Thursday, 7 June 2012

+1, +2, plus a few thoughts- The education system



(This article is written in the wake of the strenuous education system (matriculation) in the state of Tamil Nadu.)

Few days back, the board results of the tenth standard students have been announced and they must prepare to enter the “most grueling/life turning” two years of their life- such is the importance of the higher secondary years in our education system. 

When the tenth results were announced, I happened to be in Namakkal- the so called educational belt of Tamil Nadu. On that particular day, the town witnessed a procession of cars that resulted in road blocks- anxious parents eager to enroll their children into these schools so that their future is secured. In their opinion, its just good marks, good marks and good marks alone.

But do marks alone form the basis of education? 

The purpose of the education system at the school level is to enrich the student with the basic knowledge in all sciences and to provide him an all round development that will establish a good launching pad for his further pursuits.

The current scenario of the +1 and +2 school years is bleak in our state. Students are subjected to two years of rigorous hard work where they are confined only to the covers of the books. Schools have changed from being “centers of learning” to “mark producing factories”. Students are merely treated as machines that are designed for the task of obtaining high marks.

In order to achieve this feat, many schools skip the +1 portions (which form the basis for education in colleges) and make the students study the +2 portions for two years. Students are made to write revision tests daily and mug the same again and again till they are able to reproduce (or vomit) in the board exams.  Such is the impact of these schools; parents are willing to shell out large stacks of cash to get their wards admitted.

These schools also admit only the students who attain high percentages in the 10th board examinations. For instance, this year at a certain school in Namakkal, students who got below 470 marks were denied admissions. And for those students who are admitted, they are separated into classes according to their marks (the better ones get better coaching and the lesser ones do not). Thus, they create a stark discrimination among the students which affects their psychology and performance to a great extent.

There has been a culmination of factors that has resulted in this situation. Education has become a very profitable business- with seats selling like hot cakes. The schools guarantee for good marks and hence the admissions keep on coming.

Poor quality of government schools is another major reason for this huge dominance of private players. Government schools in our state are devoid of infrastructure and hence experiences a lack in student strength.

And in this business oriented approach, education has become a race-where students have to edge each others out to make the cut and in the process, records are toppled every year. Sometimes, even a 96% score would not be sufficient for the creamy layer of colleges.

But, is this real success? Are we not losing something in the bigger picture?

The schools have shifted their focus of prime importance from “attainment of knowledge by the student” to “obtaining of marks”; the end result is that these schools churn out half baked students who have not gained complete knowledge and also lack in overall development. 

This is an area of huge concern that the state government needs to address quickly. The quality of government schools must be improve. The government schools should be equipped with furnished classrooms, laboratories with latest equipments, playgrounds, indoor stadiums, library and an arts center. Professional teachers must be given decent salary packages and the environment should be conducive for students. Free meals should be provided to the economically backward students.

if this scenario is to change, the government needs to become the big Daddy of education (as in the cases of UK, US) where people of all economic strata get a fair shot at the board exams. 

The curriculum must be revamped with importance meted out to physical fitness, various arts, sports and the overall shaping of the student.

True, marks are important. But are marks alone the criteria for a successful student? 

It is time our schools started producing successful students who can shape the future of the nation and make India a superpower in the coming years.

21 comments:

  1. Well said!it would be a better delight to see our peers reading this.We could implement all this for a better India,but the problem is people do not care much about the nation,they care only about their heirs.They want them to succed,succed and only succeed.The success here is short-lived but these "so-called-winners" might not actually succeed on the long run.

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    1. True da Akram :) Its high time we take a step in moving the nation forward :)

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  2. Started out as a error-pointer and progressed into a vision-statement. Good Flow :)

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    1. Ur right anna :) we can easily point out the flaws...but we should find out the solution- that is more important :)

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  3. Same applies to college education too, which is much worse... our country lacks quality education due to the teacher's lack of proficiency in the subject, some of them are just blatant idiots. A career in teaching is frowned upon and yes even i wouldn't consider a career in teaching because at the end of the day, i want to be paid well for what I do, just as mentioned above. The entire system needs to be revamped, the methodical textbook style learning is not bad, but should be reinforced with some sort of practical learning styles. Another problem is the unhealthy amount of importance given to the "finals", which leads to cramming and other stupid learning practices..

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    1. Ur right dude....its time we start to assess what education really means and what we want to achieve out of it !

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  4. Well said macha! But you know we are in India where things dont change fast. So when we try things out of place and go against the system it would be like pulling ourselves into trouble. Yet its high time one goes against it and make up a revolution!

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    1. Its in the hands of the next generation to create a better India

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    2. dude.. We are that generation you are talking about! Right!?

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    3. Yes yes :) we are the next generation!

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  5. this is actually an eye-opener for the ppl... brilliant work.. i think v can just fight for this and make our educational system better.. let's teach a lesson for all the big shots who r making education , a business....
    Lets join our hands..

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  6. Remarkable! I really admired the title of this article and serious social problem discussed in this article diminished few grammatical errors in it.

    A similar kind of thought I get whenever I face students who come from regional language medium of education. Firstly, I strongly believe that English medium education should be imposed in all govt. schools of the country. English dominates the higher education and plays a key role in the job markets. So, not just education, English education should be made available for every child in this country. I believe English medium education can afford the students a good quality education what we all experience. Next, as you rightly pointed, basic amenities and proper infrastructure are equally crucial. Environment in which a child gets his/her education matters a lot. Let's hope for the best to happen very soon.

    Bravo! for your good job Sibi

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    1. Thanks a lot for your valuable comments sir :) I have also felt that English should have much more importance than that is there today- both at school and college level. Let us hope the trend changes soon :)

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  7. so true machi... we talk about it a lot but no one knows how and where to start... surely will take more than a decade even if we take initiatives right now...

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    1. As long as the change happens, its good da :)

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  8. Well, a more feasible solution might be to increase the standard and the schema of the government examination and evaluation systems. That way, schools will naturally grow in quality to match up.!

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    1. We have good content...the approach is wrong....and the pressure should be taken off anna :)

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  9. Very true dude!!Indian Educational System is on its way to disaster, we have to save it! Everyone who wishes to learn must be given a standard education. Proper admission process should be there at all levels. Hoping for a big change in the entire system

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    1. Ur comments reflect the state of our system da :)

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