Education system in India is similar to that of various other South Asian countries. It consists of three major components- general education, vocational and technical, which till liberalisation of economy were public domain, i.e. they were State’s responsibility class grading divided education system from Primary level to Master level into 17 years. Institutional set-up such as university is called the basic infrastructure which is determinant of educational development.
Since the liberalisation of economy, the education sector has been opened up for the private sector and for the joint venture investment. Before 1990 when education sector was State-led which was thought good but the limited resources’ allocation to education had limited its growth projects.
This contributed to the emergence of the free educational market keeping the consumers at the centre with choices of quality, quantity and other parameters. However, pattern of annual examination is said to be critically controversial for effective measurement of performance, quality and standard. Comparatively, semester examination is better in this regard and it is gradually becoming popular.
It is next to impossible to judge the efficiency of a student in a subject within the stipulated time of three hours. It is a highly debatable issue and much has been said on this system. Besides, the sincerity or otherwise of our teachers cannot be guaged by any yardstick. This is clear from the growth of coaching institutions and the increasing number of students joining them or rising trend of private tuitions.
Again, the greatest irony is that the best teachers are supposed to be employed in government schools, while people send their wards to the private schools. A sense of accountability is completely lacking on the part of the teachers. The worst victims of the whole system are the unfortunate students who are caught in a situation of complete chaos and confusion.
One of the major drawbacks of our present system of education in India is that it gives our students the impression that their aim in life is to pass the university examinations, instead of becoming a man of good character and sound temperament. This mentality has many socio-economic evils rooted in it. Naturally, the products of such education system do not contribute to the development of the country, but add to its woes.
The greatest drawback of present education system lies in the fact that there is a wide gap between education and its marketability. Our education system does not groom young men and women in a way that they can meet the requirement of job market. Every educated person wants to be a quill-driven, and only a few lucky ones are able to secure jobs in government or Private offices.
A majority of these young educated persons have to struggle hard to fulfil their basic requirement which, obviously, brings in them a deep sense of frustration and confusion. Sometimes these frustrated youth come into the contact of anti-social elements leading them to involve in anti- national, disruptive and destructive activities.
Our secondary educational system is equally plagued with problems which have negative bearing on the education system. It merely acts as preparation ground for university education. Besides, lack of uniformity in examination evaluation system, variation in syllabus and pattern of education, the syllabus itself is unwieldy and often redundant, not in accordance with the changing socio-economic scenario.
Of course, our education system is not indigenous. It was in fact drawn by the British who actually wanted to exploit the intellectual resources of the intelligent people for their own benefits. In other words, they were merely interested in producing a class of officers who may efficiently carry on their plans and programmes and implement them with sincerity. The Britishers, however, succeeded in their mission.
This class later becomes an integral part of their administrative set-up and very loyal to the foreign forces. This privileged class had nothing in common with vast majority of illiterate people who were looked down upon by them. In course of time, they lost charm and utility, when the country was faced with unemployment problem. But it is really an irony that the country after gaining independence did not realise the need to bring about changes in the education system in conformity with the needs of a new society which got independence after centuries of slavery. Unfortunately, it has not been changed even today.
The remedial measures which are required to be taken should be started from primary level. It should be more creative and interesting, giving more emphasis to oral and practical learning. Syllabus should be fashioned in this way that it looks enjoyable and not gruesome burden. Children’s national curiosity should be aroused and it should be satisfied logically and rationally so that it may encourage their sense of learning. At the secondary level a pattern of common entrance test should be introduced in which merit should constitute main consideration and everyone should be given equal opportunity.
Though this system has been started in some States, the need is to make it uniform throughout the country. This could reduce the anxiety about the unevenness of marks offered by different high-level schools. Besides, uniformity should also be followed in the examination evaluation system and in syllabus as well. An independent autonomous body should be formed to guide, monitor and supervise all these things. Furthermore, there should be a proper performance appraisal system for the faculty members. Accountability should be laid down on the teachers in case of poor performance.
The system of private tuition should be banned completely, because the teachers having secured increased pay packets from an obliging government do not take interest in performing their duties with full sincerity and devotion.
In addition, commercialisation of education should be stopped. The evil practice of charging capitation fee is an open manifestation of this in which the highest payer is assured a place in educational institution of high repute, paying little attention to merit.
Resource constraints constitute a major problem of an education system. Investment in education is a core factor of educational development. Of course, the growth of education investment leads to good performance of education. Hence, education investment should be given top priority. No doubt, a good, sound, realistic education system with a scientific base can eliminate want, hunger, diseases and other ills of society. Education can be sensed as an instrument of enlightened social service and solid cultural attainments.