Voice of System:- Education System (Part 1)

“Our university system is, in many parts, in a state of disrepair…In almost half the districts in the country, higher education enrollments are abysmally low, almost two-third of our universities and 90 per cent of our colleges are rated as below average on quality parameters… I am concerned that in many states university appointments, including that of vice-chancellors, have been politicised and have become subject to caste and communal considerations, there are complaints of favouritism and corruption.”
– Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2007

This is what our Prime Minister has to say to our University Sytem or Higher Education system,which is the third largest after USA and China.However it is still far behind them,but than again due to our countries liberal democracy.We being the most corrupt and showing most resistant to rules together added with the fact that our country is the second most populated country.And to add more woes our country has 42% of the total Indian population (456 million) below the global poverty line of $1.25.True our economy has increased but the increase is uneven,with the urban sectors or those “white collar men” benefitting the most.Poverty rates in rural Orissa (43%) and rural Bihar (41%) are among the world’s most extreme.But since poverty is the most in rural areas (75 %),the education of rural india is quite different and not much to effect our true education system which resides in the heart of the next generation :- The Ever So Powerful Middle Class.True our litercy rate is 66 % but the youth litercy rate is 82 % which is well above the global litercy rate of 75 %.What i am trying to say till now with the facts and figures is that education in our country resides with the Middle Class,from low to high,and chances are if you are reading this blog you are from the Middle Class.And By class i mean ability to afford and make decisions regarding the current economic capability.Ofcourse i dont and will never discriminate people because discrimination and biasism is the root cause of our talents not coming to fore,me having experienced that.So this article is written keeping the education system of the middle class in mind,so whenever i say people or i generallise the term,assume its the middle class.As for Rural education its quite a milestone and definitely a neccessity to purge the poor people of the hazards and webs of bureaucratic missues and politics.The several Community based programmes in villages are about time to forsee the development of Rural India where true India resides.The more the rural india be educated,the more we can gain from our liberal democracy,and the more we see development.

A brief overview of our education system:-

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) is the apex body for school education in India.The NCERT provides support and technical assistance to a number of schools in India and oversees many aspects of enforcement of education policies.Other than NCERT there are various other governing bodies of education in India,like the State Government Boards (in which majority of students are enrolled,particurlary rural and low middle class),Central Board of Secondary Education (the preferred board in urban ares and generally the entire middle class),Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) board (also prevalent,although effects less than CBSE),The National Institute of Open Schooling,International schools affiliated to the International Baccalaureate Programme and/or the Cambridge International Examinations,Islamic Madrasah schools(whose boards are controlled by local state governments, or autonomous, or affiliated with Darul Uloom Deoband).The overall education is divided into three parts:- Primary (age 14 or class 9th),Secondary (9th to 12th…a vital education period),Tertiary or Higher Education (on which the emphasis of this article lies upon as its is the choices of our Higher Education that makes or breaks our job).
Primary education has been laid a lot of emphasis,with government banning child labour till 14 (ofcourse like all government bans not effectively implemented…go see Faridabad or see the local hotels besides our National Highways).Gross Enrollment Ratio has been increased 93–95% for the last three years in some states.(some only).Although internationally the primary education lags far behind.The Primary Government school are in pitiable conditions with broken chairs and tables,lack of staffs and teachers,and lack of proper funding.As they say Freedom has its compromises.However true staistics of actual children going to school are shocking.World Bank statistics found that fewer than 40 percent of adolescents in India attend secondary schools.The Economist reports that half of 10-year-old rural children could not read at a basic level, over 60% were unable to do division, and half dropped out by the age 14.Thats Rural Indian for us.So separated and distant,its like our country has three very distinct class.
Moving to Secondary Education,its most important because the interests developed here determines the choices of higher education,and the eruption of the talent and our interest comes in secondary education.Its importance is also emphasised by the fact that in our secondary education we are in what we call “Teenager”.Its in our secondary education that Outside influences pose a big impact in our character.The basic building block,the way we see the world,our interaction with the world all comes here.We actually “grow” up in this phase.Peers are formed here,Peer pressure also are formed here,our minds get bigger,we learn to make decisions,we are swayed by the corporates,every action happens here in 9th to 12th of India’s schools.We are finally moulded to be ready to take the last phase of education to be finally moulded into contributable part of the society.While Government funded institutions are the same as the Primary,yet some of them are noteworthy,particularly Kendriya Vidyalaya project initated for the Central Government employees children (like me).
The Tertiary Education,or the higher education,is the last phase of Indian Education.Based on our interests of Secondary Education,we choose our colleges.While some courses (Vocational courses,especially for rural youths coming to citites) are done after the 10th itself (eg:- Polytechnic,Diploma etc.),most of the admission to colleges happens after class 12th.As of 2009, India has 20 central universities, 215 state universities, 100 deemed universities, 5 institutions established and functioning under the State Act, and 13 institutes which are of national importance.Other institutions include 16000 colleges, including 1800 exclusive women’s colleges, functioning under these universities and institutions.The main governing body at the tertiary level is the University Grants Commission (India), which enforces its standards, advises the government, and helps coordinate between the centre and the state.Accreditation for higher learning is overseen by 12 autonomous institutions established by the University Grants Commission.
Its here that the central government shines,with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) being the most noteworthy in the world. IIT graduates of India have also contributed significantly to the global software industry, with an estimated 30000 graduates employed in the United States as of 2006.The emphasis of Higher Education has always been on science and technology,as technical education was always the part of our five year plans undertaken by Pandit Nehru Ji to create pool of scientifically inclined manpower.All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) established in 1987 through an act of the Indian parliament is the apex body for technical education.
Now its the Higher education,or rather Higher Technical education that government shines.Read on further as it has been dealt in detail.

