The education system of any country forms the backbone of its progress. It guarantees a fruitful future of not only the country, but also for all the citizens. Hence, there is a need for the most efficient system of education so that we can be on the right track of progress. The education system reflects the ideals of a country. It is important to shape a system of education that will be beneficial for children, and only if education is holistic, we can say that it is beneficial for the country.
Evolution of our Education system:
From literary resources we can find that India has followed a system of education for more than 5000 years now. There used to be a Gurukul system where a Guru used to teach the selected few upper caste children about the Vedas, Upanishads and other religious texts. Education was a source of distinction; it was used to categorize society into castes.
This system continued for many years and later it even forbade women from getting education even if they wanted to. They were supposed to stick to the domestic sphere. Hence, the system was not effective at all, as it forbade half the population from seeking education.
When did our Education System start to change?
The old system started changing after the arrival of many foreign forces in our country. The colonization of our country by the British and their harsh treatment of the people forced people to seek new changes. Patriots like Ram Mohan Roy, Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, BR Ambedkar, etc., fought for changes in our country that also meant changes in our education system. They worked tirelessly to spread knowledge to all sections of society. They got to see the education system and the value of freedom in other countries which they wanted to instill in their own. After 200 years of exploitation, India finally got freedom.
Thereafter, the education system saw rapid changes and started focusing on increasing our country’s lost integrity.
Currently there are three streams of education in India: CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education), ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education) and the respective State syllabi. The system now has three divisions, namely: Primary, Middle and High School. After attaining a high school certificate, one can apply to various fields of interest.
Education became a subject under the Concurrent list of the constitution. Hence, both the Union Parliament and State Assembly can make laws related to education.
Where does it lack?
We educate ourselves for the primary cause of attaining a job and securing our future. India has a literacy rate of 74% and an employment rate of 37%. It means that almost 37% of the population don’t get jobs or that they don’t even try to. This is because our education system isn’t very efficient in creating skillful youth who will easily get a job and therefore, secure their lives. When compared to the employment rate of the US which is 56%, India is lagging behind severely.
In the US, vocational education is very popular, wherein students who failed to pass their high school can go here and learn important skills that would help them get jobs. On the other hand, in India, vocational schools aren’t maintained with the same vigor. Hence, all the students who fail their high school drop out of the system and face unemployment. This denotes a rigid education system.
Vicious nature of the competition:
Nowadays, parents are forcing their children to become top-grade doctors and engineers. Children to make their parents happy have to go through the very complex nature of competitiveness. Parents force the children to always be at the top of their class. From middle school itself children start to attend coaching for entrance exams like JEE and NEET. They are not allowed to pursue a career that they yearn for, not allowed to develop other necessary skills or learn to play games or any such extra-curricular activities. It’s almost like they are training robots for battles. These exams are highly competitive, for each seat thousands of students fight hard.
Unable to pace their lives according to the hopes of their family and relatives, many students commit suicide. Kota in Rajasthan is a coaching hub for students who prepare for entrance, and it has high rates of suicide. Students face intense pressure studying in an environment like that.
Society only wants to create the best engineers and doctors. Little attention or support is given to students who want to pursue some other career. Professions like singer, dancer, artist or any sports aren’t always looked upon the same way as other academic professions. The mindsets of the people need to develop in order for the process to go through positive changes.
The education system needs to inculcate value education as well as conduct various skill development programs for the youth. If we want to effectively address issues like unemployment, education isn’t the only thing that needs to be given. We have to make the youth of the country aware of various skills required for employment instead of just a degree.
The whole country should follow a standard and uniform syllabus instead of each state having their own, or other syllabi like ICSE or CBSE. Because of various kinds of syllabus, some easy, some tough, the opportunity given to each student also varies. All the students have to go through the same selection process for college admissions, but the difference in the syllabus makes the process biased.
Only if the youth is happy with the kind of path which they end up in, can we call a country successfully on the path of true progress. If we keep going the same way without incorporating any changes in the current process, the future seems bleak and obscure. Hence, there needs to be some changes for a better future, and a happy country.
As Elizabeth Warren rightly said, “A good education is the foundation for a better future.”