by Shloke Jaitly
When discussing the Indian education system, many students are eager and angered to discuss it as it has caused numerous problems in the lives of Indian students such as peer pressure, fear, stress, anxiety, and more. Regardless of whether a student is a talented artist, debater, writer, animator, web developer, etc., if their grades are not satisfactory, society tends to look down upon them. Is it fair to judge a student solely based on their marks? Well, for the system, the answer is yes.
India used to follow the “Gurukul” system before the 1810s. It was commonly known as the “house of the guru.” Typically, students lived with their ‘guru’ (teacher) in the Gurukul, and the guru would teach all of his students, covering subjects such as philosophy, mathematics, physics, astronomy, moral science, and more. Education was provided for free, and classes usually took place under a tree or in an open area connected with nature. This system fostered a strong sense of respect between teachers and students, allowing students to acquire more knowledge and useful skills for their future. It promoted practical learning and enhanced critical thinking. abilities, and fostered overall student development. At its peak, there were. more than 700,000 Gurukuls in India.
The British Education Authorities realized that the gurukul system was quite successful and if they had to gain total control over India, a radical change in the education system was needed. So, when the “British Education System” was established, all gurukuls were declared illegal, and all gurus and sadhus who taught children were arrested.
The system that we still follow today was introduced more than 220 years. ago. Although India gained independence more than 75 years ago, the impact of British rule still lingers, and the Indian education authorities fail to acknowledge that this system was designed to create obedient men and slaves.
This is just one of the many issues with the system, which has been promoting rote learning and offering no practical education for years. Important life skills such as taxation, financial planning, and emerging technologies like cryptocurrency and NFTs are not part of the curriculum. Students who have no interest in subjects like Maths, Chemistry, Physics, and Biology, are forced to study them until they have the option to choose subjects, they prefer. Unfortunately, society places greater value on subjects like Maths and Science, which limits the opportunities for students interested in pursuing Law, Music, Animation, and other fields.
Universities still evaluate these students based on their performance in Maths and Science, which creates additional pressure for them. The pressure students experience is challenging to articulate. Parents, teachers, schools, and colleges are consistently pushing students to succeed, and although their intentions are good, their approach can be overwhelming.
Schools often overlook students’ unique talents, and academics become the standard for assessing their potential. It is crucial for Indian society to shift its mindset and allow students to choose their career path, stream, and the subject of interest. No individual, institution, or relative should influence or ridicule the choices made by students. In the 21st century, all streams and careers hold equal importance, and students should have the freedom to choose and switch their course at an early age, preferably by the 8th grade.
The “National Education Policy 2020” was an admirable undertaking by the Indian government. However, it will require a significant amount of time for complete implementation throughout the country. Currently, the utmost priority is a fundamental shift in societal mindset and a more progressive attitude toward the decisions made by students.
About the Author:
Shloke Jaitly is 14 years old Grade X student. He resides in Bangalore, India. He is a passionate writer, debater, and occasional poet. He usually writes about social experiences and observations to make people more aware of these issues and stress the solutions to these problems.