There are two types of education: One teaches you how to make a living and the other how to live: American saying
The Indian education system perhaps can take a lesson from the above quote. All our lives, we are taught that unless you learn to make a living, your life will go waste.
With this guiding thought, our education system has evolved a unique culture of its own. It emphasises obedience, subservience and learning by rote, all qualities that are essentially required to succeed in the cut-throat competitive world of professionals, naukripeshas as we are called.
It is hard to understand the regressive nature of the culture of education. However, we must try and understand and discuss it quite well and in detail to actually suggest some improvements.
With my experience and insights, I am of the opinion that our education system suppresses creativity and other original ideas. This is because in most cases, it shuns practical learning due to the high-cost involved — except may be a few schools.
An ex-colleague, settled in the US gives me this personal example to illustrate the way the most powerful nation educates its children and the values it tries to inculcate in them.
He says that he has told his son, keen on pursuing an automobile degree in engineering, actually take a truck apart and then put it back in working condition from scratch and only then he would fund the studies.
I find it a wonderful idea as it allows for a check on the motivation and the aptitude of a student. Even a failed try will also be a success in putting the child on the right path. Is the desire to study actually based on an intense interest in the subject or is it based on a superficial knowledge and the simple ME TOO phenomenon we are witness to most frequently in our country.
Another aspect with which to consider the Indian education culture is that over the years it has virtually turned into a system to actually stop the huge young population stationed at a crossing, as it were, until there are enough jobs in the economy.
Such is the weakness in our economy and the education system, at the moment, that even as our graduates are unnecessarily made to go through the rigamorale of tests like CTET etc, we have a massive shortage of teachers. Why? This deserves an answer at highest level from our policymakers.
Now even as we are critical of the way we educate our education, it will be churlish and ungrateful to see the positives in the system. Indian engineers and management graduates are sought out all around the world as we are actually trained to handle complexity and various variables coming to us at far more speed and efficiency than others. Our education system literally hammers in the basics in our brains and bones so that we can then begin thinking on our own.
As a conservative society, by the western standards, we are far more tolerant of authority and respect to elders which stands us in better stead as experience has to be given its due.