It is believed that in ancient days, education was imparted orally by sages and scholars. The traditional gurukul structure has been destroyed. The present education system was introduced and founded by the British in the 20th century. Education acts as a main pillar for a nation’s growth. However, the education development index of India stays low at a value of 0.473. There are many criticisms levelled against the current education system which will be discussed briefly in this article.
Firstly, education, being a necessity, has become a highly expensive commodity today. Various institutions ranging from kindergartens to universities charge hefty fees. As per Right to Education Act enacted on August 2009, education must be provided as a free and compulsory service but it generates supernormal profits. The recent three-fold hike in fee structure of IIT can be cited as an example. Most state funded institutions are partially or completely privatized for the lure of quick money. Moreover, there is a strong preconceived notion that privatization provides better amenities for students. Indians also have the ingrained attitude of associating “more money with more value”. This has made the education system a commercial flea market.
Secondly, the current education system widens the equality gap between the rich and the poor. Financially abundant students, unlike the poor, have greater access to resources. Therefore, they are able to tap onto better opportunities and achieve higher social status. System is skewed towards the richer.
In addition, the education system is mainly based upon rote learning. It is considered as one of the major flaws in the current system. Students mug up the contents and regurgitate in the examinations. Therein lies the question of whether the education system instills real learning in them. In the rat race to score high marks, students have lost the real ‘love of learning something new’. It kills their innate nature of curiosity. This, in turn, hampers their creativity and independent thinking skills. Innovation can never bloom from such a stagnant system. Creativity and innovation are the major drivers of the current knowledge-based economy.
An efficient education system should teach the value of life-long learning instead of instant gratification from achieving high marks. Time management, stress management, leadership and entrepreneurial skills aids in the life-long learning process. These skills are vital to face the cut throat competition in today’s world.
India is one of the largest producer of engineers in the world. Yet the quality of engineers is quite poor and by some estimates only 7-8% of engineering graduates are employable. Parents have a myopic view that such career options are the most viable ones. Most educational institutions keep their primary motive as a business and focus on having a one hundred percent job placement rate. This has forced students with the niche for fields like Business, Sports and Culture to take a back seat. The inner potential of such students need to be identified by the system at the earliest. A wide range of career opportunities are present in these fields as well. Equal importance needs to be given to all, otherwise a nation’s growth would be lopsided.
All the parties involved -educators, parents, students and the government have to work hand in hand to achieve a holistic and affordable education system.
“EVERY CHILDREN IS AN ARTIST.THE PROBLEM IS HOW TO REMAIN AN ARTIST ONCE HE GROWS UP” – Pablo Picasso
 Anil K. Rajvanshi. What ails our engineering education. Navhind Times. 27 September 2016