16 April 2017 | Target Mains: Weekly Essay Challenge

Profile photo of Discuss Discuss
  • Indian education system needs a massive overhaul

    Instructions: Write an essay on the above topic in 1000-1200 words.

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  • Profile photo of Vivek Singh Vivek Singh @viveksingh

    Education is perhaps the easiest way to understand life. It is a way used to pass experiences and knowledge. Earliest example can be seen in the form of cave painting, where people had depicted various methods of hunting, processing of meat etc., perhaps to teach their younger generations.
    In Vedic era, main objective of education was considered to be self-realization and not just skills and employment. Special focus was on teacher-student relation. In ancient south India, schools were generally developed along with temples, fee was in-kind and in-cash, therefore poor can also afford. Approach was bottom up. Curricular and assessment were decided by teachers and samite of local people according to local needs and not by kings or higher administration. British education system on the other hand tried to centralize our education system. Here, main objective was to make Indians eligible for administration as it was costly for them to train British personnel to work in India. This mindset of education system is still prevalent and that is why our education system needs an overhaul. The important question is to understand challenges faced by the system and to find a way forward.

    Challenges present in our education systems
    Centralized system: We have a diverse culture, different cultures have different values that they want to protect and pass to their next generation. Therefore, when in 1976, 42nd amendment of our constitution made education a subject in concurrent list, earlier it was in state list, power of policy making was shifted from state to center, instead of shifting it to local level. Which resulted in sub-optimal policy making and resource utilization.
    Poor institutional capabilities: Due to centralized approach of the system, institutional capability is very low, since decision making power, planning is top down and generally uncoordinated with the lower level, it should be according to the school level administration. India has approximately 15 lakh schools, 35000 degree colleges and around 600 universities with 40 educational boards, but with very poor local leadership. Instead of working on local leadership and increasing institutional capabilities, government focus is on quick fix solutions, like use of information and communication technology to bypass these challenges, due to perception of corruption and excuse of too much effort needed to prepare local leadership.

    Focus on skill development: Being a poor nation, with GDP/capita 1800$ and having majority of labor unskilled, education policy focuses on making our labor productive or highly skilled. Employability is an important aspect of education but should not be the main goal, education gives one the ability to realize its true potential, focus should be on knowledge or at least a balance between the two, but too much focus on employability and skill development starts a mad race, which results in underutilization or sub-optimal allocation of resources, for example, most of the teachers or engineers are not fit for teaching or engineering respectively, Which results in stress in early life and in some cases lead to death. Suicide is one of the leading cause of death among youth in India.
    Access to schools is one of the main responsibilities of government. There are many barriers to access, such as distance, gender, caste, geography and poverty. People prefer to send their children as near as possible, but small schools in village are not cost efficient, poor infrastructure, leads to high drop-outs in these schools. Gender and caste discrimination is prevalent in schools as well, many a times even teachers discriminate with among students which lowers there confidence in themselves. Sometimes basic facilities in schools lack for girls and specially abled students, this also discourages them to go to schools.

    Poor quality of educations: In the last decade enrollment in primary education and significantly improved in secondary has increased drastically but drop-out rates are very high above 50% for all sections, girls, SC and ST. According to Program for international student assessment (PISA), only 25% of 5th class student in India, can read a 2nd class book properly. Quality of education depends on several parameters, viz., quality of teachers, curricular, assessment, pre-schooling, health and nutrition of students and last but not the least environment in which students live. General enrollment ratio (GER) is also very poor, around 23%, which is due to poor quality of primary and secondary education.

    Financing education: First education policy of India in 1968 envisaged to allocate 6% of GDP for education, currently it is less than 2% of GDP. The reason is lack of resources, only 16% tax to GDP ratio, low GDP/capita. Only 5% people pay direct taxes, poor can’t afford to pay, therefore maximum limits on fees and relative expenses by parents set by government is upto 20% of the cost of schooling, which varies school to schools. Rest of the resources are to be funded by government, society, corporate social responsibility (CSR), philanthropic donations and alumni.

    The way forward

    One of the most important thing to increase quality of education is increased child’s capacity to learn, by providing sufficient nutrition and pre-schooling, this will increase confidence level of the child and encourage him/her to focus on studies. Integrated child development scheme should be focused with this in mind.

    Training of teachers is also important, selection of teacher should be merit based, they should be trained to be sensitive towards students and not discourage them based on caste or gender. School curriculum should be student friendly and based on mother tongue, books should use local examples, so that students can connect. I remember, in class 9th nobody in my class new what a train looks like. Students from hills are may not connect with it.
    Focus should shift towards non science and math subjects such and literature and social science or sports to provide more thrust and choice to a student, right now it is shifted too much towards science and math and need to be balanced. Almost everyone aims for doctor or engineer.

    Building local leadership, and devolution of power to the lower level should be the way forward to build institutional capabilities and decentralization. Also encourage, local leaders, civil society and society as a whole to take part in decision making, this will increase a sense of ownership among them and help in funding of the schools which is very important to develop these institutions.

