Indian Education System - A call for reform

Education is the founding stone of a country’s economy. A country that fails to provide its citizens the right to education lags behind in every way.

History of Indian Education System

The history of Indian education has its roots to the ancient ages where they followed the Gurukul system – a system where the students resided in the house of their teacher until the teacher felt that he has imparted all that he could. The subjects taught varied from Sanskrit to Scriptures to Mathematics to Metaphysics and the knowledge attained would be passed on to the future generations. However, this system was changed during the Colonial era when the British set up schools that followed a curriculum confined to subjects such as Mathematics, Science etc. While the ancient system included more interaction with the nature, the modern system was more classroom oriented.
Why is change required?

In 2014, India’s global education ranking slipped to 93. This, together with a series of scams faced by the Indian education sector, calls for an immediate need to bring reforms in our education system. Indian Education System has been synonymous with ‘Examinations’, ‘Board Exams’, ‘Entrance Exams’, ‘Marks’, etc. A student in India is left with the options of choosing from Science, Humanities or Commerce after he/she finishes his tenth grade. However, the trend shows that more and more students are opting to go abroad for further studies after completing their post-graduation in India. As per the statistics of The U.S. Council of Graduate Schools’ offers of admission to Indian post-graduate students, the admissions are up 25 per cent for 2013-14 from the previous year, compared to a 9 per cent increase for all countries.

Some of the reasons for this soaring number of students not opting India to pursue their further education are:

(1) Lack of top-quality programmes offered by Indian colleges.

(2) Poor quality of teachers. Teaching is not considered as a lucrative career option in India. Most of them end up in this career as they couldn’t find jobs elsewhere.

(3) Outdated syllabus taught in most of the colleges.

(4) Lack of state-of-art infrastructure in the top colleges.

Reforms should begin with schools

Schools play a vital role in shaping a person’s social and professional growth. The conventional schools in India focus on nurturing the children to face the competitive world outside. Examinations and assignments are encouraged by them as tools to assess the capability of the students. Whether a child was knowledgeable or not depended on the marks he/she scored. Many activists today who oppose the Indian Education system are of the opinion that the schools teach the students in learning things by-rote and not to understand things through application. National Survey conducted few years back reveals that, more than 80% of the school principals in India blame rote-learning as the reason for poor standards to learning in students passing out from schools. Of these, nearly 70% of them felt that the curriculum followed in India today did not give sufficient scope for creative thinking.