the students are terrified and anxious, the parents are
doing equally worse. Crores of middle-class parents are
forced to sacrifice for their children. Decent education
demands indecent amounts of money these days. It doesn't
stop at that: parents routinely sacrifice their entertainment
and, even sleep, so that their children do not miss their
college or tuition classes.
do we get in return? Parents are transformed into nervous,
joyless and sleepless wrecks who seem to invest money only
to buy worry. Under the present education-examination system,
our children are actually doing the best they could. But
they are the real victims in the longer run.
is a shame that years of rote learning and memorizing of
out-dated syllabi are termed "professional education"
in our country. Degree-holders find themselves neither professional
nor educated enough. Higher degrees do not ensure proportionately
improved technical skills and general aptitude. What is
the end result? Lakhs of graduates today are forced to remain
high on percentages and degree certificates but low in applicable
knowledge and self-confidence.
there is no need to despair. There is a way out of this
mess. Our higher education system can be substantially improved
by reforming at two key stages:
Admission Procedure: Only the motivated and capable among
applicants must be consistently admitted into a study program.
Most of the entrance exams today at best, do not measure
the relevant aptitude of applicants and at worst, are prone
to manipulation. We need an admission procedure that is
fair and transparent, robust and reliable. If our authorities
employ their latent imaginative talents, I am quite confident
that this objective could be easily achieved.
Education Process: The actual education process must mould
the motivated students into open-minded, creative and confident
graduates. The current syllabi, teaching techniques and
examinations achieve none of those objectives. So why not
use the creativity of our competent teacher force to redesign
the course contents and the teaching-style, making them
are no doubt two substantial challenges. Let me emphasize
that it is precisely such challenges that give us an opportunity
to demonstrate our inventiveness. Every crisis should be
converted into an opportunity.
example: each year, we produce more than 3,50,000 technologists
from 1100 professional colleges alone! Millions more graduate
from the universities. It is estimated that by the year
2020, India will have 47 million surplus (i.e. potentially
jobless) working age people. Some might consider this an
impending economic and social disaster. I project a more
optimistic forecast: we can convert this apparent demographic
liability into an asset. These millions of young could be
channelized into improving sectors like infrastructure,
primary health care or primary education. Developing India
and creating jobs need not be two separate challenges; one
could directly become solution for the other.
future belongs to those who are willing to find creative
and acceptable solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems.
Our education system must give the teachers and students
confidence to approach such problems with an open-mind.
As some one rightly said: education is all about taking
an empty mind and making it an open mind.