Is our Indian Educational System faulty?
Neither students, nor teachers, parents, employers or governments seem to have any worthwhile opinion about our present educational system at all levels. Students rarely learn, teachers cannot teach, employers find the bulk of them 'unemployable', the parents are moaning and our Governments are totally confused on what needs to be done. All this, at a time in history, when the World community is expecting India to start reaping the 'demographic dividends' of a very young Nation - two-thirds of its population in the working age.
The facts unfolding from media reports are appalling. First, it was the Indian Railway Board Chairman being arrested for selling the PSC Question papers, then the mass-copying at Harvard University where most of the students involved were from India, the admission by the Vice Chancellor of the Delhi University to the media that out of around three thousand graduates interviewed for employment by large Corporates, only five - yes, just five - were found fit on communication skills and logical analysis. And now the news has come that most Delhi College admissions are possible only with a cut-off mark threshold of 100 per cent !
This week alone, the print media has carried reports of availability in Kerala of sophisticated, tiny, electronic gadgets with which copying can be done inside examination halls, with outside prompters. In the Karnataka University, last week, most examination candidates were merrily copying from books and other sources, and when someone protested, he was manhandled. The visual media carried pictures of this. The Business Lineof 2nd July, blogged that in a poll conducted, 83 per cent felt that high cut-off marks had made the present marking system totally irrelevant.
Why is the situation so outrageous? First, students by and large, lack self-esteem and pride. They are not seeking 'knowledge' any way. They are struggling to obtain, somehow, a pass-port to realise their just and unjust financial ambitions, whether in the Medical, Engineering, Commerce or Administrative/Ministerial fields. This mind-set governs their entire life.
The teachers, at almost all levels,are neither competent nor dedicated to the task. They seldom inspire the students or ever care to mentor them. The syllabus is archaic, irrelevant to our times and in interesting. The teaching methodology is unscientific, mostly reading notes that students hurriedly mug up just to get through the examinations.
The examination - evaluation system is outrageous, meant to shut out talent and scholarship of any kind. It is sheer absurdity that such large number of students score cent per cent marks, totally - that seems to be what the Delhi cut-offs indicate - unless it were in Mathematics or General knowledge subjects. Even the Grading system, instead of the marks-system looks sensible.
Something needs to be done, at once, if the future of the country is to be ensured. We cannot just gamble away the future of millions of our boys and girls, who have the potential to redeem our Country from its traditional poverty and squalor. Perhaps, it is time the Government appointed a very competent, high-level Commision of academic experts from India and elsewhere to study the present malaise and recommend remedial action. It is already too late, no more time can be wasted.