Education overhaul


By Royan Ranjan, INN, Chennai, @infodeaofficial;

You don’t need to wrack your brains to wonder why none of India’s top universities or colleges don’t make it to the numero uno list globally. In the mad rush for quantity over quality, the education system in India, experts suggest, has missed the bus.

There is a real-time need to overhaul our education system in totality, right from the word go. A legacy of Macaulay’s minutes of the 1850s, India’s top universities do not find a mention in the top 50 best institutes globally.

Experts say that we need a uniform  system in the country, where courses are outlined by a common pool of experts who are career educationists themselves. This uniform system could be inspired by countries like Germany and Japan, where the onus is on practical knowledge rather than rote memory-based educational modules.

This will not only help students to a great length but will also give them enough opportunities to become economically independent. “Institutions of excellence like the IITs, IIMs, NITs and their ilk don’t have a system at present where every final year student or group comes up with innovative ideas or projects which are related with the practical aspects,” said a former professor. There is also a dire need of a coherent national policy that keeps in mind all technological updates occurring globally in the realm of modern education.

There’s also the issue of quality over quantity. Ravi Viswanathan,  president (growth markets), Tata Consultancy Services,  said, “India’s educational institutions are not enough in numbers to teach the mass. Whatever strength we have now is not sufficient enough to produce enough skilled, professional workers”.

Apart from this, students should be encouraged to choose subjects of discipline based on their preferences. It would be helpful if the subjects chosen are linked to practical issues or topics. Any computer science student should be allowed to go to a  chemistry lab and build upon their interests.

Experts opine that schooling should not be confined to the classroom or the cosy confine of the home. Course curriculum should be based on industry advice. Industry and government should collaborate to set up such infrastructure for students. Only then can any discussion begin on making an effort to break into the top 50 institutes of the world.

IITan Dr. E. Muralidharan said that the Centre should work with universities in tandem on a uniform education policy. The new policy should to be built in consonance with the requirements of the industry and the requisite infrastructure should be created by a collaboration of the government and industry. As they say, change is the only constant.

By Editor