The Not-so-great Indian Education System

ind edu

Most educational institutions in India don’t produce professionals, but clueless people with a degree and no skills to justify it.

But why is that?

Of the many problems we have, one is rote learning in schools.

More or less every school and college in India does it. And it starts at an early age too. If the roots of a tree are bad, how could the tree itself be any good?

Take Kindergarten, for instance. Have you seen how the kids’ homework is checked? Smiley face for good work, frowny face for bad work, and big red circles to show where they went wrong. This happens over and over again, until the kids feel that the reason they’re doing homework is not to learn, but to get smiley faces. And so, it continues.

Kids grow up and keep working for grades. Since no effort is made to make students, at any level, actually learn the material, they end up cramming stuff without understanding it.

Kindergarteners work for smiley faces, school goers work for grades, college students work for getting a high paying job, and office goers work for the salary bonus.

So, what’s the point?

The current education model that we have just doesn’t work.

Students who spend all their time trying to get good grades end up learning little and as a result can’t perform well at work.

On the other hand, those who spend all their time learning end up getting bad grades and get rejected by companies.

Therefore, we need to revolutionize the entire Indian education system. However, it’s easier said than done.

Is there a solution?

Yes, but the execution is tough.

We could filter the bad teachers out, but that has several problems.

  1. Who would filter them out?
  2. What would be the deciding factors, or parameters for distinguishing between the good and the bad ones?
  3. What if we do filter the bad ones out, but then face a shortage of teachers?

The better thing to do would be to encourage the bad teachers to improve and ensuring that they do.

How would they improve?

Feedback.

Student feedback is very helpful and often underestimated. I’ve only given feedback in my school like 4 times, and it felt like a joke back then. Everyone was having fun. Feedback seemed not important. But, it is.

One temporary solution that comes to mind is online learning.

Khan Academy is a good place to learn, especially if you’re in high school.

If you’re in college, you can try going to Class-central and search for the online courses that you find interesting.

Also, those of us who want to teach stuff can create content online and help others learn. But, we have to be careful. If more people start teaching the wrong way, it will do more harm than good.

How can we teach better? By constantly improving our teaching style. Again, the best way to do that, in my opinion, is feedback. As long as we focus on bettering ourselves, I’m sure there will be improvement.

Conclusion

Giving up hope is not an option. It all boils down to how we choose to look at it.

If we think it’s a problem worth solving, we would be right.

If we think it’s worthless and nothing could be done, we would be right even then.

I know that it’s a tough road ahead full of hurdles. But, it’s a road worth traversing. I believe we can do it, together.

That’s all, folks. Stay tuned for more rants.

Peace.


What do you think can be done to make India better in this regard?

Helpful comments are always encouraged.

Links to online platforms mentioned:

 

Finally Free

“Please! Don’t do this. Please, no!” he begged on his knees, both arms chained and pulled by two unbelievably strong women on his two sides, tears rolling down his cheeks and falling on the marbled floor.

A man who had lost so much already was about to lose everything. His cries echoed through the hall. Of those who were witnessing the scene unfold in front of them, some tried shutting their ears to muffle his screams, and some kept watching as the man kept pleading at a distance.

“Serves you right, you monster!” a young man in the crowd shouted.

“Oh God, please end this quickly” a woman silently prayed.

“Daddy, I wanna go home” a little boy said looking up to his father, whose eyes were fixated on the ‘monster’. His voice got drowned out by the monster’s screams. “Daddy, I don’t wanna stay” he said again, a little louder this time. No effect. His father, like everyone else, was engrossed in what was happening.

Why wouldn’t they be engrossed? After all, the devil was about to pay for his sins. They would finally be able to live in peace again. Their small town would get lively again. Who doesn’t want a little peace? Everyone wanted it to be over. They wanted him to be over.

“Please” he kept begging. He couldn’t see the crowd standing behind him, and he didn’t care. All his eyes could focus on was his frightened little girl down on the floor, a tall man standing over her with an axe, ready to swing it. The axe of death had cut down all sorts of criminals without hesitating, and this time was no different.

“She has nothing to do with it. Take me. Please, spare her. She’s all I have left.”

“Silence!” said the priest, ending his prayer. “You have been possessed by evil, and for that, everyone close to you shall be judged. And then it will be your turn. The child knows this. Look at how calm she is at her core. This is what the Gods want.”

But, of course, the little girl didn’t know the reason. She was equally horrified by the man with the axe and her Papa crying. She was crying too. She wanted to fall asleep in his arms while he told her stories of unicorns and dragons. That was their daily routine. Until today, that is.

“Papa” she finally managed to cry out.

“Debbie, don’t worry. Papa’s gonna get you out of here” he tried to console her, knowing fully well it was a lie.

The priest had had enough. He nodded his head slightly. The executioner’s eyes lit up. His grip around the axe of death tightened. He lifted it up all the way back.

“No! Please don’t!”

“Quiet, you mongrel. Do not obstruct justice.”

