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Indian Education System

Updated: Dec 13, 2020




The education system in India is not the best system. Lack of reforms and betterment has made it quite boring and ineffective. Students don’t take much interest in studies. There are many factors that have led to this problem of students’ disinterest in education. The orthodox education system is to be blamed. The image of studies and education has been made so repulsive by the system, that children are always finding excuses to avoid it. Education is more exploration than slogging for passing examinations, tests, and handing in assignments. However, the current system is such as education appears to be a burden. Hence, the students feel repulsive towards it.


The progress of a nation is possible only when its citizens are dynamic, enterprising, and responsible. Without such citizens, a nation cannot achieve progress in any field and education is the most important tool to create such kind of citizens. Higher education plays a vital role in the overall development and growth of a nation. It imparts in-depth knowledge in different ways of life. Further, it not only broadens the cerebral power of the individual within a narrow specialization but also gives a wider perspective of the world around. Higher education is no longer a luxury, it is essential for survival. The core mission of higher education is to educate, to train, to undertake research, and to provide service to the community. It is a powerful tool to build a modern, value-based, knowledge-based, culture-based, and peaceful society that can lead the country towards becoming a superpower in the world. Primary education is necessary for creating a base, while, higher education is extremely important for providing a cutting edge. Higher education contributes to the growth of the nation by providing specialized knowledge and skilled manpower. In the context of globalization, the scope and demand for higher education are increasing day by day and this demand can only be fulfilled by the quality of higher education. Quality education is the “key-point” of the present-day education system whether it is elementary or higher education. The quality of higher education is the biggest need of the hour as our country is progressing towards becoming the educational hub of the world. But, the Indian higher education system does not stand anywhere among the world's higher education systems in terms of quality. Poor quality of higher education depends on various factors such as the favorable environment for teaching and learning, infrastructure, teachers, curriculum, effective feedback, and monitoring system, etc.


The schools and teachers must not corrupt the joy-giving pursuit of education by putting unnecessary burdens of rules and regulations on the students. The teachers must intrigue the students towards the charms of education. Learning and gaining knowledge is an adventure. Teachers must expose and reveal to the students the thrill involved in it. Classroom learning must be more interesting than bunking experience.


The most burdensome aspect of the education system is the burden of so many books and paperwork on students. We just wonder why can’t the schools make the education system paper-free! Education should be imparted through Computer Assisted techniques. From classroom teaching to homework assignments, it should be totally computerized.


For security purposes, there must also be a foolproof system to track students’ commuting to the school. There is already technology available. The sensors in the identity cards send an automated SMS to the parents confirming the arrival of their children at the school. Besides, the teachers must make the learning experience very thrilling at school. Education actually is much more charming and intriguing than the temptations of distractions, all that is required is the revelation of the magic in it.


India’s higher education system is the second largest in the world, after the United States. The main governing body at the tertiary level is the University Grants Commission, which enforces its standards, advises the government, and helps coordinate between the center and the state. Accreditation for higher learning is overseen by 12 autonomous institutions established by the University Grants Commission. The emphasis on the tertiary level of education lies in science and technology. In addition to a large number of technology institutes, distance learning and open education is also a feature of the Indian higher education system and are looked after by the Distance Education Council. Indira Gandhi National Open University is the largest university in the world by the number of students, having approximately 3.5 million students across the globe.

But in spite of all these developments and growth, quality of higher education remained the main concern for all the stakeholders in the education system i.e. students, parents, institution management, faculty members, policymakers, and society as a whole, because the poor quality of higher education affects the overall progress of any nation. Indian higher education is far away from the global educational standard. India has jumped significantly in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020, with 56 institutions making it to the list, up from 49 previously. However, for the first time since 2012, not a single Indian university made it to the top 300 list. These data represent that Indian higher education does not stand anywhere among the world higher education institutions with respect to quality. The best Indian institutions are generally characterized by relatively strong scores for teaching environment and industry income, but perform poorly when it comes to international outlook compared with both regional and international counterparts.


