Indian education system has always been somewhat twisted, it has major drawbacks. No amount of changes like CCE and whatever has been coming up since I left school in 2008 will do it any good. I might not be an expert but when I judge from a student’s eye, I know something is horribly wrong with this system. Why do I say this? I will slowly and steadily unfurl my reasons in this post.
I will narrate an incident which I happen to remember from the time when I was a naive second grader. My teacher had given the class an essay titled “My Daily Routine”, she had dictated us that essay, and we were to narrate the same essay in the class. The kids who spoke before me, quoted the exact words of the teacher’s essay. When my turn came I probably thought it was cool to throw in some facts from my own routine, so instead of being a parrot I decided to narrate my own version of the essay. Lo and behold!! I had gone horribly wrong, in thinking it was cool to have my own version. The class laughed, the teacher ridiculed and that is where the creativity of a seven year old died. I was too young to understand, there was nothing wrong in being differing from the crowd. Until and unless you are right there is absolutely nothing WRONG! I could not, despite wanting to, differ from the teacher, I wasn’t wrong, it was something very small but the teacher refused to accept something that was original.
Another incident, this one more vivid from the faded pages of my memory. Fast forward to second grade to ninth. Again an English class, we were reading the famous and now my favorite poem, The Road not Taken by Robert Frost. The teacher raised a question, ” how many of you will follow the road not taken?” I raised my arm up high, sure my class-mates would do the same, I looked around. To my utter disbelief I was the solitary one who dared to prefer the road not taken. The bigger shock came when the teacher thought it was always a better idea to take the road more traveled upon rather than treading on the so called road not taken. She had totally killed the essence of the poem. This time again the teacher had discouraged her pupils from being creative.
These are just two examples I can recall but they are more than enough to be alibis of the fact that Indian Education system curbs creativity. There is no room for creativity, it was and will always be the greatest promoter of rote learning. I know there will be a lot of fingers raised when I state that, but folks one odd student from each school cannot change this fact. The majority is still running in the rat race trying to bell the cat. I don’t know how CCE works, but I see no change. All I gather from the few respected educators, my mother being one of them, the entire situation is the same with little change.
If I am in touch with school education anymore, it is because of my mother, a veteran in this area, the things she tells me about her students are somewhat disheartening. They are not empathetic towards each other or the society, they call each other names, differentiate each other on the basis of skin color. Most of this is not new, we have probably all done that but why can’t we change it? What good is it learning math when you make fun of the kid from economically weaker section in your class? If instead of helping a classmate with a physical disability you jeer at him, what use is your education? The kids have forgotten their moral values and the educators their duty to inculcate those values in them.
Before asking these young people to pick up books and teaching them the alphabets we need to first teach them how to be humane, education is certainly important but while imparting education we mustn’t forget the basics like the need to respect fellow human beings. This is where the system goes wrong, it focuses on rote learning, scores and competition. I think there are many other factors where the system might be wrong but right now these two things need an immediate change. The fire in creative minds should never be doused and the students should not be just taught from the books but should be given some real life lessons. I strongly believe if we need a better country to live in, a country with a bright future, creative minds and empathetic leaders we need to revolutionize the education system.