Anomalies in Indian Education System – I
Education in India has a well documented history. India is cited as the birth place of numerous religions. Pages from history reveal us along with religion their corresponding systems of education also flourished. Down the timeline of world history, of the western world in particular, the 17th century is dubbed as ‘the age of reasoning’ and that of the 18th century as ‘the age of enlightenment’. This era saw scientific knowledge catapulting. Practically that was the fountain head of the industrial revolution.
India was colony of the Brits and they took over the education system that prevailed in India then and redesigned to suit their needs. There happens to be a controversial statement said to have been delivered by Lord Macaulay in the British parliament in 1835 (Shown in the following image). The authenticity of the excerpt is questionable; yet, the role of the education system named after him in changing the educational trend in India is unquestionable. It is agreeable that the then education system promoted the casteism and kept education inaccessible except a few chosen ones.
Even by the Vedic era we were far superior to the west. Later came the deterioration.
Wrong Perception of Scope of Education
“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself” – John Dewey .
Education in the modern age is often defined as the means of acquiring knowledge. This couldn’t be considered as the best way to define education since acquiring knowledge is only a part of education. This misrepresentation has emerged because of the phenomenal shift in realizing the scope of education itself. Lord Macaulay’s system is basically designed for generating literate Indians to assist the British administration, in the Indian colony. Most of them were observed in the clerical jobs. His system aimed at educating them to understand, speak and write in English language that eventually enables the British officers to run the government more easily. Naturally that education system did not focus in making a pupil think.
Even today a better education is perceived and interpreted only as a gateway to grab a lucrative job and earn more money. Every student pursues his/her studies with only the monetary benefits in mind. The value based education system has become a thing of the past. Every child is motivated to learn better only by seducing them of the materialistic wealth and prosperity that it might bring. This wrong notion about the scope of education is an anomalous outcome of the materialism of the modern. This is not just with India but all over the world, yet more pronounced in growing countries like ours.
Need for life oriented Curriculum
Going to school is one of the bitterest parts of everyone’s childhood memories. Have you ever thought the reason behind it? It is not just that, a child is insisted to abide to regulations in schools, who were so far free, without restrictions. A child initially struggles to socialize- no doubt- but it is not a continuing issue. Most of the children in the primary level show good interest in their studies but their interest diminishes as they go to higher grades. Is it because of the subjects getting tougher? I think otherwise. In the earlier phase of learning a child is able to connect what he/she learns with their real life. Say learning numbers for instance; haven’t started counting everything you came across the day you first learnt to count? Hence what was learned in school got immediately applied in everyday life, perhaps that very evening.
This is the most appropriate learning process that motivates further learning. Education at the primary level is more fun than a burden. But the current curriculum aims at imparting more information by force, besides being too rigid for a pupil to have personal preferences over the learning content. The curriculum doesn’t any parity with the demographic needs, which makes many pupils to wonder why they keep learning of what they’re learning. The syllabus is not framed according to the dynamic needs that life claims; instead it tries to fit all the learners within its predesigned framework.
We shall continue…