Challenges of Educating the Educated
As of 2018, India’s population has risen to 1.3 billion and we can expect by 2030 we will cross China to become world’s largest in terms of population, there are positive of this mass population too. As you can talk about the average age where the rest of the world is aging, India is a very young country with an average age of 28, where Japan has 40, USA 38, China 37. Although our population growth is off the charts, we have got a steady and strong young workforce ready to do anything.
But, despite having this 487 million workforce, being 5th largest economy, fastest growing economy, 2nd largest army etc. does not add up why we are still lacking behind. Why do not us a have a proper management of the school, college, universities? These questions remain unanswered. The challenges are enormous and are increasing but it can be resolved only through proper and applied education. I have specifically mentioned here ‘Applied Education’. Till now up to high schools, we have learned many formulas, theorems etc. But have we ever applied in our life, maybe 10% of you thought about this, 1% of the 10% of you have actually tried applying it. All in vain right. Why? Because we do not have the proper training to apply it in real life. In Russia, every high school student knows how to assemble and disassemble an AK47 rifle and AK series rifles. In Israel, every high school student has military training and has served in the military. In South Korea, it is mandatory to give services in armed forces before turning 28. What those all add to that they have proper knowledge and training despite many of them not having a college degree but they still can face the challenges given by the life.
If I will ask you to choose your favorite institution many of you will have your own choice like IITs, IIMs etc. these are tending to be the island of excellence floating in the sea of mediocrity. The average Indian higher education institution is simply not to the quality that we would like to see. There are about 16,000 colleges in India. Our leaders promise to build a world-class institution, how many? 10? Tell me, can 10 institutes work for more than 130 million students? The answer is very clear and is not needed to tell you. Indian higher education is in need of radicle reforms.
A focus on enforcing higher standards of transparency, strengthening of vocational and doctoral education pipeline and professionalization of sector through stronger institutional responsibility would help in reprioritizing efforts and be working around the complexities. The rise of the IT sector and engineering education in India has boxed students’ into linear paths without giving them a chance to explore and discover their passions. Many students are going for engineering after their high school without even knowing what engineering really means, thus killing not only their dreams and passion but also their natural talent thus becoming an average student. This is the very reason why our most colleges in India are not up to the mark where it should be.
There was a time when if a child does not go to school, it was his/her parent’s fault, now if a child is not in the school it is the state’s fault. If the government is taking this much of responsibility then they should also enhance the quality of education that they are providing to the students. Nowadays at the very early age, children are pushed in the education system, after their high school they only know what they are taught in the school after their college very few of them knows what they have learned during their college days and where they can apply it. It can’t be ignored that engineering is providing the very huge amount of employment in our country but the quality of the education can be improved. Many mass recruiters like TCS, Infosys have a complaint that the students they have hired during campus placements they had to give additional 1 year of training to the already hired employees, so as to give the training and education what they had not learned during their college days.
There was a time when if you wanted to become a blacksmith your parents or someone from your family must be a blacksmith, so the transmission of knowledge of these training was always from gene pool but now the scene is different but despite we have a low amount of technicians in our country. So kids can go these vocational training schools have some academic knowledge and lots of vocational training and when at the end of their high school if they show tremendous academic promise they can go back to universities if not they leave with a certificate to be useful in our society. So the vocational training will not only decrease the unemployment rate but also enhance the rate of quality students. We have 18% of the world’s brain but only less than 4% of the research output. So if the quality of education will increase, students can react to the bigger examination called ‘Life’ where they will not only ask ‘Why’ but ’Why Not’. A mind not only filled with the facts and information but a mind designed to innovate, a well-formed mind. So the challenges are enormous and we have to move forward but I have a good news too. 95% of our 12-year-old can read and write whilst be having a literacy rate of 71%, so the future looks good and if we put these other pieces in place we can say to the world ‘We Are Coming’.