India’s education system consists of over 14 lakh schools and more than 23 crore enrollments. These schools come under various boards of education in different geographical locales. India is unique in its diversity with 29 states and 2000 languages. The Indian Education system is however not flexible enough to account for these factors. The education system tries a uniform conformist approach in imparting education, which does not seem to be working.
It has become all the more important for India to amend and better design the institutions that disperse education to the masses to many reasons. India is poised to become a leader on the global stage and eventually become a superpower alongside China. If we have to maximize this opportunity, we need to be prepared to grab it.
The fact that Indian students’ knowledge and learning outcomes are among the lowest in the world is, therefore, worrisome. Countries like Cambodia which spend only 1.9% of their GDP on education has dropout rate of 35% compared to India which spends 4.1% of its GDP on education but has a student dropout rate of 45%. Even the number of students able to perform basic arithmetic in Std V in Indian schools remains dismal at 27% (ASER 2016).
Instead of maintaining a system that is falling apart, we need to refocus our attentions on the end users of the system, the children. For a country like India, with its myriad contexts and histories, there is dire need for research on how best to use these contexts to impart a more holistic education. This is why the Gurukul system made sense, even though the education was quite generalized, it provided a holistic education. By tweaking systems like these, which have been in use before as well as creating new systems that take into consideration, the environments of study that the students now face, a better education system can be conceptualized.
In the article for TED, Jessica Gross writes how languages shape the way we think. In the movie, Arrival, this is the central theme as well. There are ample evidences that languages shape minds in different ways. India ignores its diversity to its own detriment. Researching this particular area, in general and coming up with indigenous solutions that do not copy other systems made for different contexts is in our best interests.
A system that doesn’t force extra-contextual requirements on children but instead choses to nurture and groom them in their environment may be the solution to India’s many failings. Such an adaptive approach, will also naturally release the children to think creatively and apply the knowledge that they are imparted, which are exactly the kind of skills that 21st Century India would need.
Article by Micah Alex, Intern, Yes! I Am Happy
This article is purely based on personal views and presents a perception from the context of youth who demands justice to be done to education and its deliverance. Image Source: Here