What are the most frustrating and illogical aspects of India's education system, right from kindergarten up to the Doctorate level?
When I was about 9 years old, I was in tears for scoring a 3rd rank in the class and not scoring a centum in mathematics. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself that none of that stuff ever mattered. I'm promising my infant son the same - I am never going to care what your marks/ranks are. Stop fighting stupid battles.
Our present system is designed for the industrial society. You learn canned stuff for 18 years and then apply that knowledge in the factory or accounting desk for the rest of your life. That system is no longer relevant.
The amount of new information we generate is so rapidly increasing that should stop giving information/knowledge to children. That is a waste of class time. Rather we should teach them tools to absorb, process and judge new information as they come.
In primary and secondary school:
The school I studied 8th-10th changed me a lot and I wish I had all my schooling there. The teachers there truly cared about education and I would build on top of the system they had:
1.Debating should be the central element of schooling. I was not that good at it, but I enjoyed watching others do well. Even in the pre-Internet era, we debated CTBT, the Talibans, the Asian financial crisis, Vietnam war, Sun Yat Sen, Perry opening up Japan and so on. It was super fun and made history and other subjects lively.
2.Every year there was an annual week of projects, where there were a variety of stalls. One interesting place was a virtual stock market and we learned plenty of it. Financial education should be in the core curriculum.
3.Poetry should have a bigger role. My Tamil teacher would go on tangentially in the class relating to random stories. I loved Tamil because they were not teaching boring grammar there. Such poetry should how language should be taught.
Science in the way in which it is taught should be completely removed. I mugged up things like 1 second = 9,192,631,770 orbit transitions of the Cesium-133 atom. I mean, who the fish cares. Or the time I spent on studying different types of buffaloes. Who the heck cares what I know about the Murrah? All that wasted time should be spent on simple experimentation, observation and logical thinking. If my life really centered on knowing Murrah, I would learn that from Wikipedia at that time. Stop feeding unnecessary stuff.
The only goal of the school should be to produce curious students who question. Do everything to increase their curiosity. If teaching about the Murrah makes them curious, let it be so. But, feed their curiosity and let them open their mouth widely - marveling the world. It is a stunning planet and they are at a stunning age. Let them explore, question and debate. That is all a teacher should enable.
In high school and college
College is among the most wasted times for most people. Indian Universities are neither like Taxila and Nalanda, where people expanded their mind nor places where they taught some job skills. They do neither. They waste 4 years of time without producing either scholars or people ready for jobs. You have to create at least one of them.
A student aged 17 has all the energy and none of the commitment. Best time to explore a variety of career paths and learn real world skills. What is the point in teaching them "Visual Basic" for 4 years when that technology would change so fast? Instead of teaching them technolgy, they should teach the art of programming.
Afroz Sheikh, Indian
From kindergarten up to bachelors, almost everything we study consists of Theory,theory and theory!
For example,we all studied about various cells in chemistry and physics during our high school. Here is an diagram of electrolytic cell
This diagram was made to understand the application of the cell in a simpler manner.But what the hell happened? Did we understood the application? Have we seen this cell in real life after studying? Hell no!
I scored something like 94/100 in science in X boards and I don't even know what this cell looks like in real.
Theories sit in our head like a fiction work because until we see them working we don't completely believe them.Though concepts like DNA and cell are hard to follow practically,other concepts like electric cell,magnetism,cathode rays in science must be explained with the help of actual electric cells and magnets.If not possible,at least their real life images should be presented.
Only theory is not science.
A teacher should teach in the methodology of theory followed by practicals.
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Illogical thing 2 :
I never liked history when I was in high school.Why? Because instead of emphasizing on the cause of wars in a great detail and talk about the then personalities, We were asked to remember the years in which the wars took place just because they will fetch good marks in the finals. I had to study about the dates and other factual stuff more than the qualities of the emperors.
Humanities aren't taught in the way they should be.