Meaning of Quality in Education

The quality in education need to be defined in the wider sense of the overall aim of education as the all-round development of the individual and his commitment to social objectives; and viewed in this context, there is no doubt that vigorous efforts will have to be made to improve these to suit the changing needs of the country. It has become increasingly evident that the relevance of education, its significance, its validity for personal aspiration, its link with societal needs and goals, its efficiency and impact are the basic parameters of every educational system.

Quality in education can also be interpreted from a different viewpoint; it means educational standards are judged from examination results. An educational institution that shows a high pass percentage is considered to be an institute of great quality.


Concern for the Quality of Higher Education

India needs multi-dimensional and broad-based quality education to maintain its leadership in the 21st century, therefore India should show concern over the quality in education as the education in India is not competitive in terms of the quantity and quality with other countries. Quality in higher education is a burning issue that can be ensured through regular review of the function of the institutions either through self-assessment or through outside agencies and by accrediting the institutions. The expansion of higher education over the years has also resulted in educational malpractices, which exist in the form of capitation fees being charged by the private institutions at the time of admissions in addition to the fees. The entry of a large number of private institutions has also resulted in a rapid increase in proceedings involving students, teachers, employees, management of higher educational institutions and universities and other stakeholders negatively impacts the quality of education and efficient function of the institutions. Also, there has been a spurt in the activities of Foreign Educational Institutions operating in India since the mid-1990s. While some of them are resorting to various malpractices to appeal and attract students, particularly in smaller cities and towns. Many of these institutions have come up since there is yet neither a centralized policy nor a regulatory regime.

University Education Commission (1948-49) rightly felt the uneasy sense of the inadequacy of the higher education system particularly in terms of quality and standards. Reiterating the importance of quality in higher education and its sustainability, the Kothari Commission (1964-66) remarked that “the situation of higher education was unsatisfactory and even alarming in some ways that the average standards have been falling and rapid expansion has resulted in lowering quality”. We have to, therefore, gear up the machinery of higher education to fulfill the aspirations of people and be conscious of quality maintenance as well as its role to elevate the country to new heights. In his message, Dr. Radhakrishnan communicates “there is need for change in the perception and attitude of universities realizing that their field is wider, the task is greater and the goal is higher in building a strong and happy India.” The universities are not merely places of conferring degrees and distinctions. They besides being places of learning also centers of service and wholesome development of the human personality of men and women turning them into fine human beings. This will demand quality education at the higher education level.

India needs to emphasize quality education and the following key issues for improving the quality of higher education in India:


Factors Influencing Quality in Higher Education

Quality in education depends on several factors. A few of them include:

Politicization: Politicization of higher education has posed a serious threat to the quality of higher education. The appointment of Vice-chancellors in many instances is being viewed politically. The challenge of the education document indicated that depoliticization is not an early acceptable condition for the political parties in the country.


Poor quality of intake: In order to attract students for admission, the colleges go on awarding high grades/marks to undeserving candidates. The colleges/university departments admitting students on the basis of career marks get cheated in many situations and thus get a poor quality of students.


Managerial Inefficiency: Generally, principals are appointed based on seniority and managerial efficiency is not taken into account. There is no regular orientation program for newly appointed principals. It affects the quality of education as they don’t have influential managerial skills.


Overcrowded Classrooms: Lack of an adequate number of teachers and classrooms force many colleges to reduce their number of groups and merge them into larger groups making it possible for a teacher to carry out effective classroom interaction.


Inadequate Student Services: Most of the higher education institutions today are not capable enough to provide services like conducting orientation programs, health services, hostel facilities, guidance, and counseling services to the students. Most importantly, the Indian education system does not emphasize enough the importance of sports and arts. Students are always asked to study all the time where they get no time for other activities like sports and arts.


