Today, the Indian higher education system is the largest in the world; over 70 million students are enrolled in both government and private schools. That means that India will have the world’s largest graduate talent pipeline by 2020. [Source:www.ibef.org/industry/education-sector-india.aspx] But does that help students choose the right career path?
From a country that had a literacy rate of just 18% under British Raj to having achieved a staggering 80% rate as a young independent nation in seventy years is remarkable. We’ve grown immensely and quite intensely, but is it enough?
Is high school education and a degree enough to equip people for the rest of their lives? To truly introduce them to their aptitude and acumen? What can we do to make the quality of education in India better and help them choose a better career?
The revolution starts with the simplest steps that leave a growing impact, especially in schools.
There’s enough research that underscores the need for real-world experience, but we believe that it should be provided to children while they’re still in school. While internships are available in abundance for college graduates, especially with the rise in startups and small enterprises in India, experience in a live environment can help students as young as 15 when they’re picking their stream of study. Giving them a preview of what their field of interest looks like, how people function and what they do during a work day, is bound to give them the reality check they need before picking a stream that’ll define their professional lives. Or the next 40 odd years of their lives.
The idea is not to overwhelm a young child by asking them to join the real world before they’re ready; rather it is to provide exposure and breathing room to identify what excites them.
Aptitude and Personality
Not all subjects can please every mind. That’s a fact. Everyone has different inclinations. Remember the time you got low marks and felt embarrassed? How did it feel? Demotivated to study the subject? Worried that you were not capable? Concerned about your future?
Time at school plays the fiercest role in paving the path for a child’s future. While discovering their own aptitude, they also retain important characteristics. For instance, a good debater exudes confidence and eloquence. There are fields such as oratory, public speaking, and life coaching which are now well-recognized.
But if we arm twist the same child to study and ace all subjects instead of creating a necessary understanding, we’re not being fair to their true talent. Rather, we’re confusing and, subsequently, distorting their natural personality. There’s no doubt about the fact that every child needs a holistic education and schools are a great platform since there’s nothing more motivating than a hanging deadline or an examination. However, if students don’t fall in love with their subjects then they just end up focusing on passing the examination and clearing submissions. Not on becoming the best version of themselves.
It’s high time we start condensing and curating streams that help students prosper, not just in theory but in life.
So far, the benchmark followed by the government has been the student-teacher ratio in classrooms, irrespective of the subject or stream. And while the gap is reducing and we’re closer to an ideal ratio than we have ever been, is that really a comprehensive indicator of progress?
We believe the method is flawed; to draft a ratio like that is incoherent—especially in the 21st century when different kinds of professions are becoming mainstream. Children in schools today need personal attention and time with educators who have real-world experience. However, even more than the tool of analysis, we believe that the quality of syllabi needs to improve as we’re making rapid developments in every sphere, every industry.
How justified is it for a teacher to first not be able to pay attention to every student, regulate fairly old literature, and then judge their aptitude on the basis of what they’ve learnt? What have the students really gained?
What is your opinion of the way India studies? If you could, what would be the first thing that you’d change? Tell us in the comments below!