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Indias present economic standing - both in its limited successes and its myriad failures - is to a large extent a reflection of its education system. We take pride in the success of a few individuals who pass out from the elitist institutions in the country. The million others who have succumbed to the mediocrity of the education system are lost in the crowd.
If we look at some of the statistics, we see that:
Although there is 90% enrolment at the primary level, even after 5 years of schooling , students fail basic reading, writing and arithmetic skills.
The dropout rate till students reach high school is about 90%
Of the total number of students who complete graduation or post graduation, the percentage of students who are employable is quite dismal.
Stark statistics reveal the oversupply of raw graduates and the undersupply of employable graduates.
If we look at flaws in the system, we can see that the main reason for these failures could be attributed to:
Politics and Bureaucracy
The system has become ineffective, inefficient, and irrelevant.
BLUE OCEAN OF EDUCATION:
Thus if we look at it, the education sector in our country is currently in the red ocean category, with all institutions trying to fit in the same mould. In order to create an uncontested space of equal opportunity and holistic learning, some of the factors in the ERRC grid that can be included is as follows:
Examinations are just a means of passing to move on to the next level. The knowledge gained is not effectively measurable by the level of examinations conducted.
Students also have difficulty applying the knowledge for practical use because the emphasis is to encourage memory work and discourage creativity and innovation.
The method of conducting lectures in most institutions seems to be pretty outdated with the lectures mostly being one sided. The number of students in most of the classes is too huge and this leads to the lectures being a monologue rather than a dialogue between the teacher and the student. The lecture method also assumes that all students come with the same level of knowledge and understanding about the subject and have equal interest to know more about the same
Curriculum focussed attuned to students' interests:
The curriculum taught in schools should be more upto date and relevant to what the students would like to learn rather than what the faculty is comfortable teaching. There should be different modes of learning, different teaching tools and techniques used. The curriculum should be inclusive rather than exclusive. It should cater to students with different learning capabilities and should also address both academic as well as non-academic student interests. The focus should be on practical approach as much as giving importance to sound theoretical background of subjects.
The curricula should be flexible and cut across disciplines with emphasis on learning through collaboration. Problem Solving and Decision Making are key parameters that should be inculcated in the curricula as well.
Industry Relevance of Courses offered:
The irrelevance of most of the courses taught in institutions across the country brings to light a very important issue of unemployable pass outs who have completed relevant degrees of education without any relevant value addition to themselves that would make them industry ready and employable.
Practical and industry experience must go hand-in-hand with the theories and knowledge acquired in the classrooms.
Not all students are equipped to do well in rote learning or regurgitating stuff in written examinations. There needs to be alternative modes of evaluation to assess students other than examinations. Student-centred assessments such as use of portfolios, matrices, peer assessments and personal reflections which offer greater flexibility and creativity for evaluation suited to each student's learning style, multiple intelligences, analytical capabilities and interests.
E-learning allows learning through new applications making use of web technologies, social networking and video-conferencing. New forms of media and technology could enhance the learning experience.
Nurturing Skills / Competencies:
Lecturers must acquire the necessary skills to nurture learning and must learn to relinquish their role as the authority of his area of study and take on the role of mentor and facilitator of learning.
Lecturers must be able to develop a holistic learning experience for the student that helps him become a well rounded individual in the realm of overall education.
Research Based Learning:
Research findings should not be disseminated amongst academic peers only in obscure or highly dedicated academic journals. Students can also benefit when lecturers utilise or apply the findings in the classroom using live or real world projects.
Inclusive rather than exclusive entry:
To accommodate students of different abilities (physical and non-physical), capabilities, talents, experiences and intelligences who would otherwise not benefit from the democratisation of knowledge.
The changing global trends in technology, career, models of education and rapid development of knowledge will require universities to respond to demands for entry through new entry channels which may include students without formal school qualifications.
This form of entry should be available to those who are disadvantaged or have disabilities as well as those who are gifted.
Freely available Open Courses:
This democratises knowledge and education by making university courses available to the public free-of-charge. It allows students to access information and courses that they could not otherwise afford.
This will add economic value in a sustainable way to the university and the students by offering certification as an option for students at the completion of the course.
Curriculum based on student interests
Industry relevance of course
Research Based Learning
Inclusive rather than exclusive entry
Freely Available Open Courses