Inadequate material resources: Most of the higher education institutions at present does not have proper material resources like building, playground, a good number of classrooms, infrastructure, laboratory with sufficient equipment, toilet facility, and staffrooms.


Non-accountability of institutions: Non-accountability of the institutions leads to poor quality in higher education.


Inefficiency in Teaching: An effective teacher needs to be a lifelong learner and need to strengthen his knowledge voluntarily. A good institution is known for its teachers. The institution should be supplied with various journals and a good library facility which will energize the teachers’ proficiency and competency.


Examination Reforms: Reforms in the examination system is the most common phenomenon in the recent past. Most of the researchers and academia are not satisfied with the present examination system. It may be true for years because the pitfalls in the evaluation system make the examination system ruin. The evaluation is not reliable. It judges the intelligence of a student on the basis of academics which is in the form of exam papers which is very unfair to students who are good in their overall performance but not that much good at specific subjects. This can be changed by using the new methods of the grading system and other various innovative methods.


Teaching Methods: The education system encourages getting good marks through mugging up and not actually grasping the concept efficiently. Furthermore, we see how the Indian education system focuses on theory more. Only a little percentage is given for practical. This makes the whole system run after the bookish knowledge and not actually applying it to the real world. This practice makes students perplexed when they go out in the real world due to a lack of practical knowledge. So, the curriculum framework should be in such a way that it should provide new knowledge that is useful to society and also provide employability opportunities. Curriculum and content have to be continually renewed through Teaching and Learning Support Networks and specific skill development network may be set up. The teachers should use qualitative teaching-learning material and also aware of the use of multimedia, IT (Information Technology), and OHP (Overhead Projector).

There are other factors also which are affecting the quality of higher education such as motivation of the teachers and students, favorable environment for teaching-learning process, the irrelevance of the curriculum leading towards the low employability, etc. which needs to be improved for enhancing the quality of education in India.


How Can We Improve Indian Education System?

As the Indian Education System is facing so many problems, we need to come up with effective solutions so it improves and creates a brighter future for students. We can start by focusing on the skill development of the students. The schools and colleges must not only focus on the ranks and grades but also on the analytical and creative skills of children.

In addition, subjects must not be merely taught theoretically but practical. This will help in a better understanding of the subject without them having to mug up the whole thing due to a lack of practical knowledge. Also, the syllabus must be updated with the changing times and not follow the old age pattern.

Other than that, the government and private colleges must now increase the payroll of teachers. As they clearly deserve more than what they offer. To save money, the schools hire teachers who are not qualified enough. This creates a very bad classroom environment and learning. They must be hired if they are fit for the job and not because they are working at a lesser salary.


CONCLUSION

In conclusion, the Indian education system must change for the betterment of the nation. India cannot progress until its higher education system is qualitatively strong enough because this poor quality is resulting in low employability, the low performance of the specialized individuals, lack of innovative and creative ideas, etc. which are the key elements of success and progress in the present time. It must give the students equal opportunities to shine brighter in the future. We need to let go of the old and traditional ways and enhance the teaching standards so our youth can create a better world. The purpose of education should not only be to make children literate and obtaining a degree but to make this earth a better place to live in. It is a good education that can make a positive mindset and enables one to distinguish between knowledge and wisdom. It makes all people conscious, educated people can reform society. Only educated people can achieve their goals in life. In all, there is a need to enlarge the adaptive capacity and quality of the higher education system so that it is more responsive to the changing world of work and meets the diversified needs of the economy – both domestic and global. For that purpose diversification of the Indian education and training system has to be pursued as a goal. This can be achieved by having a proper mix of public and private, formal, and non-formal institutions. Collection of data on job market trends, its analysis, and dissemination are important. As far as strengthening the Indian education system is concerned, it can only be done with strong willpower, determination, and readiness to change.

Education is everything. We are seeing in our country that there are many children who are begging at the age of studying. It is a social evil and we should take steps to stop this. We all are the future of our country. Thus, education profoundly enhances human prosperity.

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