We learn about the flaws in our education system very early in our age.
It is probably by the 5-6th standard we understand that the topper ranks number one because he has an awesome memory. We understand that a lot of teachers just love him because he comes out on top. He might be a terrible human being, but that does not matter.
We know that there’s a chance that if we are not in good terms with a subject teacher, we will probably get bad marks in it. If you have been a brilliant student, do not even think of going into arts – you want to shame your parents?
By the time we are adults, we are the sum of what we learned in our education system. Some of us were clever enough to understand that it won’t give them much and hence worked harder and excelled and then there were the others who fell a victim to it.
Let’s take a look at some of the most damaging aspects of it.
1. The longer the answer, the more marks we got, no matter if the short answer was also sufficiently good.
We were trained to write essays for answers that could have been written in 4-5 lines. Even teachers propagated this rule and we saw the results on the answer sheets.
This encouraged the trend of the feku – writing filler sentences with no meaning just to make the answer look bigger. It went against the skill of making the vast subject matter concise in our heads. Also, it does not serve any purpose in real life, because even clerks have stopped doing such work.
2. Too many people, too few colleges, and competition that kills people – literally
Lakhs of students vie for a couple of thousand odd seats of premier colleges. The competition is lethal. Lethal physically and also socially. Most of the people who gun for the top institutes like IITs give up 3-4 years of their school life to solely prepare for the entrance exams.
And even then, there is no way of saying that you will get in. Many of them end up killing themselves because the expectations are just unbearable.
3. If you screw up your grades, you are fucked for life
The whole employment sector and even the colleges offering postgraduate degrees rely heavily on your performance in your undergraduate studies. If you screw up there, you have an almost zero chance of making it into a good company or a good college.
There are so many cases where CAT aspirants have scored above 99 percentile but have got no calls from the top IIMs because their acads do not make it through the cutoffs.
4. Memorization is more important than understanding
There have been so many cases where our answers in schoolbooks have been corrected with that familiar red ink just because it was not a word for word a copy of the answer given in our textbooks. The result – we tried to memorize most of our answers so that they were exactly as they were in the textbooks – because if we didn’t, we would not get good marks.
That’s how understanding a subject and concept goes out of the window and memorization of how it works is the only skill we take away from school.
5. Schools are only about studies. Very few focus on overall development – like social skills and sports
There are schools in the south that train students for IIT since their 5th standard. These schools end late in the evening and have no semblance of playgrounds in their school campuses. Even if they do not have the infra for sports, many extracurriculars can be conducted, but are still not. This culture carries into college and later life.
6. Infrastructure and facilities are so bad, it is actually understandable if your college mess is actually a mess
The mess is legendarily bad in even the top universities, to the point of the management not giving a crap about it. The hostels even in IITs are still crappy to the point that even the successful alumni who visit them decades later exclaim that they have not improved at all.
It is irrelevant in the 21st century, Period.
Students from poor backgrounds should get scholarships if they are meritorious.
8. Too few good schools. Most (more than 95%) of our schools are in shambles
We tend to forget that most of the good schools we know cater to less than 1% of the population of students. The schools that cater to the majority of students are government run public schools – and they are in a bad state. Most of them have no drinking water, no toilets for female students and teachers who are not interested.
That’s why most of the students drop out before class 10.
9. Incompetent teachers. Plus they have the power to make or break a career
Very few teachers in India are in the business of education because they want to be there. Most of them are there because they are female, because of a cushy tenure and accommodation and stability rather than honing the minds of young talent.
And during the latter part of education, they have too much power in their hands.
It is high time we started paying teachers an income that makes people pursue the career for adding value to students’ life rather than their own.
10. There’s no scope for research. Hence the best minds get into finance
IIM after IIT is almost a culture here. The best scientific minds are lost because a career in finance is more lucrative than a career in science and innovation. The result – we lose out a chunk of talented individuals to finance companies – which do not add any value to the society.
11. No practical knowledge whatsoever
While most of the engineering graduates know how an IC engine works, they have no idea how to repair one. The same goes for students who study science concepts but cannot put them into practice because they simply do not know how to. There is a huge inclination to learn theory than practical.
Are there any other issues we missed out on?
Please let us know in the comments.