My Perspective on Education in India

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):

    1. Poor student – teacher ratio
    2. Lack of good libraries, science labs and other resources
    3. Inspiring and experienced teachers – very few. Lack of good training upgrades to those who are really keen
    4. Teachers are over loaded with non-teaching tasks
    5. Huge curricula, to be completed in less than 180 days in a year
    6. No time for extra-curricular or extra-mural activities
    7. 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:

  1. Same as I and II above
  2. Other than a few elite, urban colleges which have good resources, most colleges are poorly funded, have may be about 30% dedicated teachers.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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