Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Why does the Education System need a massive change?

Firstly, I'm generalizing here. What I'm referring to doesn't constitute the entirety of the Institutions.
I haven't gone on to research into most of the developed countries, but of the goings on here, I happen to know a little bit.




  • Problem -1 
The emphasis is primarily on strictly school/college oriented academics. For eg, a kid is considered smart only if he gets 90% in Math, Science, or whatever. This may be true. Yes, he is intelligent. But is this enough?
This narrow-minded school of thought not only brings about a false sense of accomplishment in the children, but also destroys the confidence of those who are smart and capable, without necessarily being inclined to the subject matter.
School is supposed to prepare us for the future, and the many challenges presented to us by this big bad world.


  • Problem -2
HOW IS BEING *JUST NERDY* going to help you in any way? To succeed, your EQ ought to be rather high(along with your IQ, of course).
The question- How do you develop that parameter?
The answer- Activities.
Things that involve you working with other people- as teams and groups. These kinda things train you to be a leader, being good with your colleagues and peers.

Trust me, all of us have these abilities(latent) in us. They just need to be honed. And this won't happen by hiding in the book-shell.
Extra Cirriculars are an absolute necessity. Be it anything. Debating, Quizzing, etc. It could be a sport of your choice, too.
They are not only fun, but they bring in us that competitive spirit, which is a must in our everyday life- that mentality.
And in our formative years, Extra Cirricular Activities help us explore ourselves, and what we can be good at, maybe even at a professional level.
For example, you take part in a debate for the first time. And strangely, you happen to be good at it.
Then the possibility of pursuing law later on crosses your mind.
So this is how you broaden your avenues.

In a professional atmosphere, it's efficiency, coupled with creativity, that drives you to success. So again, doing something that requires thinking laterally becomes important.


  • Problem-3
In a country like India, a prominent factor contributing to the one-dimensional development of the mind of the average child is the system itself.
There's a stark contrast between the system in the West, and here.
A lot of importance is attached to the creative aspect out there. Creativity, and a problem solving approach, which you tend to use later on. It's more practical, basically.
Most universities consider your achievements in competitions, the out of the box things you've done, and maybe things like Social Work, as a criterion for application. This almost compels people to be good at something. Your CV looks impressive when it contains a few of the things mentioned above.

NOW
Consider the situation here. It's just plain academics!
Does a kid want to do anything else, if given the choice?
He'd be better served reproducing his text book in a word to word fashion.
Why, you ask? Because that's the best way to succeed, or what their interpretation of succeed is.
So you'll have just a mere 5% developing their all round personality.

A lot of it is modeled on the British style of education, unsurprisingly, maybe a hundred years ago.
But when they've managed to change things, why haven't we?

For us to do well later on, we have to develop those skills now. I say "Develop", because we're not born complete.


"Don't let your schooling get in the way of your education."

The above statement by Mark Twain is perhaps the one line conveying the essence of what I intended to say.

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Thanks..

Please express your views, we're open for debate here! :)

8 comments:

Karthik Nair loves stuff.. said...

Dude, nice coincidence .. I just wrote something on this topic just yesterday.. you're absolutely right about the things you mentioned. No debate whatsoever.

Here's the link:

http://karthiklovesloyola.blogspot.com/2010/12/pressure-cookers-at-14.html

Nihar said...

Hahaha,
Nice one. Must really have some sorta debating corner here!

Rohan said...

SHUT UP AND GO STUDY! DONT WASTE YOUR TIME DEBATING THIS STUFF. ALTHOUGH I AGREE WITH WHATEVER VIEWS YOU HAVE EXPRESSED AND IT IS A REALLY GOOD ARTICLE, IT REALLY ISN'T GOING TO CHANGE THE WORKING OF THE INDIAN EDUCATION SYSTEM HOWEVER HARD WE TRY TO. SO GO STUDY.

chunky said...

Yeah dude, I agree with you. The MAIN problem is however finding the right balance between the eastern and western education system. As we both have faults, I wouldn't entirely mimic the western education system. There's too much unchanneled creativity there.So what do you say would be an appropriate balance?

Priyank Mehta said...

Exactly. And what's worse is, all that they teach in school is redundant. They don't prepare us for the real world. In most universities(outside India), they allow you to open your textbooks and formulae sheets while writing exams. The system should not be about regurgitating the textbook. I know so many people who are extremely good at physics, but cannot learn the text by heart. Their university chances take a huge hit. Schools here only look at marks. There are more important things. Music, for one. Music should be encouraged and should be taught as a subject. It is a well known fact that most music prodigies are also gifted at math, but not the other way round. The system one dimensionally focuses on the textbook. It is time to broaden our way and teach what is useful. To teach what helps the child. Schools were created to cater to a child's thirst for knowledge, not to pressurize them into memorizing useless text. Knowledge is outside books as much as inside them. It is time the system incorporates what is outside books and contributes to the all round development of a child. Also, memorizing books is no indication of a child's intelligence. Anyone can memorize. What is more important is to understand.

Nihar said...

@ Chunky- In what ways would you suggest that The West is behind the East? Yes, a balance is required.
Here, far too many things fall directly under the government!
And we all know how quicky the govt works, and how dedicated they are to the cause!! :P

What's your plausible solution?
We're being hypothetical here, so please use your imagination ;)

Nihar said...

Priyank,
I like your comment about the music and math :D
Killer!
Now,
Do the really good ones in India promote music..?

Radhika said...

In response to your comment on my note.:)
Good read! And my sentiments precisely.