All Talk and No Action Friday, September 5, 2008

On the eve of Teacher's Day...a friend has penned a few insightful thoughts...

Every time you turn around, another expert has an opinion about what’s wrong with our education system. Sometimes it makes more sense to ask the parents. After all, they see what their children are learning - or not learning - so they see where the schools are succeeding and failing.

Recently, a major survey of adults and parents found that a large majority of our schools are placing too much emphasis on the wrong subjects. More than half of those polled think that educators are doing just a fair job in preparing children for the eventual work force or giving them the practical skills they will need to survive as adults. That’s not a ringing endorsement.

Since parents are unhappy with the current educational emphasis, where do they think the focus should be? More than one-third said math with English a distant second, followed by other subjects such as arts and sciences.

Personally, I think it’s important to get a well-rounded education but I can certainly understand the emphasis on math. There’s very little that we do in life - from our personal encounters to the business world - that doesn’t seem to involve numbers in some sense. So it’s critical that kids grow up with a good, solid understanding of all mathematic concepts.

Also as part of the poll, parents ranked education as the third most important issue facing the country, following only the economy (inflation) and governance tied with health care.

We are falling behind the rest of the world in education in comparison to setting up universities in Tashshila way back in 5 BC and nearly all those surveyed agreed that the quality of a country’s education system has a big impact on a country’s overall economic prosperity. Government regulation has only worsen the situation. By enforcing rigid standards, reservations for students and professors, we are not keeping up with the world. We are abusing meritocracy, excellence, brilliance, smartness and talent. With all due respects, Mr. Arjun Singh, how stupid could you be? It would take any individual with a jack’s brain, the demerits of your 18th century thoughts.

Our competition is not within the country, but with education standards globally. Earlier we had several parents (of Indian origin) consider India for their education especially from the Middle East, but that number is falling. We need to get out of the self-satisfying, feel good factor of a few IITs and IIMs. As Gandhi said, the nation progresses when the country’s weakest / poorest man does.

I am a proud Indian and I feel that I am indebted to this country for who I am. Paying subsidized fees for school (I paid around Rs. 10,000 for school, Rs. 8000 for college education per year, quite reasonable). I hope, I can continue paying taxes and supporting this system

However, There’s just no excuse not to make our system better. Are you listening, government leaders? There are few things more important than education and there are a million reasons why.



Shiva said...

Hmm, Is the writer a professional writer, I would like to contact him.

All Talk and No Action said...


The writer is a friend. He does have some experience in writing as he has contributed articles for a few National Dailies.

Do leave your contact details and he shall get in touch with you.