India became self-governing in the year of glory – 1947. The education system started by the British had left an inherent impact on the future of the education system in India. We had begun to follow more or less the same pattern that British had started while ruling India. Though India became free of the British rule, but even today it follows the same system of education, more or less, especially when concerned with the basic school.
Before the British ruling regime, there were many gurukuls in India. In those gurukuls, teachers had schools, where students not only studied but also dwelled till they gained knowledge. At the end of the course of gaining all knowledge, they had to pay something for this to their teachers, which were known as “Guru – Dakshina”.
With due course of time, this pattern changed and after independence it was something like brought to demise.
The present education system in India is much based on a metamorphosis of the education system of British regime in India. But today it is facing a lot many challenges. Yes, it has undergone many changes too.
The theory that Herbert Spencer proposed was not wrong – “Survival of the fittest”. Similar circumstances are with the education scheme of India today. With the passage of period of time, things undergo many alterations, amendments, and modifications. Our education system carried out some of the changes but could not make itself up to the mark.
Today in developed countries, the situation is very different, than India. In most of the schools in India, including both government and private schools, excluding the exceptions, it is clearly visible that we lack the level of discussion required for correct understandings of students. It looks like teachers are full sacs of grains and when they come; they give equal shares of grains to all the students. It’s something like they are filling up students, and not letting them grow. Most of the schools have this type of tendency. But when we contrast this situation between that of the schools of other countries like US, we can see that the teachers, especially in primary and secondary schools don’t just keep on spoon feeding the students, but they let the students think about it. The students ask clarifications from teachers after doing their self study on any subject. They are left to think practically and sensibly. This is an example of structural challenge in the present education system in India.
Now let me throw some light on other challenges –
Bad evaluation system - This is a problem in most of the boards. The problem I dreamed to be solved is that students who give their board exams, at least as far as I see in CBSE, don’t even know who is correcting and evaluating their answer sheets. They can’t discuss their papers with the evaluators if they find any error in their correction of papers. This is very disgusting. Just making signatures does not work. What if that particular student wants to discuss his paper with that particular evaluator, will he discuss it with the evaluator’s signature?
Non - Practicality of the subjects - Today, the practicality of the lessons that we learn is nothing. Of course, the students also need to have an attitude to learn the practicality of whatever they learn. I don’t think that simply reading the lines written in the book of a subject can help. Teachers must try to motivate the students. Of course, many of them do so. But the students don’t find it interesting. The reason to this is that they have become bored of the theory. It’s just that they want to pass the subjects.
Irrelevant syllabi - Sometimes, I feel as if things which we study are completely ineffective and filled with boredom. Take an example of the subject Hindi. The most dramatic thing that I find in this is that right from class III to class X, students have to learn “Sangya” (Nouns), “Sarvanama” (Pronoun), “Visheshan” (Adjective) etc. What is this pattern actually trying to show? Does it mean that the students are really fools who cannot learn a small piece of topic even in 6 years or does it mean that a common sentence which defines such a topic cannot be understood by the students and teachers are not capable to let the students get the concept?
It simply increases the burden of syllabus and students find it really boring to study that subject and they tend to lose the interest.
Unfit relation between students and teachers - Any system of education can be successful only if the relation between the teacher and the student is very good. Today, in India, right from the students of class IV to the students of Graduation, they (many of them) tend to pay disrespect to the teachers. They don’t want to pay any respect to the teachers. They even don’t wish them Good Morns. Why is this happening? We can’t hold responsible for this, any special person or thing. There are many factors, such as injustice or misbehavior of students to teachers or vice versa. This is mostly witnessed in Indian institutions.
Ragging - A curse to a developing education system – Well, I think that today, everyone is acquainted with this word “Ragging”. It is simply a mental torture of the juniors by seniors. I always say that there is a merit and a demerit in every case and thing, so is in ragging. On one hand where, ragging makes some sturdy student even sturdier and mentally stronger, it makes many students so sick (mentally) that they lose their concentrating power. Every day we hear news of ragging deaths. Why is this happening? I would consider a simple and a polite interview better than ragging. It can soften the relationships between juniors and students.
Despite of so many regulations made, still ragging deaths continue to occur..
The unfitness of basic patterns - In India, most of the institutions teach students everything. They make the syllabi so big that students even become inclined to leave the stream of education and service. They start considering other occupations. Institutions teach students everything but most of the students don’t learn most of the content. Why not let the students specialize in a particular field? The worst part of it is that they incline the students to mug up things, as the hierarchy of level of education increases. The students with practical knowledge lose marks just because they don’t like to mug up and the institutions want specific words mentioned in the text written in the books.