Private vs Public

Noone wants to study in Public schools.They lack infrastructure,their faculties are mostly absent,they lack updated syllabus,and the environment created is not good.A study of 188 government-run primary schools found that 59% of the schools had no drinking water and 89% had no toilets.2003-04 data by National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration revealed that only 3.5% of primary schools in Bihar and Chhattisgarh had toilets for girls. In Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh, rates were 12-16%.One study found out that 25% of public sector teachers and 40% of public sector medical workers were absent during the survey. Among teachers who were paid to teach, absence rates ranged from 15% in Maharashtra to a shocking 71% in Bihar. Only 1 in nearly 3000 public school head teachers had ever dismissed a teacher for repeated absence.A study on teachers by Kremer etc. found that ‘only about half were teaching, during unannounced visits to a nationally representative sample of government primary schools in India’.
Because of poor quality of public education, 27% (which almost comprises the middle and rich class,a testimonial of the true India) of Indian children are privately educated.Private schools provide often superior results at a fraction of the unit cost of government schools.Private schools cover the entire curriculum and offer extra-curricular activities such as science fairs, general knowledge, sports, music and drama.Most teachers in private schools are female, graduates and reasonably experienced.The competition in the school market is intense, yet most schools make profit.
Even the poorest often go to private schools despite the fact that government schools are free. A study found that 65% of schoolchildren in Hyderabad’s slums attend private schools.
Private schools have that distinct authority,their proper infrastructure,and their better results which “attract” the school children,ofcourse their fee charge are resonably high,but still nowhere near the US school and college fees,a plus point.
And yet the irony is when we go to colleges,the competion increases like anything for Government colleges.Also competition is supreme in getting into engineering government colleges.It dazzles me.

