Education in this age: East and West Review
India has always been associated as the country of knowledge and learning since ancient times.Indeed , there has been immense transformations in the field of education from the days of Nalanda, Viswabharti to the renowned IITs. In short, we are now well equipped to attain a world class education with fully functional labs and qualified faculties.However, does the fully functional labs,modern technologies and excellent faculty make us really competent enough when compared with the rest of the world?
Let us take a look:
Admissions: While grades/percentage are given extra weightage while confirming admission of students to the top colleges and universities, we fail to realize that grades alone donot judge a student’s capabilities. In the Western context , a student is encouraged to perform or deliver educational experiences in practicality.While we lack the enthusiasm to follow the extra curricular activities as importantly as reading of books.Westerners encourage their students to engage in a variety of activities indeed giving them an edge over Indian education system.
Class size:Despite the expenditures to offer us well equipped modern education,the Indian education system is immensely overcrowded by the imbalence of the teacher student ratio with increasing number of students.Often it is seen that in the mess of overcrowded classroom, the students are unable to follow the proceeding therefore giving rise to poor understanding and incompetence.
Syllabus:From a personal experience, while we can boast of IITs and IIMs , several Indian educational institutes lack proper syllabus , with the same syllabus being followed for over a decade.Indeed immense carelessness on the part of educationists to offer us age old education that has no worth in the times. Compared to the West where syllabuses are renewed every now and then to fit the needs of the students and to offer them better understanding before they set out into the practical world!!
Diversity:As an Indian one experiences diversity in the form of classmates from various ethnic backgrounds.However, the challenges of being a part of a global platform is lacking in the Indian education system.
Campus structure: The quality of education not only depends on facilities and faculties but also on the campus structure.Well structured campuses in the West are a contrast to the scattered campuses in India.Western campuses often house various schools in closer proximity to one another so a student gains on valuable time to be spent in educating oneself.Comparitively Indian education system houses some of the schools either off campus or uses the same school for a multi purpose usage!!
Engagement:As mentioned the Indian education is more about theories and less about practical knowledge.Compared to the Western educational system where the diverse class engages in group activities often learning newer things from course mates.
Tech Issues:In matters of technological abilities, indeed the Western world has left us behind where issues from grades to coursework submission and group discussions have the privilege of being online compared to dependency of everything offline in Indian campuses.Also to be noted that technical failure or campus issues are sorted out in matter of few hours thanks to the hardworking team of volunteers in the background.
Teaching abilities:The lack of a smaller class structure makes it impossible to have a teacher-student discussion in the class.The Indian education system therefore lacks the proper teacher-student engagement compared to the West where class structures are less(20-30) and the teacher focusses more on the question answer sort of discussion than blind lecturing! Interestingly the privilege of a power point presentation often makes the class hours interesting.
Flexibility:The range of courses and specialization offered by the Western education is what attracts the Indian students overseas with exclusive freedom to pick and specialize on courses of your own choice.Indian education system is all about pre set syllabi and courses.
Campus fun:Outside the world of learning and education,the Western world emphasizes on the co curricular activities often engaging students in fun activities or joining of societies to hone their skills or just have fun.Indeed learning is delivered in the most convenient way possible thus making it easier to learn and apply those knowledge compared to the non functional co curricular activities in the Indian system either due to lack of infrastructure or due to lack of students’ interests. While every education system has its pros and cons one cannot indeed deny the fact that the Indian society has been the home to some of the renowned scientists and academicians in the past.However, if we are to compete in the global world a better equipped and smaller classroom and educational exchanges(foreign tie ups) should be the foremost changes .