welfare projects initiated by the government, municipal authorities and other agencies.

  • to discuss problems of their surroundings like improving sanitation system, availability of water in far off areas, needs of poor people, health problems and development of infra structure and to suggest solutions. 

Seeing the present inefficiency of some state boards in providing quality of education and keeping some standard, having different curriculum and emphasizing different aspects of education, it is advisable to have a unified central board for the whole country to maintain uniform standard of education throughout the country. It will give equal opportunities to all children irrespective of where they are from. Such an education system would inspire students to change their behaviour for better future. The very feeling that they can make a difference to the lives of their own communities, may boost up their leadership qualities and confidence level.

Higher education

 Recently Yashpal Panel on Higher educational said that it neither,”excites students” nor ‘equips graduates for the real world”. It points out bakruptcy in the intellectual banks. 

Recently Yashpal committee has slammed Ministry for permitting “chaotic expansion in higher education”, “its nervous and hurried step in starting new central universities” allowing undergraduate education to rot and swallowing autonomy through, “ intrusive bureaucracy and mindless regulations”.(TOI,P. 9, 9.3.09)

Higher education is supposed to enable student to reach their full potential to do their jobs well on one hand and on the other to be helpful for organisational growth and its better performance. It is supposed to enable students -

  • To develop a rational outlook and capacity to resolve their own as well as others issues and conflicts realistically and harmoniously,
  • To play a more effective role in different areas of knowledge, economy and development affoirs at national and global world.
  • To acquire more knowledge, create new knowledge and transmit it to others.
  • To discriminate between right and wrong rationally.
  • To resist evil and exploitation
  • To remain honest in their dealings with others.
  • To be confident, upright and bold in presenting their views.
  • To appreciate others point of views, qualities and vitues.
  • To inspire youth to own responsibilities, to meet challenges of real life anf to have courage to face consequences of their actions.
  • To understand and express permanent values of society, in which they live, along with the development of natural talent, knowledge and power. 

 Following univarsity Reforms have been suggested by various committees -

  • Universities should be self regulatory bodies.

  • Universities be made responsible for academic content.

  • Curricular reforms to be topmost priority of the commission for higher education.

  • Undergraduate programs to be restructured to allow mobility

  • No single discipline or specialised university to be created

  • IITs and Iims to be converted to full fledged Universities.Single accreditation window for all higher education institutes.

For overhauling its education system, first step is to get rid of ‘License Raj’ in education. Then only India would succeed in transforming its educational institutions into centres of excellence. Government urgently needs to stop over-regulating them.  Students may be able to grow to their fullest stature and contribute their utmost for the establishment of a peaceful, just, healthy and happy social order.

Only sound system of education and training  could transform millions of its ignorant and illiterate children and youth into fireflies, carrying the light of knowledge for themselves as well as for others and re-model India into a more sensitive, inclusive and better society.

 

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July 5, 2010 - Posted by | Education and training of civil services |

2 Comments »

  1. The educational system is changing to better. There are many schools who have already been taking active part in improvising the education system from the beginning.

    Comment by Sanjeev Bolia | August 2, 2010 | Reply

  2. i dont think that any changes either done by Govt or private institutions are in line with real improvements needed. May be there are few exeptions . Unless educationists understand that the character and thinking power needs to be developed by the students go to universities, no other change can matter. Students in school level needs to be relied of stress and education must be enjoyment for them. Overemphasis on science and maths curriculum, computers etc must be curtailed and only that much needs to be yaught whatever can be grasped comfortably by average students. Presents curriculum in schools coupled with race for marks/ ranks has spoiled all school education.Unless students aquire capabilities to read and understand/learn the curriculum topics, there is no use of college level education.

    Comment by K.P.Dhawad | May 18, 2013 | Reply


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