Illogical thing 3 :
We all know how we finish our final projects. We make the best of 'Copy and paste'.In fact some people are so lazy that they buy projects from others. In my class,a guy has a collection of projects and he has sold it to the majority of my class. In engineering colleges I have heard its even worse as they spend more time in project work.I mean copy and paste work.I'm not talking about all of them.There are sincere and dedicated students who do it.There are others who follow copy and paste rule.If that is the case then what's the point of giving project work?
Isn't it a waste of time and money?
In Indian colleges,projects are for namesake.
The list seems to be endless.
Soumya Sarkar, Student.... stuck in a stupid system
This great country of ours produces more engineers than the population of Sweden (or so they say). When 95-98% of this huge population of engineers choose their college on the basis of placements, you know something is horribly wrong with this education system.
From a small age we are bred like goat, waiting for the day when we would be sacrificed for human comfort. We are fed and made fat. We don't question the rope that ties us to the nearest pole. We only want more food, that is all.
Curiosity is a good thing really. I was curious. Not from a small age though. The education I was exposed to never let me come in contact with orbitals and relativity before they were absolutely necessary. When I came to know them, I wanted to learn more. Nobody would teach me relativity in school, except other curious friends.
I wanted to go into the research line, which is looked down upon by this society. I did not choose engineering. I was made to, to be honest.
When you choose the wrong idol for worship, you know you are in a wrong religion. Indian education system trains us for the magical LPA (Lacs per Annum), a figure that can make up for all the countless boring hours you put behind it, and all the sacrifices you make.
So this is what I feel is wrong with this system.
Vivek Baranwal, not a day without Quora
For me I would say the "Entrance exam of IIT for the Computer Science Enthusiasts".
I might be wrong but it always ponder me. If you want to take computer science branch in IIT then first clear JEE by rank 2 digit. This is totally absurd as what is asked in entrance exam is Physics, Chemistry and Math and out of whose syllabus hardly 5-15% is mattered. And nonetheless we have to study Physics and Chemistry at a very depth level but on arriving IIT find for computer science start everything right from scratch.
Mathematics is fine but chemistry has of no use. So it would be better why not have such a entrance exam that judge students based on their computer science knowledge, analytical & logical skills etc. rather than what we know about Mechanics, Thermodynamics or Ionic Equilibrium, organic chemistry.
Note: There can be grammatical error. Please ignore/correct those.
Zeina Shahid, Programmer by profession, writer by passion
What I'll always regret about my school experience is that activities outside the classroom, especially physical activities were never considered important. Growing up, PT was this one period that you didn't have to spend in the classroom. However, PT teachers seldom cared about teaching a sport or even conducting any kind of fitness related activity. As we went to higher grades and board exams were around the corner, PT period was what the theory subject teachers used to teach their subjects. As a result, we grew up with little to no physical activity. After I moved to the US for college, I've had a chance to observe their school system and I see how much importance is given to PE. Students actually learn how to play sports and also take fitness tests. It was when I started taking Taekwondo classes that I noticed how I was unable to perform even simple exercises that others performed with ease. We need to realize that education is not just mugging up textbooks. Fitness and physical activity are essential for a healthy lifestyle and what better time to inculcate these healthy habits, than school years?
Ashutosh Pandey, works at Students
The suffocating rigidity of it.
Yesterday I had my ISC Chemistry Practical.
I asked for MgSO4 to prove presence of Carbonate Ion. The examiner told me you can't ask for extra chemicals.The lime water test is what the board recommends, but SO2 gives lime water test too.
Again, I Knew Alternate ways to prove presence of Aluminium Ion , But my teacher had already told me that was not permitted.
I love Quizzing , I've been to quite a few and done well in a few,too . My parents think I wasted time in Debates and Quizzes when I could have been studying. I can't blame them for thinking like that either, Extracurriculars count for nothing!
I am preparing for the JEE, I swear if I get in I am going to use that opportunity to study Physics instead of doing engineering.
After reading a few answers I think this question needs teachers perspective too. I did my post graduation from one of the prestigious institution of India and unlike my all friends I opted for teaching in school. After eight months of experience at least I can give a try to this question-
- Grading system in high school: Instead of nourishing the students grading system lowered their learning skills. I don't favor the older system but grading system is not a solution. Due to it students don't take studies seriously. They all are immobilized by the spoon feeding done by the teachers. They know, no matter how weak their concepts are they will go through and that decreases their effort to learn anything. Leave science and maths, because of this students are not ready to study any other subjects.