Engineering : The hyper hyped

Getting into government colleges is tough,and getting into engineering government colleges is the toughest.Our system has two public level exams at undergraduate levels,comparison to SAT.These exams are called Boards and are gateways for higer education to various streams.First Board is conducted right after class 10th and second after 12th.Both Boards are very important exams for Indian students as on their marks,read my words:- MARKS basis alone we are eligible to choose various degrees or go to various colleges or get that “reputation” in the stangant society of ours.(which boast more on Indian culture and yet try to adopt the “western” theme…pretty confusing).Both these Boards has high level of competition,mostly in CBSE as most of the private schools are affiliated to CBSE and most of students study in Private schools.But Boards are nothing compared to the pinnacle of competion of our system:- The Engineering Competitive exams (like IIT Joint Entrance Exam,JEE or All India Engineering Entrance Exam,AIEEE etc.,neccesity for getting admission into any of the government engineering colleges)
After class 12th (and 10th also but very less follow engineering after 10th),students have pleothra of options:- Humanities,Arts,Economics,Computers,Law,Engineering,Pure Science (BSC),Medical and list is endless..But,many or rather i should add MOST of them take this stream:- ENGINEERING.Such is the hype of engineering and MBA (Masters in Business Administration) or i should clearly say the magic words:- IIT + IIM = “so called succees” that students and mostly parents are completly clouded,blinded and mystified by this wave of hypes.Everywhere you go,people,parents and students talk engineering.Everywhere you go,others ask about you,and when you say anything other than engineering,you can surely see that distinct “huh?” in their eyes.A sense of superioty arises in engineering students,a distinct pride,making them feel they are the best,especially the IITians. (Again there are many many exceptions,i am talking in generalised terms).Their sense of humour,their way of talking and all,everything denotes that.Even as i write this,my mom is talking to another aunti and the topic:- Engineering.Where this hype came from i dont know,but its here and its our very veins of our society throbbing.People say that after Engineering and MBA,you get lots of money,because you have that technical side too covered up.Thats rubbish.Truth is MBA has NOTHING to do with Engineering,go to website of any of the IIMs and download the syllabus,do the same for any of the IITs website,and inform me if you find anything common.On what grounds has Heat and Thermodynamics has to do with Economic Theories and 4Ps etc.?Sure engineering is good option,it has good payscales in comparison to other streams,MBA too is the better options around if payscales are considered.But it doesnt means that we sacrifice our genuine interests of studies.But thats what parents do.They force (push or rather threathen) their children to pursure engineering,heck right from tender ages of 14-15,so much is the parental pressure,and combine that with the “peer” pressure any child of that age HAS to crackdown to sacrifice their interests and pursure engineering.Now me again talking in terms of the emergent Middle class.Exceptions are there,some students do take Arts,Economics or most notably Medical,but majority has always been inclined towards Engineering.Rich people might take BBA and MBA to pursure father’s business,rural people might pursure Arts to take the UPSC,many others go to reputed Delhi University to pursure teaching careers or science researchs.Even Indian government has established IISER (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research) for Scientific research,a significant step to dampen Engineering hype,but still truth is sadly most of them takes Engineering (its underground that many students who are going to IISER are because they havent got into any IITs,not because they want to pursue Science as genuine interests,same goes for students taking up science streams in Delhi University).Again you cant really blame the parents and society much here,because such was definitely not the trend back in our grandpa generations.At that time,due to our government following a “communism” inclined policy,with lots of restrictions in private companies,government jobs were the best jobs,comparitive to the Engineering jobs now.Heck such was that time,many Engineering graduates (including my distant grandfather too) were jobless even after taking their degrees from IIT Kharagpur.It was when the government released the tenders that some of the engineering graduates found respite.But still at that time,doing Engineering from IITs never made any difference,people still gave various Civil services exams to be finally employeed under Indian Government.My father too qualified IIT,BIT Mesra,and Roorkee,but father took admission in BSC course in Bhaghalpur college and gave the SCRA (Special Class Railway Apprentice exam,exam to get a job as Class 1 railway officer right after graduation…very reputed at that time) and qualified in that to get into Indian Railways (many students used to do that at that time).But eventually,even in my father’s time the engineering hype was slowly increasing.And right after the policy renewal of our government in 1991 when the restrictions on Private Practices were removed and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi inviting various Multi National Companies to India,the engineering rose in height and dimensions.Particular of Rajiv Gandhi to bring the IT sector in our country to trigger the “IT boom”,triggered the Engineering and MBA boom in our country.The rising development of engineering and MBA as a career came in the this decade alone,when AIEEE exams were started by CBSE,IIT combined many of other colleges like Roorkee and BHU,and several coaching institutes for Engineering competitive exams,earlier relatively less known,came into the forbeing.One recent example is the city of KOTA in Rajasthan.What used to be a sleepy town became a mecca of coaching when BANSAL classes rose into popularity after their success of coaching.So many students from all different corners go to that city to take tutions for engineering exams,it has become a trend.One in every 5 engineering freshers in our country,particulary in government colleges admit from being to KOTA.This hype,hence is the root cause for polluting the minds of the clueless class 10th passed students who go after the herd mentality without any proper planning of their life and their ambitions and interests and what will happen if they take the steps.Its like Mark Antony among us,the engineering,guiding the mob of our students.

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~ by gravito on July 12, 2009.

4 Responses to “Voice of System:- Education System (Part 1)”

  1. This blog is friggin awsome!!!

  2. Nice blog

  3. Thanks,this is the state of our education system in India sadly 😦

  4. and thanks India Colleges for putting my blog

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