Challenges Faced By The Indian Education System

The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows- Sydney.J.Harris

Can we Indians assuringly and proudly say that we have succeeded in moulding an education system that holds the potential to escort our students to the forefront of the international  competition? This is an issue that has to be given a second thought before answering .

Education is the engine that converts knowledge into economic growth. As famously quoted by Malcolm X , ” Education is our passport to the future , for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today “. Of the student population in India which crosses 315 million , how many actually succeed in building an envious  platform , utilizing their education , that they can thrive on ? Unfortunately , a shockingly small 8.15% students only actually graduate from colleges in India . It is high time that the authority of the Indian education system ponder over and straighten out the problems faced by the system as early as possible.

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We need to understand the problems faced by the Indian education system at large. Here are those in brief :

  • Lack of adequate funding

Most Indian universities are baying at government grants to satisfy their expenses for research and other facilities . There is an immense dearth of government funds , which leads to underpayment of teachers , poor facilities at universities and very little global exposure.

If we look at American universities which pride in producing some of the best world leaders in education , they raise their funds through tuition fees , government grants , donations and patents licensed to private companies and also endowments from universities like Harvard , Yale & Stanford .

Recently ,the Ministry of Science & Technology , of the Modi government , has asked the organizations involved in scientific research to start “self-financing” projects and ensure that research is driven by factors that lead to social and economic development. This slashing of funds to the scientific society has increased tension within it.

  • The paucity of good research work , lack of proper infrastructure , lack of proper facilities , etc have led to pushing down of the premier institutes of our country – the IITs and IISc.
  • Smriti Irani disclosed in the Lok Sabha that only 8 Indian institutes appear in the top 500 universities in the world by the QS ranking in 2015. IISc and IIT,Delhi appear at 147th and 179th position, respectively . The other 6 IITs are IIT Bombay (202), Kanpur(271), Khargpur(286) , Madras (254),Roorke(391) and Guwahati(460).
  • Large number of student drop-outs

As per survey done by Nasscom , percentage of students enrolling for higher education is less than 6% of the world average. Out of the 100 million teenage students,  only  19% of the students enroll for higher education ,  leaving an astronomic number of 80 million students dropping out . Out of the 20 million students who complete higher education , only around 3.5 million join the workforce , leaving another huge number dropping out at the second stage. The government has to take adequate measures to inspire more students to complete their education.

  • Booming of low quality , money making institutes

Education has changed from being a noble cause to a pure business practice. It has become an industry where gathering sizeable amounts of money is easy. For eg: if we take Hyderabad , which is the hub for various courses , there has been estimated to be more than 700 engineering colleges . Low quality colleges as these , produce graduates who are found to be incapable of adequate performance . As a result , the percentage of unemployable graduates in India has come to a whopping 90%.

  • Lack of encouragement for hands-on project experience at school and college level

Students are blindly spoon fed , both at the school as well as college levels, with loads of textbooks and very few project and lab sessions. For example , engineering students study 40 subjects , which amount to 6000 hours of learning in class and hardly 500 hours of lab experience in 4 years. As long as practical learning is not encouraged , our students will remain less competent and the unemployability will increase

A few more points of concern are :

  • Lack of quality teaching staff who can be appropriate guides to students.
  • The alarmingly large school and college fee forcing more students to drop-out.
  • Attitudes of teachers and parents that force the students to merely score good marks and nothing more.

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