    Today’s Children are future of our nation and it should be the priority of everyone including government, corporate and society as a whole to develop them. Instead of dictating them what to do and how to do things we need to support them to realize their true self, so that they can realize the true potential of the our Nation.

    • Profile photo of Vivek Singh Vivek Singh @viveksingh

      Please check anyone. TIA

  • Profile photo of shriya s shriya s @sshriya183

    Thank you so much. Helped me a lot.

  • Profile photo of Shriya. S Shriya. S @nagalakshmi-m-g

    Education is the basic need of a society. Everything in the society starts and ends with education. An educated nation is the wealthiest nation.
    Education does not rest only within the books nor the school. It’s the culture and civilization that matters. Indian’s have a rich and diverse culture. Protecting our culture is how we should protect our education system. Our culture teaches us moral values which further helps in learning new things.
    We have different boards managing the education system of country. Each day they debate and try to improve the quality of education. But, still they lack in some places. Every system has its own loop holes. Our goal should be to minimize these loop holes since eradicating it is highly unimaginable. We all should be a part of this.
    Education does not mean having a number of degrees and working at an MNC company. It’s about learning something new everyday. It’s about making life easier by the application of it.
    We should educate as many people as possible. This does not mean that we should promote half the population of India to become an engineer or doctor or any other profession that is in trend. We should teach them to excel in their field, in the fields where they already possess skills. For example, we should educate a farmer to grow crops smartly rather than provoking them to change their profession.
    Since the ratio of the population of teachers to that of the population of India is very less we should promote students to take up teaching profession. This can be done by increasing the salaries of teachers and lecturers. Since at the end of the day people want to settle and have a prosperous life.
    By improving the standard of the teaching profession, value for it will gradually increase. Respect for the profession will increase the number of appointments of well trained teachers. Getting into the profession should be challenging and should provide pride to those who are teachers. It should not be taken for granted.
    Our Prime Minister has been putting efforts to improve the facilities in rural areas. The facility for internet has been their prime intention. Providing internet is not enough the affordability is also important. There a many missions intending to do that. Internet helps to educate students.
    The standards of government institutions is a matter to be concerned about. Since our country is facing poverty it a privilege to attain education for most of the children. And getting a quality education is a luxury which half the population cannot afford. So the quality of education should be provided in government schools at low rates.
    Even if we claim to be socially forward there are places where still a girl child is not educated. Educating a girl is still believed as crime in such places. This belief should be eradicated from our society by paying more attention towards the education of girls.
    Education should not be a competition between marketing groups. Institutions should not prioritise money over quality. This has been a major problem in recent times. Every school demands high tuition fees and donations. The government should evaluate schools and set the limit for fee structures.
    Institutions has become a place to exploit money. Buying seats, bribing, harassing for money are common incidences. These problems are supposed to be taken care of by introducing strict laws against these crimes. These are not the ones to be ignored since many parents are caught in debts to fulfill the needs of the institution. Education should not be a burden on the parents nor the students.
    Quality of education should be evaluated by increasing the standards of exams and teaching. Only a group of well trained teachers should be allowed to teach in the institutions. Until they excel in their abilities they should be trained strictly. It should not be a backup career for those who cannot achieve their dreams. Only passionate teachers should be given the opportunity to teach.
    Scholarships should be given for those who deserve to lessen the burden. Scholarships also helps to improve the competition between students.
    Lastly it should be an accessible facility for most of the people.

    • Profile photo of chetan taneja chetan taneja @chetan-taneja1

      Please review my essay on 23 April essay challenge ….. please please

    • Profile photo of Discuss Discuss @discuss

      Sorry for the late reply. You’ve mentioned some good points but your structure can be improved a lot. Consider these points
      Para 2 – ‘Education does not rest only within the books nor the school’ – It’s not a good idea to start by saying what something is not. Also this is incorrect because one aspect of education is the school system and you have to discuss about it.
      Para 3 – It’s a very general point and couldve been used anywhere. Talk specifically about the bodies and the problems. Also this para doesnt fit as it has no link with the 2nd para where you talk about cultural values.
      Para 4 – Same issue as para 2.
      Para 5 – Salaries of teachers is almost as much as IAS officers. Still there is lack of quality.
      Para 7 – Use The Government instead of Prime Minister.

      Sectoral approach to the essay is missing. Primary education has different issues than higher education. Similarly all the issues and solutions are jumbled up. They are not clearly presented.

      Please re-write and mail us.

