Does Indian education teach, not educate students?

Does Indian education teach, not educate students?

The present Indian education system offers neither quality nor quantity. It just offers paper qualifications which make the students eligible for employment and it doesn’t ensure employment.

Much education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants." ― John Gardner

The present Indian education system offers neither quality nor quantity. It just offers paper qualifications which make the students eligible for employment and it doesn’t ensure employment.

It doesn’t make them employable and deployable in the corporate world. It emphasizes more on theory and less on practical.

The Voice of Teacher Survey 2015 outlines that teachers (57 per cent) believe that students are not adequately prepared for employment; collective call by teachers (75 per cent) for industry collaborated curriculum restructuring; urge for industrial training of teachers (44 per cent) to impact employability of Indian students; majority (66 per cent) support technology adoption across levels; school teachers, specifically, consider installation of smart boards (77 per cent) and bundled multimedia content (51 per cent) key initiatives; high costs (38 per cent) and lack of infrastructure and maintenance (23 per cent) seen as foremost challenges for technology adoption at educational institutions.

It emphasizes on rote learning devoid of creativity and innovation. It is memory oriented and faculty-centric which are problematic because memory doesn’t encourage creativity and innovation; and faculty-centric education teaches what they know, not what the students need.

Fate of Indian Education

“Everybody who is incapable of learning has taken to teaching.” ― Oscar Wilde

It is unfortunate that those who are rejected by industry join teaching profession. This young faculty doesn’t have any knowledge forget about having an updated knowledge. How can they teach to students? How can they add value to education?

At times, it is tough to differentiate between the students and the young faculty as there is hardly any age gap between them. Students don’t respect such faculty who lack experience and expertise. In contrast, students respect the faculty who are passionate about sharing their knowledge, and are keen to make a difference in the lives of students.

Some of the faculty is so weak that they offer notes to students in the classroom instead of teaching. In this way, they spend their time in the classroom instead of sharing their knowledge.

They don’t inform in advance about the topics to be discussed, and don’t connect with the previous class with the previous class when they enter into classrooms.

That means there is lack of connectivity from one teaching session to another and lack of sharing knowledge with the students. Some of the faculty reproduces what is written in the books.

They don’t add value to the books with their knowledge, research, consultancy and experience. All these things make faculty stand weak in front of students. The present generation of students is more intelligent than teachers.

They can easily identify who is a passionate educator and a fake educator. Hence, the teaching community must make a note of these points to set right everything in order.

It is unfortunate that Indian students crave for scores and grades rather than acquiring knowledge. Although scores and grades are important what is equally important is the acquisition and application of knowledge to reap the rewards of education. When it is done so, it paves the way for employability, employment and enlightenment of students.

It seems that all the stakeholders are not satisfied with the present Indian education system. Educators think that they are not compensated reasonably; students think that they are not imparted with the right education; parents think that there is no quality education for their children; and the nonprofits think that education has been commercialized. Hence, it is essential to address all these aspects immediately.

Smart students spot superstar educators

John F. Kennedy once remarked, "Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength of the nation." Hence, there is an urgent need for the right education to build a strong nation.

Educators must arouse interest in students and encourage them to question. Although educators are highly respected next to mother and father in India, there is need for students to question the educators.

It helps clarify their concerns and enhances their creativity. Educators will also be compelled to do research to prepare thoroughly to the questions raised by students.

There is an urgent need for superstar educators who are passionate about teaching; and are eager to share their knowledge with students to shape them as leaders. Students respect superstar educators, not mediocre educators. They are smart enough to differentiate between the passionate educators and fake educators.

They are competent to judge who are efficient and inefficient. Students respect educators not by their positional power but by their referent power. The superstar educators enjoy their respect and charisma irrespective of colleges they serve and positions they hold. It is all due to the smart students.

To conclude, coordinated efforts from all stakeholders including students, educators, intellectuals, parents, non-profits and government is essential to restructure Indian education to build a strong nation. Jai Hind!

"There are obviously two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live."

- James Truslow Adams

By:Professor MS Rao

The author, Professor MS Rao, Ph.D. is the Father of ‘Soft Leadership’. He is a sought-after keynote speaker.

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