Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Education in India

We have seen best and the worst of higher education in India. The long march of educated unemployed knocking at the doors that do not open. The frustrated youth who find everything uninspiring – the campus, the teaching fraternity, the country’s leadership and later that job that has nothing to do with what they have learnt. They are in that job just because they do not get anything else.

A post graduate in physics becomes a clerk in the state electricity board. A post graduate in arts becomes conductor. Bulk of graduates and post graduates in humanities and science in India take to professions that has no link to what they have been taught. There are cases of engineers joining Indian Police Service. Men and women from professional courses have joined all India services and some of them are doing well too. But what about the loss to the nation when they have wasted their talents of specialization?

And what about the best? And we can be proud of those boys and girls who have hitched their wagon to a star from our elite institutions – the Indian institute of technology, the Indian institute of management and some of our medical and engineering colleges. While some believe that merit alone should be criterion for higher education, other argue that merit is not connected among the privileged .There are countless meritorious students who are unable of higher education due to economic and social constraints.

Here are some immortal words uttered by Dr Zakir Hussain, the 3rd president of India “Please remember that education does not end with graduation”. There is profound wisdom “Look world I have completed my education, I’m BA.” The world replied “Sit down young man and now learn the rest of the alphabets!”
According to TNN, across the world, India is seen as an education powerhouse — based largely on the reputation of a few islands of academic excellence such as the IITs. But scratch the glossy surface of our education system and the picture turns seriously bleak.

Fifteen-year-old Indians who were put, for the first time, on a global stage stood second to last, only beating Kyrgyzstan when tested on their reading, math and science abilities. India ranked second last among the 73 countries that participated in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), conducted annually to evaluate education systems worldwide by the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) Secretariat. The survey is based on two-hour tests that half a million students are put through.

China's Shanghai province, which participated in PISA for the first time, scored the highest in reading. It also topped the charts in mathematics and science." More than one-quarter of Shanghai's 15 year olds demonstrated advanced mathematical thinking skills to solve complex problems, compared to an OECD average of just 3%," noted the analysis. The states of Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh, showpieces for education and development, were selected by the central government to participate in PISA, but their test results were damning.

15-yr-old Indians 200 points behind global topper

Tamil Nadu and Himachal, showpieces of India's education and development, fared miserably at the Programme for International Student Assessment, conducted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Secretariat. An analysis of the performance of the two states showed: In math, considered India's strong point, they finished second and third to last, beating only Kyrgyzstan.
When the Indian students were asked to read English text, again Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh were better than only Kyrgyzstan. Girls were better than boys. The science results were the worst. Himachal Pradesh stood last, this time behind Kyrgyzstan. Tamil Nadu was slightly better and finished third from the bottom.

Clearly, India will have to ramp up its efforts and get serious about what goes on in its schools. "Better educational outcomes are a strong predictor for future economic growth," OECD secretary-general Angel Gurria."While national income and educational achievement are still related, PISA shows that two countries with similar levels of prosperity can produce very different results. This shows that an image of a world divided neatly into rich and well-educated countries and poor and badly-educated countries is now out of date."

Shaheen Mistry, CEO of Teach for India programme, said, "I am glad that now there is data that lets people know how far we still have to go."

Vitasta Ganjoo


  1. :)
    Reality on Face...

    this one was impressive, well researched and described...:)

  2. This should be the worst reality of our education system.....
    Only we will be able to correct it.
    Nice Vitasta ........
    Awesome description on the topic....
    Keep it up.

  3. A decent description!


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