“Papa!”

“Please, I’m begging you. Please don’t. Please stop, please.”

“I said quiet!”

“Papa! Pa-” and then there was silence.

The shouting stopped. The pleading stopped. The crying stopped.

With another short prayer, the priest signaled the executioner to move toward their last convict for the day. Then he heard a murmur coming from the demon’s direction.

Moving toward him, the priest said “What was that? Are you asking for your final wish? You don’t get any, you swine.”

The priest asked again “What did you say, you monster? Are you acknowledging your crimes? Tell me!” He kept advancing toward the monster and the monster finally looked up. Their eyes met and the priest froze in his tracks. So did the executioner.

With a sinister grin and a deep voice, he said “I’ll kill every single one of you.”

Before anyone could react, black fluid covered his body, took the shape of long scythes and started chopping away. There were screams and cries and loud thuds. And then, silence again.

He stood up and freed himself from the chains. After stretching a bit, he took a deep, long breath and looked up.

Ahh, mother. I’m finally free.”

The End

Happy Mother’s Day ^-^

Engineering in India – A failing business

software

 

“Only 7% of Indian engineers (are) capable of handling core engineering tasks” – Times of India

Let’s face it. India is in the middle of an engineering education crisis. Engineering in India has become a business. And not even a good one. AICTE (All India Can Think is Engineering) plans to shut down 200 engineering colleges in 2018-19. Right now, they could just close their eyes and pick a college to shut down, and it wouldn’t be a bad decision. Around 1.5 million Indians graduate with an engineering degree every year. Notice I didn’t use the term “engineers”. That’s because most of these engineering degree holders aren’t even engineers, myself included.

I can tell you what I did. After 10th grade Board exams (REALLY important stuff), I went into non-medical because I didn’t really know what else to do, but I did know that I’d suck at the other branches of study, namely, commerce, medical and humanities. Non-medical is the one you choose if you want to do engineering. That’s it. Those are the four options you can choose from after 10th grade as a specialization. Are you kidding me? Just 4 options to choose from? Internet search browsers have more than that.

So, yeah. I went through 11th and 12th grades like a car goes through carwash. REAL fun. Don’t even get me started on the coaching centers. And then it was time for 12th Board exams (another REALLY important stuff). I was thinking what to do, and the deciding factor was the amount of money I’d make. After a 2 hour long, hard mental debate between the two little devils sitting on my shoulders (imaginary, of course; I’m not crazy), I decided to go with engineering. Same old fun, not for two, but four years in a row (yay!). By the way, every test I took was REALLY VERY important. Hmm, maybe not every test. I don’t know. I skipped quite a few.

OK, so here’s the thing. Exams are meant to test our understanding of the subject we study. Sure, they help employers to measure a candidate’s aptitude, but, first and foremost, they are for the one who’s doing the study. And, I might be wrong on this, but I feel like all the tests I took from 1st grade to college haven’t helped me learn a single thing. They just tested my ability to memorize a load of information on the night before the test, and then regurgitate all of it on the answer sheet. And I wasn’t even good at memorizing. Was I the only one who struggled through school years? I don’t think so. Am I the only one who’s complaining about the way students are taught (or, not taught)? Nope. That means there’s clearly a problem with the system and we need to change it.

Also, what’s the point? After all those years of mindless test taking and whatnot, what do people get? I’ll tell you. A mediocre job with a mediocre salary which leads to a mediocre life in every way possible. Most people hate their work and their life and that hate goes around like a virus. They work for at least 12 hours a day, every day. They end up being unhappy, and then complain about how the system sucks.

I’m currently enrolled in a Masters course. Yes, that’s right. After 12 years of crappy school, and then 4 years of crappy college, I joined a 2-year masters program, hoping that it would be better than the others. After all, times are changing for the better. They always have, and always will. Right? Nope. I guess I have OOPS (Overly Optimistic Personality Syndrome). That’s a good thing, though. I finally realize what I need to do.

We can’t wait for the system to change. We are the system. I believe that if enough people change themselves for the better, it will lead to a net positive effect. I’ve decided. No more complaining. No more cribbing. The system sucks because we suck. If we work to be the best version of ourselves, we won’t suck anymore, and neither will the system.

That’s why I came in here. And I . . . complained some more.

Well, shit.

Anyway, I could go on and on ranting about this and that. I’d like to end by saying that I’m not sitting idle anymore. I’m doing stuff. And you should, too. Internet is the greatest thing to have been created. We should use it to create more. It doesn’t have to be good or super tough. If you keep trying to improve yourself, you will get better. If every Indian took one step forward, we’d have taken a total of 1.35 billion steps forward. That’s technically not correct, but you get the point.

That’s all, folks. Stay tuned for more rants.

Peace.

 

 

Notes:

[1]. Rated PG-13 for the use of strong language and honesty.

[2]. AICTE actually stands for All India Council for Technical Education. It was a joke. Don’t sue me.

[3]. Link for the Times of India article: Click here