The current education system of India was a gift of the British Raj and although Britain has revamped its education policy from time to time,India is thriving on the same age old pattern. Before every election, our politicians make fake promises to garner votes; however after acceding to power, their only aim is to fill coffers.
As a result, the common man is hard hit and so are the children who are the future of this country. The prevalent education system encourages rote learning and meritocracy and these qualities are viewed as a true measure of intelligence.
The parents force their children to pursue Medicine or Engineering as career options. Creativity and individuality is suppressed at all levels. For instance, there is immense career scope for people from the Science stream but say for example a child is interested in Fine Arts may have very few options. Unlike the western countries, in India there aren’t any set ups which promote and nurture artistic talent. People have to persevere hard for many many years to witness mother luck shine on them and this may even not happen at all. Same is true in the field of writing. Chetan Bhagats and Sudha Murthys have made a mark in the field of writing due to their dazzling profiles and financial backing. However, there are many talented writers in our country who have gone unheard. This is only a small glimpse of how creativity and individuality is downplayed in our society.
There haven’t been many substantive educational reforms in our country which I think is in need of a significant revamp.
Some developed countries have done away with board exams. Why can’t we lighten the load of young people who actually should be enjoying themselves!
Finland ranked the happiest country has also the best education system in the world because it emphasises equity over excellence. They have no standardised testing systems as the students are graded individually through a grading system created by their teacher. Bar is higher for teachers ie only masters degree holders (from specialised teaching schools) can opt for teaching and an individual principal is allotted to every teacher to keep a tab on their progress. Children start school when they are older ie 7 years and Finland has only 9 years of compulsory education.
India ranks 139th on the happiness quotient which is 10th from bottom. Every hour at least 1 student in India commits suicide every year. We boast of Indian scientists and doctors making us proud in India and abroad but the suicide data is inevitably suppressed.
Are we creating doctors, engineers and scientists or a generation of depressed and melancholic adults?
Are we raising free thinking individuals or automatons programmed to follow the line of command??
India is going through a crisis, unheard of in the brief history of time. Our health infrastructure is overwhelmed, people are sick and dying, there is shortage of beds and oxygen in hospitals and elsewhere. Other nations are commiserating with us and lending a helping hand. Back home, people who matter are coming forward to lend a helping hand. I know that it is difficult to stifle a laugh through all of this.
Why is it the way it is? Why only India and no other country? What went wrong? Is the government to blame or are we the real culprits.
In February, we had started celebrating after the cases had plummeted. We had become over confident that we had outstripped the virus. The Government was slow to act. With our health infrastructure dating back to the 19th century, there is nothing much we can do. Genome sequencing is the need of the hour. We need to track the variants as to where it is spreading and where is it headed to.
The government isn’t only to blame. Back home, we must reflect as to whether we have shown covid appropriate behaviours. Have we worn masks when we should have, practiced social distancing etc?
We have and must take pride in our culture. We must be complacent of our age old systems like the Ayurveda and Yoga but not at the cost of making fun of other cultures. Above all, we must learn to laugh at ourselves before we laugh at others.
Happy World Laughter Day!
Stay positive 🤞