Irresponsibility and injustice of teachers towards students - The mentality of many teachers is such that they look irresponsible towards students. Just because they have the power to scold a student, they do many things which are not expected and lose respect. For example, there is a law that teachers who are professionally affiliated to an institution are not allowed to take tuitions, but many teachers do so, just in greed of more money. Isn’t that teacher responsible? I have also seen teachers who don’t accept their mistakes and instead of accepting their mistakes, they insult the students, who try to show them their mistakes.
Of course, I would also say the same thing to students even , because students also are expected to be lenient with the teachers and cooperate with them which they don’t do many times.
The Untold Stories behind Midday Meals -P V Narsimha Rao started mid-day meals years ago. He might have thought that this will attract students as well as their parents that they may send the children to school and education in India will improve. He died but he could not figure out the problems that this system of midday meals is going to create.
Due to midday meals in government schools of India, I think that the situation of education system has even become poorer than before. Midday meals have become a part of corruption with adulteration of food grains etc. Children, I am sure have been affected more adversely than it were thought. As it comes near to strike 12 noon, and as the midday meals are cooked by the 'Maata Samiti', children are distracted, they are distracted towards the smell of food. Will they be able to concentrate on studies as they are required to do. They may appear in class but they are mentally somewhere else.
I would appreciate if government would have given free clothes and some pocket money to students, that would have been better because at least there would have been less corruption in education field and the students would have got a better opportunity to concentrate. And it is not something to laugh upon.
Useless expenses or Imperfect System - Today government is making so much expense on studies. I appreciate this, but only if it were really being used. It seems that so much expense on education is helping to increase the quality of education in India. The government had taken a loan of about $300,000,000 from the world bank. Again it took recently about $150,000,000 from the World Bank.
But what is it using it for. Much of the money is being used to support the continuity of midday meal and for teachers' training. I already discussed the situation due to midday meals. Let me discuss something about the teachers' training in government schools.
In government schools, teachers' training is conducted many a times. But what happens? Many teachers are selected from many schools and they are sent for it and they get free food, free lodging during the training. As far, well and good, but what about the trainers? As seen often, the trainers are also themselves not well trained. Isn't that funny? It would have been great if only one or two teachers from each school would have been appointed to go for training which would have been conducted on a large scale, lets say in one place for a couple of states or a big state where all of them would sit together and qualified trainers would have been taking classes.
Government would have got its expenses much less and would have used it for something else? Isn't taking so much loan from the world bank having a potential to pose a harm to the country's economy?
And what are the teachers being trained in the teachers' training. Isn't it funny that teachers who are teaching mathematics in Standard VI are being trained to teach student solve basic subtraction in this stage? Where is the system of education falling?
Reservation of seats - It was said that the backward classes needed education. Till this point it was very good. Then to meet this, a new system was introduced in which seats were reserved for the Scheduled castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and other backward classes. A given number of inalienable seats were registered for the backward classes. Is this good? Yes, it is good, but not fully. I would say that more than merits, this dull system of reservations is having demerits. This system of reservation tells the backward class students that they don't need to work hard because they have a spoon fed seat in front of them. And many students who have scored more marks but belong to the upper class are not admitted because of fewer seats whereas the students belonging to BCs are reserved. It sounds unfit to question the system, but it is true that this is a sweet poison to the Indian education system and the Indian economy.
I would suggest that instead of having such reservation for the backward class students, they can be provided with more scholarships. But it sounds stupid that just because of belonging to upper class; a student is not admitted because of less seats in the upper class. Is it his mistake that he has been born in an upper class family? This not only spoils the education system but also influences the social condition and the economical condition adversely. People who belong to the upper classes are getting registered themselves to SCs, STs, and OBCs, so that they and their ward gets more opportunities are privileges in the society, so that they get easy promotions compared to others and so on. It would have been better if these things would have been talked upon before making such systems and laws. I mean, isn't it forcing a student of backward class to become less concerned about studies. Why not check their abilities first, then giving them more scholarships to study, and allow them to face the heat of the society and grow to tackle it instead of giving an injected drug behind the face of reservations?
Conclusion - At last I would like to say that these challenges are not inalienable. They can be accepted and these challenges can also be challenged, but only if we all want a change.
At last I would conclude with the words of Mahatma Gandhi “If you wish to see a change in the world, you must see that change in yourself”