Several students scored 100% in their recent school-leaving exams — but the system they belong to is failing miserably.
India suffers a serious lack of quality educational institutions. In school, students get pushed into one end of a disciplinary triangle — ‘Science-Commerce-Humanities’ — right after class 10. A caste-like system mars education hereon, science anointed top, commerce middle, humanities lowest.
This goes with routine, unimaginative pedagogy, discouraging students to conceptualise how history and economics may interlink or physics and cinema go together. Instead, students are lectured, hectored and coached, but not taught how to challenge assumptions, make presentations or do group work.
Things don’t improve radically in college — India’s about 50 years behind other countries encouraging interdisciplinary learning, individual thought — and the luxury to learn from mistakes. Instead, our universities continue tunnelling students into constricted streams, taught by few quality institutions, sought by many anxious thousands.
It’s vital we re-examine such narrow education. Just the numbers of perfect scores, even in subjective fields like English literature, illustrate how mechanical our education is.
Good education should open minds to think creatively and logically, able to process different kinds of knowledge. But by stitching students into tight subjects early on, buttoning these with monologue-teaching and objective-type exams, India does the opposite. This is often justified using an old fixation, namely education must equal jobs. Of course — but it must also create a society capable of creating jobs, finding solutions and innovating.
Suffocating education suffocates growth, lazy teaching and rote-based themes cutting off the birth of new ideas, new possibilities — and new universities.
It’s essential our pedagogy enters a freer world of what good education is really about.
(Source: Editorial, Times Of India)
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