Indian education system begins from a rich Vedic culture. After many years of policies and evolutions, our education system now has opened to many criticisms along with praises. The new National Education Policy (NEP) hopes to abolish the disappointment and the rigor that students have to go through on a day-to-day basis. Some shortcomings that I see as a student of the Indian Education System are:
1. The orthodox thought: The categorization of streams, generalization of the students who pick certain streams causes mass association of the personalities these students otherwise would have had the liberty to develop by choice. Even today in the country there is a mindset or hierarchical supremacy which exists. There is a misconception that students who pursue pure SCIENCE-related subjects or go down the STEM route are considered sharper and smarter.
A lot of students are forced to take up science just because of the name and the standard it holds in society. Students in most cases have no liberty to explore various subjects and instead are made to choose one defining stream of subjects for the rest of their lives.
2. Unnecessarily expensive higher education: Education is something you shouldn’t market. It is the one thing that differentiates one from another based on merit and excellence. This shouldn’t be monopolized. Today in India there are further misconceptions that paying more guarantees good education. Paying more probably would let one travel abroad or have a foreign exchange program but it doesn’t guarantee learning skills like empathy, care, knowledge, and intellect.From the age of 4 until your secondary education, the system has become a certified business rather than a noble venture.
3. Rigor and hard separation: Usually when students move from to senior secondary school, they are often forced to pick one of the consolidated streams available to them, in most cases SCIENCE, ARTS, COMMERCE. At the age of 14-15, a student is given the shouldering of such a huge responsibility to make or break their careers. In most cases, they are coerced into making a decision that the parents prefer for them.
4. The significant difference in the quality of education between expensive and cheap schools: The schools that are expensive offer a significantly better education than that a government-funded school offers. This creates a gap between the classes, fueling the stigma between the haves and the have nots. Government schools in the country whether good or bad have a reputation of not providing quality education. Due to this parents thrive to enroll their students in private schools.
5. Less importance is given to EXTRACURRICULARS: Students in most cases are discouraged from pursuing extracurriculars. They are stopped from going towards careers in sports, music, dance or art.
6. Lack of Capital: the schools in India have very little or no capital to invest in equipment for education. We still follow old school methods and expect our children to do as well as the children getting far more resources abroad.
7. Neglect of Indian Languages → The problem of brain drain: This is important, students set unrealistic expectations and are loaded with monotonous work that may or may not be useful in their future.
8. College admissions: Unrealistic cut-offs plus only academic achievements or a very painstaking entrance exam makes or breaks your entire future. Marks are taken into consideration for most of the college admissions in the country. Additionals like soft skills, extracurriculars, non-academic achievements, work experiences are in most cases disregarded. This indirectly holds back students from pursuing a wide array of activities they might want to pursue.
However the government in the last year passed a NEW EDUCATION POLICY (NEP) 2020 which hopes to invoke and change the traditional, orthodox and hierarchical system of education in the country.
The new education policy has a multidisciplinary approach, students will have the opportunities to innovate and adapt, allowing them to swiftly move between different interests and fields, enabling constant up-gradation of skills. The policy doesn’t just change education for students, but the board and facilitators too, thus restructuring the entire system to be more learner-centred, based on the pillars of access, equity, quality, affordability, and accountability.
*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Lakshaya Mathava Kumar, a 12th grader based in India and does not necessarily reflect the organization’s views.