It has been reported that 26 students commit suicide in every 24 hours in India. Twenty per cent of Indian students show signs of mental disorder, out of which 2 to 5 per cent have serious concerns like autism and bipolar disorder. These are the results of imposing unbearable pressure on the students by their parents and family members to perform in examinations. When tender students fail to fulfill the aspirations of their family members they decide to take dreadful steps like suicide.
Most of the time Indian education system should be blamed for the hardship being faced by the students. The education system we are following at present was created by British rulers and it is based on rote learning. The reason behind creating such a system was to produce factory workers. During the period of colonization, the white people were busy in establishing factories and industries at a fast pace in their own country. Therefore, they created such an education system which enabled people of their colonies only to work following their orders. They never wanted Indians to work in the high posts. Unfortunately, instead of application-based learning, India is still stuck in the same education system imposed by the British in the bygone days. As a result, too many students are struggling to learn because they do not feel motivated in their cumbersome and boring syllabus.
An American psychologist Howard Gardner introduced eight different intelligences to bring out a broader range of human potential in children and adults. These intelligences are- Linguistic Intelligence, Logical-mathematical Intelligence, Spatial Intelligence, Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence, Musical Intelligence, Interpersonal Intelligence, Intrapersonal Intelligence and Naturalist Intelligence. By introducing the intelligences, Gardner supports the idea of placing equal attention on individuals who are blessed with other intelligences: the artists, architects, musicians, naturalists, designers, dancers, therapists, entrepreneurs, and others who enrich the world which we live in. The Indian education system should also lay emphasis on encouraging the students to opt for other careers instead of focusing on some limited numbers of careers like medical and engineering. Albert Einstein says, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Our educational institutions don’t have adequate facilities to help the students explore which career they should choose and what kind of intelligences they are blessed with. In the preface to the 2011 revised edition of his book ‘Out of our Minds’, Sir Ken Robinson observes that ‘The more complex the world becomes, the more creative we need to be to meet its challenges.’ With the passage of time, the world is becoming more complex and for survival in this highly complex and competitive world we have to solve the problems in a creative way. Therefore, our education system also should focus on helping the students to face the challenges and to solve the problem in a creative way. Educational thought leader Yong Zhao warns, “National standards and national curriculum, enforced by high-stakes testing, can at best teach students what is prescribed….As a result, students talented in other areas never have the opportunity to discover those talents. Students with broader interests are discouraged, not rewarded. The system results in a population with similar skills in a narrow spectrum of talents. But especially in today’s society, innovation and creativity are needed in many areas, some as yet undiscovered.”
Although, India is trying hard to achieve the goal of free and equal access of education for all, it lags behind in providing quality education to its students. In India, education has been treated as formality. Educational curriculum in the developed countries focus on everything taking from arts to sports along with studies. The USA has arts, sports, music and theatre in syllabus. But, Indian education system emphasizes merely on studies. In India, students are required to memorize facts and figures. Thousands of equations of mathematics, birth dates and death dates of freedom fighters are being fed to the students. And in foreign countries knowledge is imparted through practical implementation. Educational institutions in India are also facing the problem of crisis of teacher. In a report of World Bank published about managing teacher workforce in India, it was highlighted that approximately there are 1,30,000 single teacher schools in India. About 11 lakh teachers currently teaching in schools are not properly trained.
In India, education has been emerging as a business for many. Taking from privatization of education to tuitions and coaching institutes; education has been chosen by many as a source of generating good money. Many politicians are also involved in this business. Instead of laying emphasis on providing quality education, all are busy in using education as a weapon to increase their own bank balance. Although huge amount of funds are allocated to education sector no fruitful result is being seen only due to the faulty education system. The government has allocated Rs 93,848 crore which is 3.3 per cent of the total budget expenditure for the education sector in this year, over Rs 10,000 crore hike from the revised estimate Rs 83, 626 crore last year. In spite of gradual hike in the allocation of funds in education sector, it is quite failure to meet the challenges faced by the Indian students.
It is a matter of concern that India is relatively young as a nation with around 28 million youth population being added every year. More than 50 per cent of its population is below the age 25 and more than 65 per cent are aged below 35. In 2020, the average age of an Indian is expected to be 29 years, while it will be 37 for China and 48 for Japan. India’s high youth population will be resulted into disadvantage if the education system of this country does not have potentiality to produce skilled individuals.
In ancient time, like the culture and tradition, India was also rich in education. Many scholars like Aryabhatta, Brahmagupta were born in India. India is the country where zero was invented for the first time. Plastic surgery was also conducted first in India. Albert Einstein said, “We owe a lot to the ancient Indians, teaching us how to count, without which most modern scientific discoveries would have been impossible.” It’s a matter of shame for all the Indians that even after having such a rich educational background in the past, we are still unable to reform our present education system. It’s a need of the hour to ponder over the matter.