Education sector in India is riddled with issues, and although there are many unsung heroes who are working tirelessly to bring about a change, there is a deep malaise and a lot needs to be done. One can have a debate about the word ‘education’, and what constitutes ‘good’ education and its benchmarks; but in India, rote learning, getting high percentages in exams, entrance to elite institutions or going abroad, are the benchmarks.
Following is a point-wise note, where I have given my opinion regarding the short-comings in the education sector, especially keeping science education in mind.
I. School Sector (up to Class X):
- Poor student – teacher ratio
- Lack of good libraries, science labs and other resources
- Inspiring and experienced teachers – very few. Lack of good training upgrades to those who are really keen
- Teachers are over loaded with non-teaching tasks
- Huge curricula, to be completed in less than 180 days in a year
- No time for extra-curricular or extra-mural activities
- Propensity for schools to abandon their teaching responsibilities, thus students have to take up extra tuitions.
II. Junior School Sector (Class XI-XII):
- Same as I above
- Science students are busy preparing for competitive entrance exams. How much they really ‘learn’ is doubtful.
- Students hardly attend college, only for lab submissions.
III. B.Sc./M.Sc./Eng. Degree, College Sector:
- Same as I and II above
- Other than a few elite, urban colleges which have good resources, most colleges are poorly funded, have may be about 30% dedicated teachers.
- Because of lack of direction and inspiration, youth today are going abroad to study after Class XII itself. This is a pathetic reflection of the higher education sector in India.
- Out dated curricula. There is an industry – academia disconnect; when a student finishes a degree, he or she is unfit for any job! Average students do not even have basic communication skills, let alone having any hands-on experience in their chosen fields.