Since many years, our education system has been criticised upon and been declared on countless occassions in family meetings or public forums as not knowledge based, but just rote-based. To a certain extent this is true. In this article I’ll be talking about how the education system can be improved and also the contemporary good qualities of it.
As a student of humanities (arts as it is more prominently known as), I have opted for the following subjects, Political Science, Informatic Practices, History, Psychology and English. Based on my experience in these subjects as well as my previous school, I’ll be drawing out the conclusions and suggestions.
Many a times, I have felt that many of the teachers, not just my school but also of the schools around the world lack a certain quality. The quality of being with students and handling students. Majority of the teachers that I have studied under do not have the aptitude or the competency to teach not a student, they have simply come and gone in my entire academic career. They’ve simply read a particular sentence from a text-book in active voice and explained it in passive voice and simply do not create the interest or the curiosity in a student to actually look forward to a class. This has happened with me too I must admit, mainly in the subject of Psychology. Under no circumstances have I ever felt the interest or the curiosity develop inside me to actually look forward to the classes of this particular subject, it simply remains as a faded event in my entire day.
The solution for this particular problem is that schools, and more largely the government should emphasise on recruiting their teachers on the basis, of not only their merit, but also check their personality and whether the characteristics of their personality fit something as delicate as teaching. Only then will we have an advanced and dedicated staff working to bring about a much better next generation than the current one.
An amazing property of our education system is the variety of subjects it offers to the students to study, never in my life had I thought that I would be studying the intricacies of JAVA programming on a computer and then go to the next class and study the origins of one of the greatest empires in the world, the Roman Empire. I can fulfill my desire for working on computers and learning more about them without having to take the science subjects. Not many know about the amount of subjects that are offered by the schools and the government of this great nation of ours.
But there lies a problem in the class itself and that is the lack of a personal touch, personalized communication between the student and the teacher. I’m not saying that this is not there, it is present but only in very few cases. An example could be my English classes. In humanities stream, English is divided into two sections, Core and Elective, the latter which I have opted for focuses more on the literature perspective of the language and the former, Core, has a little of everything. Elective has less number of students (10) and the Core section has more number of students (25), therefore our elective classes are more personal and proper communication takes place between us (the students) and the teacher. But once I was sitting in the Core class while their class was being carried out and I observed that there was none of the personal touch or communication like I have stated above. This is because there are simply too many students in the core section.
The solution to this problem is quite difficult, and i.e. to have less number of students in a particular section and more teachers. All of us, the students, are different. Some of us have very good grasping power, others are not so good at it. Therefore, it is important for the teacher to identify the strength and weaknesses of every student and this is possible only if there are less number of students in the class. As the Roman philisopher, Pliny the Elder said,“Slaves should be divided into small groups and each group should have a supervisor so that he can identify which labourer is putting in work or not.” A different circumstance, but same concept.
Text-books provided by the National Council of Education, Research and Training (N.C.E.R.T) are extremely good and well written and I applaud them for this considerable feat. Taking example of my History and Political Science textbooks, as someone who was never acquainted with these subjects very well, found myself very involved in them. The language and the content of the text-books are very well written and are perfect for someone like me who had never taken interest in them to actually develop an interest for the subject. The N.C.E.R.T. should continue doing so and enhance their text-books even further. The only complaint here is that the time gap between revised editions should be shortened even more as the world is ever changing and new information is unveiled almost everyday.
When I was studying in my old school, which was till the 10th grade, i.e. a specialized stream had not been opted for, I notice now that the subjects present then were actually very helpful. Studying science, Social science, Mathematics, English together really enhances a student’s ability to perceive what they like or do not like and helps them take decisions accordingly.
Now comes the most crucial point, examinations. The current system of examination in India is accused of rote-learning and that is true to a certain extent like I said before. Instead of judging how well a student knows a subject, what instead being judged is the memory capacity and memory recalling power of a student, which will help in the short term but never in the long term. Currently majority of the teachers expect exactly the same answer as in the text-book which is the prime factor of the prevalence of rote-learning in our education system.
For fixing this particular problem, the change has to be brought about in the teachers and their attitude towards answers and questions and bring about a change in the system of judging a student’s capabilities.
I really cannot provide the specifics and logistics for the problems and their solutions, these are mainly my views as a student and how I expect the education system to treat me and how I treat it. Many things of the system which are actually good and some of them that are listed above are not known by the people and hence, the system receives criticism without taking into account these factors and qualities.