  • Profile photo of rahul s rahul s @f3machar

    Education can be defined in micro basis ” Powerful weapon to earn a living,transforming into a well cultured citizen & on macro basis ” Powerful weapon of transforming the nation “.
    India is a nation with rich history, right from ancient days education was only meant to high class people, where as middle & low caste people were always neglected. Only the boys had access to education where as girls were only limited to house hold works, even in the present scenario this custom is still practiced in rural India, In the 21 st century for India to be a leading superpower in the world “Indian education system needs a massive overhaul”.It is rightly said that “Educating the girl child is like educating the whole family”, In order to in to achieve this target ” right to education act has been introduced in 2009 under article 21 A , which ensures free and compulsory education to all children of age 6-14 , this will definitely meet the needs of changing the Indian education system. But India is considered to a land of villages and it is the back bone of India , unless the the children of villages are educated india can never will the race , by this we can say India education system needs a massive overhaul at the village level.Many kids don’t even attend schools due financial problems, they are made to work to earn their living, the government should take this up seriously to tackle this problem for this the district administration can step up and make a change. Govt should introduce new policies to attract kids by providing free lunch ,books & basic amenities.This will carter the demands on micro level analysis.India is slowly progressing towards a developed nation from developing nation,it has made huge advancements in the field of science& technology ,we should harness it to the fullest potential. India entrepreneurs should make a move in this regards, by introducing MOOCS( Massive open online courses) so that children who are not able to go to schools can watch the videos and learn themselves, the govt of India has steps in this regard by financing the entrepreneurs. ISRO recently has made a huge name by launching 100+ satellites , the should come up with plans to launch satellites wrt education purposes which will be a revolution within itself. India can also learn from other nations, like USA which has made a revolution in the field of education Lots of online courses organizations like Coursera , Udemy , Udacity , Edx are situated there. India can learn from them as to how the organization works so that Indian government can be introduce the MOOCS to its Kids who re the future drivers of this nation . Modern methods of teaching should be introduced in class by using projectors and screens, kids & students should not be grilled in text books instead they should be taught on more innovative basis, pictorial representation form of education should be introduced at school levels so that children get interested,it is said that videos and pictures have a deep impact on the memories& kids don’t forget them easily… practical studies should be conducted.
    This will definitely have a massive overhaul on the indian education system.
    India is a growing power in Asia region , we have tough competition from China from every angle in order for India to cope up with this threat Indian education needs a massive overhaul. Only when we achieve 100 % literacy India will be called a civilized nation.
    Its not only getting a big overhaul in the indian education system apart from this morals behavior have to be seeded in indian children, which definitely help them to grow into a good human being , considering the rape cases against indian women these days, this step is equally important in getting the indian education system a massive overhaul.. considering the nirbhaya rape case & the accidents that happened in karnataka where people were clicking photos & making videos of a person who has met with an accident & bleeding very badly, if they had the proper education with right moral values they would have got him admitted him in the hospital. So its equally important to get the moral values right from the beginning along with massive overhaul in the indian education system.This would add value to this overall.
    If education does not get a massive overhaul, the poor & uneducated class will very distant from the civilized world in order get parity education plays a very important role in reducing the gap. Education not only gets you the knowledge but also helps you to grow from within.
    Another point to be noted here is that kerala has a literacy rate of 100 % other states can pitch in to learn about how it works from kerala …so as to create a more civilized place.

    Finally Education is a global word where everyone needs to have access to learn and to grow. In order to make a leading superpower ” Indian education system needs a massive overhaul”….

    • Profile photo of Discuss Discuss @discuss

      Hi @f3machar
      Your essay lacks structure. You havent discussed the importance of educations and the problems it faces due to which a massive overhaul is required.

      Points seem to be in a random order. Incorrect english/grammar is very common. “This will definitely have a massive overhaul on the indian education system”, “Finally Education is a global word where everyone needs to have access to learn and to grow” -> these are incorrectly formed sentences.

      I’d suggest you to read few op-eds on education and try to re-write the essay by picking up points directly from there. Don’t worry about the time it takes. We can discuss that version of the essay in detail.

    • Profile photo of rahul s rahul s @f3machar

      tank you for the feed back 🙂 will improve

    • Profile photo of chetan taneja chetan taneja @chetan-taneja1

      Please review my essay also

    • Profile photo of rahul s rahul s @f3machar

      Please give me feed back !

  • Profile photo of chetan taneja chetan taneja @chetan-taneja1


    • Profile photo of Discuss Discuss @discuss

      Chetan, its a good attempt. But it can be improved a lot.
      The structure is alright – you first talk about history, then talk about indicators that tell us our system is not performing well and finally propose solutions. The problem is this structure is very simple and fails to go in depth.
      1. Whats wrong with our present system – access, quality, equity, etc. Our rankings not being up to the mark is an indicator. You have to discuss why its not up to the mark.
      2. What do you propose to fix all these problems. Just merely saying increase spending doesnt help.
      Besides there are some mistakes – RRMRoy, etc were in modern india not medieval. Criticizing the private sector represents an archaic thinking. Try to avoid that.

    • Profile photo of chetan taneja chetan taneja @chetan-taneja1

      Sir please review my essay on 23 April essay challenge ……. please sir

    • Profile photo of chetan taneja chetan taneja @chetan-taneja1

      I will improve sir

    • Profile photo of chetan taneja chetan taneja @chetan-taneja1

      Please scrutinise my essay and give review

This topic contains 16 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of chetan taneja chetan taneja 2 months ago.

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