The analysis of the education system of India is a vast subject and needs a deep understanding of the causes which lead to these loopholes, and then only we can arrive at some solution.
Let us just try to understand through the findings of an NGO.
The PRATHAM organization, by Rukmini Banerjee, has been trying to improve the quality of the Indian education system in India through her constant efforts. Apart from the efforts of PRATHAM, her organization organizes an annual survey called ASER that is ANNUAL STATUS OF EDUCATION REPORT.
According to the reports of 2018, the staff of PRATHAM surveyed more than 5 lakh school children from across 600 districts in rural India. PRATHAM asks students to go for certain reading and mathematics questions like giving a paragraph to read and then assessing their skills. The same goes with the other subjects also.
Coming back to the findings of these surveys, it was quite disastrous. It reveals that nearly 50% of grade 5 students who were asked to read grade 2 text failed to do so. It is quite surprising as it was not like that the children were not going to school. They were going to school and maintaining the appropriate attendance, but they were not learning anything.
Mentioning of above fact will trigger some of the loopholes of our system. It’s not like these problems exist only in rural or govt schools. It also happens even in urban schools.
Certain incidents clearly show how the education system works in our country.
For example, toppers of Bihar who do not even know the difference between arts and home science later found that their parents had bribed the concerned authorities. There were many incidents where people were climbing the pipes to help the students cheat in exams.
Now the problems with Indian schools education can be studied by broadly making two categories.
- Emphasis on the design of the system
Economists Karthik Muralidharan and Abhijeet Singh have also done surveys on urban schools, and even their findings are bizarre. They gave test series to the Delhi school students to assess their learning levels found them to be very poor. Many students should have been in 5th grade or even lower one rather than 9th grade.
According to the researchers, the majority of students are below the standards of the curriculum.
Now a very crucial question here arises that WHY?
According to Karthik and Abhijeet, the purpose of any education system is to serve two things which are:
- Skill development
- Filters students for further higher studies
And sadly Indian education system does the second work. It acts as a sieve and produces students who could pass those competitive exams. The system does not focus on personality or skill development; instead, it is a system where students are extremely pressured to pass through the filter even if they have not learned anything.
This pressure could also be a reason which forces students or parents to bribe the authorities, even in colleges or universities.
After understanding the curriculum’s design, let us try to understand how schools are running in India?
In the 1990s, there was a bio teacher recruited in Govt School in Indore. In 2014, that teacher was all over the news not because of her skillful learning but for being absent for 23 years from her job, which means she never taught children in those years but took salaries. There are many such cases; some are recruited on fake certificates, whereas some never went to schools, which causes losses to students and the government. The list is endless.
But is it fair to solely blame the system for the degraded quality of education in India?
Many cases prove that teachers are spending more of their time in admin works. According to the right to education act, teachers are supposed to teach 220 days per year, but their time is spent in non-teaching activities. The best example to understand this is the election duties teachers do.
During the gram panchayat election, due to covid, more than 500 teachers died during the election duties. There are more examples.
Now, what can be the solution to this problem?
- CUSTOMISE LEARNING
A learning program where students learn according to their skill and gasping power does not matter the standard they should belong to according to their age. Also, personality development programs and the latest courses should be included in the curriculum to learn what can help them build their careers.
- Reverse the no-fail policy
- Use of technology for non-teaching and admin work
- Outsourcing in the education sector.
There is always a solution to every problem. Still, it takes time, effort, problem identifying nature, less bureaucratic intervention, and a good intention to derive the solution, especially for the loopholes our education system is facing. One should understand that the concerned authorities are dealing with students who are the future of India.