- Importance of marks: If you score low you can't have science stream. Who cares if you got less marks because of Social studies or Hindi or any other subject. What if you like maths and you scored less marks in that subject, no one cares what you like what matters is how you perform in those three hours. If you didn't perform well you cant have your favorite subject in future.
- Unnecessary paperwork for teachers: Hard to explain but it do frustrate teachers and that affect their teaching. Sometime because of it a teacher don't get the needed rest ( exclude those teachers who don't take teaching seriously)
- Importance to 10th and 12th: Our school system is like a triangle. Primary section is its base. If the base is strong we have to worry less about the top but all we care about is the top. The basics of students are more important. If we take care of it rest will turnout fine.
- Priorities of students:Their utmost priority is marks and not knowledge. I remember once I was explaining a derivation of a formula and then a student asked that if derivation will come in exam or not. I was dumb struck for a moment and then i said that it doesn't matter whether it will be asked in exam or not but the point is you should know why we are using this. The point is they are studying for marks not for knowledge. (Exceptions are everywhere)
I went to a school in Mumbai that had reputation of producing merit holders every year. Must be good school right who must have produced scientists?...Hell No
1) I remember in 4th STD, mathematics teacher shouted----Students mathematics is very difficult, if you don't study, you fail. Guess what- 20% students failed in 4th STD. Then in front of entire class their names were called out which was even more disgusting than failing.
2) A for Apple is the first thing we learn and it's by hearted. Even if today you are asked A forrrr? Your brain automatically thinks Apple. That brings me to rote studies. Everything was meant to be by hearted including physics. No experiments on gravity, centrifugal forces, politics etc. In Finland, only 4 hours in a week are lectures in class, 2 hours for personality development, and rest all is practicality where teachers and students do experiments.
3) In my school there were 20% students who were top 10 in the class, but their intelligence was attributed to educated grandparents and parents. Most of them were Brahmins, so if you saw these students and their parents, their thought process was advanced. But naturally they meant to excel. Which brings me to another point that education system failed to develop average or weak students. In Finland, if one teaching method fails, all teachers come up with another option. They develop all students equally including weak students. They simply don't differentiate.
4) Manners were never developed. Say "thank you" is something that was to be said to sound as if you are doing favour. Cleanliness next to godliness was just meant to be written on board. When I had gone to Europe, I saw people greeting sweeper on the road. In India, we are never taught that in schools. Sure we are told not to differentiate, but our teachers and parents are the ones who start differentiating. Other countries people say "thank you" even at the smallest thing. In Japan, till 4th std, major focus is on manners.
5) Top 10 students were called for extra classes after school, why wouldn't they be merit holders then? 80% students remained average. This highlights the ranking system. Everything is rank, marks were called out for all in front of the class which was horrible. More than brain development, everything was "how much score you got?". In Finland, there is no grading system as such. Every child is developed keeping his previous areas of development in mind.
6) Now till 7th I guess there are no exams. But unfortunately this has caused disaster in nation's educational system, because teachers have become more laid back. No one knows areas of development and strengths of students. My neighbour's child is in a well known school. Unfortunately now he is in 8th and doesn't understand maths, physics etc. Teachers called his parents and said "your child isn't intelligent, we doubt he will clear. Why isn't he good in studies?". Had I been his parent, I would have asked teacher "what the hell were you doing for all these years then?". In India, parents are busy working which makes them ignore their child's study and are dependent on school. And teachers are least bothered to develop all students equally. If you give rose/chocolates to teachers, they remember you often. No wonder we learn to please our bosses once we start working. In Finland, all teachers have to be post graduate. Out of their 6600 applications, only 600 got selected. Their system isn't just clear exam and you are in. In India, just pass B.ed, talk loudly and then you are clear to be a teacher.
Even today the educational system is the same all over India. Weak students can't even dream of IIM/IITs. Does that mean they can never succeed?
We don't learn to become wise. We learn so as to hold our head up in the society.