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Why Indian education system is failing your kids

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By Harshmeet Singh

To most Indian parents, the only criterion to mark their child’s intelligence is the grades at school. With the child’s grades becoming as much ‘status symbol’ in the society as a luxury car, parents’ concern about their kid’s academic record is driven by concern and worry equally.

An entire generation of kids is cramping up facts and data without understanding the significance behind any of it. Since rote writing gives them the glory of achieving good grades, they can’t be blamed for not trying anything else. What’s more – the ones who try to go beyond rote learning are discouraged with low grades and never-ending follow up questions.

Every child is different

In our society, teaching is a thankless job. Unless you are teaching at a coaching centre for competitive examinations, your teaching profession is considered as your failure to get a good job. The simple fact that teachers are entrusted with the responsibility of shaping the lives of hundreds of students who would go on to shape the country’s future speaks volumes for the role they play in the society.

Yet, most teachers tend to overlook a simple fact – every child is different. The learning capacity and methods of each individual evolve in a different manner. While some people are audio learners, others may be visual learners. There are also a number of people who prefer a kinaesthetic method of learning. It is the teacher’s responsibility to understand the most suitable method for kids’ learning and feed them in that manner. Forcing the rote learning methods on to the kids can kill the potential of their minds.

Indian Education system

Barring some occasional end ranks in the top 100 institutes of the world, Indian educational institutes don’t give much reason to cheer. An acute shortage of teachers at the primary level and a dipping reading level of the kids are the standout features of our education system. Rote learning methods dominate our classrooms, with students learning or rather remembering to pass examinations and score marks, not to gain knowledge. The top rankers are the ones who can learn the most, not the ones who understood the most. An increasing school enrollment ratio has failed to increase the quality of education given in schools.

Bad teachers & absence of teachers

While much attention is given to the high number of vacancies in schools, there are minimal efforts to ensure that the appointed teachers provide the quality of learning that is expected from them. Most of the teachers are poorly trained. Considering that they got their jobs by passing an exam on the basis of rote learning, they can’t be expected to inculcate different values in their students. Absence of teacher training programs has ensured that the teachers reach stagnation within a couple of years of joining.

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Conventional vs Unconventional Classroom

So where would you be learning, conventional or an unconventional classroom?

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Unlike the conventional learning in a classroom, online training makes the content available for students digitally. Flickr

Learning is the process of acquiring new skills or knowledge and for quite some time students have followed the process of enrolling in an offline centre to learn and study from the material provided but now, there is a new and an unconventional approach to upskilling yourself and that is through online learning.

While I was growing up, if I ever wanted to learn a new skill, I had to travel a minimum of 2-3 kms to the nearest learning or tuition centre to enquire and then enrol for the desired training. Though there were interactions with the teacher, but inhibitions got the better of me and with time, because of all the unresolved doubts, the learning started to become monotonous and I lost interest. But online learning has made that journey for a student interesting, fun and a cakewalk. You can relax in your seat while the knowledge is displayed on your screen and ask all that you wish to.

To begin with, what is online learning?

Unlike the conventional learning in a classroom, online learning makes the content available for students digitally. Students can learn online, anywhere and anytime. Instead of physical copies of books, e-learning uses visual content and gamification.

To help you understand the differences better I would like to compare both the classrooms and the learning associated on the basis of parameters that are essential for an overall learning.

1.       Affordability: 

In offline centres or conventional classrooms there are a lot of miscellaneous expenses incurred and hence the fee structure is designed accordingly.

Whereas in online learning, students’ aim is to learn so companies spend resources only on developing the content and thereby lowering the cost of the training.

From text to graphics, this software does it all. Pixabay
In offline centres or conventional classrooms there are a lot of miscellaneous expenses incurred and hence the fee structure is designed accordingly. Pixabay

2.       Flexibility and convenience:

In a conventional classroom, if you miss a class it gets difficult to grasp the topic and understand what is being taught. The classes have to be attended on fixed days
and timings, offering almost no flexibility. Whereas in online learning, the classes can be taken as per your availability and thus giving you an opportunity to design your own curriculum. You could also watch the classes over and understand the topics in-depth.

3.       Answers to your questions:

While learning, doubts might arise about the topic being taught but students usually hesitate in asking questions in a classroom. Whereas in online learning, you are an anonymous user and your doubts, as frivolous they may be, can be asked without any hesitation.
4.       Practical experience:
The learning journey in a conventional classroom is about reading and grasping, it involves little or none practical applications of the learnings. Whereas in online learning, the training is designed in such a manner that the content is informative and involves practical applications as well. The test and assignments in the module are made to ensure that the student has a holistic growth.

Also Read- Apple Watch Helps Users in US Take ECG

Only 20 percent of the five million students who graduate every year get employed, industry lobby Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) said in a report, published last year.

The competition is stiff and is going to get worse with time so It essential to make yourself stand out from the rest to increase your chances of getting hired. The certificate you will receive at the successful completion of the training will help in making the employer realise that you have relevant skills and in-depth knowledge about the subject.

So where would you be learning, conventional or an unconventional classroom?

About the Author: Sarvesh Agrawal is the Founder and CEO of Internshala, an internship and trainings platform. (Internshala.com)