Present education system is negligible modification to the old British India system. All stalwarts in education field say every child and young boy and girl must get quality education. However, there is a usual crib that finance is not adequate for imparting quality education to children.
Should we get blocked for want of finance or should we find a way to achieve this? I feel the later choice should be explored.
Should we get blocked for want of finance or should we find a way to achieve this? I feel the later choice should be explored.
While finding a solution we may consider various factors like individual IQ level, surroundings of pupils, family background and may be some thing more. IQ level of all students cannot be equal. However, while considering IQ level surroundings and family background should not be ignored. IQ level of a particular pupil may be low compared to the other one on account of surroundings and family background. There should be a method to assess absolute IQ level while considering all factors.
Based on IQ level there should be different course for pupils. Expectations should be different. This does mean there should be different syllabus and teaching based on IQ level. However, this may not be practical. My solution for this would be examination system should be such that marks obtained by a pupil in an examination reflect IQ level. To achieve this for every subject marks should be divided in to different category of class work and written examination. For an example let us consider 100 marks rating for a particular subject. Out of this 20 marks should be reserved for class work. Remaining 80 marks should be for written paper. Written examination should have 5 questions 16 marks each. Out of these 5 questions 2 questions should be to test memory of the pupil, 2 questions should be to test thinking of a pupil i. e. it should be expected that answer must include pupil's thinking. Thinking should be limited to text book only. This way thinking power could be checked. 1 question should be to test thinking of a pupil and general knowledge. It should be expected that the pupil should read more than what is available in the text book. If such a method is used possibly no pupil would fail in the annual assessment. At the same time all we fall in 3 distinct categories i. e. normal, superior and excellent. This classification should be used for every one in selection for higher studies. The other method may be to have text books in 3 categories. Pupil should be allowed to choose a group whichever suits him/her.
SSCE (secondary school certificate examination) should be considered minimum education for every one. Based on the marks obtained in this examination opening to higher examination should be decided. In case a pupil gets lower marks in the examination and wish to reappear for fresh assessment there should be no objection. The pupil should be allowed but restricted to say 1 or 2 more attempts. Those who get 50% or lesser marks should be allowed for certificate courses only. Those who get more than 50% but less than 71% should be allowed for general courses. Those who secure 71% or higher should be allowed for professional courses like engineering, medicine, management, computers, information technology etc. There may be a provision of grace marks for candidates from scheduled caste, scheduled tribes and other backward classes. There could be another system which would provide with different level text books. This may not be feasible in small places where adequate number of students may not be available for a particular level text books.
Oldest system of education in India had been memorising every thing and reproducing the same with exact words and pronunciation. This system helped in transferring books from one generation to other. All old books had been transferred from generation to generation in this manner. Basic advantage of this system had been correct pronunciation of every word. Pronunciation is producing sound effect. This sound effect is important to various aspects of life. This cannot be achieved in written material. This had been working well with certain students who can help others. However, this was not adequate for explaining meaning in words which could be understood by general public. This part was taken care of by more intelligent persons who not only could memorise but also explain the meaning. Fundamentally in a society all cannot have equal capabilities and hence it is not worth to teach same knowledge to every one. Knowledge must be divided in sections based on capability of students and delivered what a particular student can assimilate. This is the way to produce groups of people who can deliver or can take responsibility of tasks as per their personal capability. As an example those who can memorise whatever needed for worship can do job of pastor easily. However, if children or students are to be taught then this category cannot meet the needs. A teacher must be intelligent to understand assimilate and explain in words students can understand. Ashrams were established by such intelligent teachers to educate prospective students who would carry out certain responsibilities in the society. During olden days even princes were sent to ashram for education. In today's time knowledge is diverse and categories of responsibilities are manifolds. Hence this system needs to be changed. There are roughly 7 steps in today's education. These are as under:-
1. Education at home for children below certain age, generally 3 years.
2. Education in school i. e. kindergarten and primary.
3. Education at middle school level i. e. common education for all.
4. Education for low capability professionals.
5. Education for those who are capable of earning expertise in professions needing higher expertise.
6. Education for students needing highest expertise in most of the fields.
7. Education for exploring research capabilities.
Medium of instructions in schools is undergoing serious debate for last many years. Worldwide education gives preference to mother tongue for education. However, Indians feel that because most of the knowledge is in English the medium of education should be English. It is forgotten that even smaller countries in Europe or in Asia have adopted mother tongue as medium of education. They also know that knowledge books are in English. However, they also know that a negligible percentage of citizens need that knowledge. Spending resources on every one is not found correct by them. Some feel that if a smaller portion of population knows English, they would feel proud and consider others as inferior. However, it must be understood that only English is not the criteria for differentiating persons. Hence language policy should be mother tongue as language of instructions and extra classes for learning English limited to those who wish to learn English. There should be strict filter to find students who wants to learn English and have enough capacity to learn a foreign language. Medium of instruction up to and in secondary school (10th Standard) must be mother tongue or state language. Beyond this student going for education are limited and can have English as medium of education.
All these stages and categories must be studied together to formulate education system.
Education in India has 3 sources. First source is the government, second private organisations and third private individuals or groups. The government runs schools from pre-primary to higher secondary schools and colleges. The government charges least fees but citizens find the education in such schools is below standard. However, the government run colleges are considered as better than private institutes. Private classes are in demand by students and parents for particular subjects taught in school and for competitive examination for entrance to higher studies and employment. Although the government controls all education institutes run by them but also try to control educational organisations run by private institutions/organisations. The control is basically on ‘fees’ charged for various purposes. The parents of students complain about rise in school fees the institutions have found a solution to get more money from parents. They force parents to pay in the form of funds for various reasons like ‘Building’, ‘Playground’ etc. Parents find no alternative and pay and never report to the government. Thus efforts of the government to control fees never produce fruits. In the era of free trading why government should take responsibility of controlling fees? The government allow free market in this field also. The government doesn’t control tuition class fees. If government doesn't take responsibility for tuition classes then why only in case of schools and colleges? Secondly the government provides help to private institutes in the form of subsidy. This might have been right when the government was not in a position to open adequate schools and colleges to provide education to all who demand. Today’s condition is government run schools are under populated and the government is forced to close schools fully or partly. Under these circumstances the government should modify their responsibility. It should be limited to deciding on date of declaring fee structure by each of the private schools and institutes and displaying in their individual premises. Let student and their parents decide on school for taking admission. Basic market law of demand and supply should work fine and no one can complain on any account. The government should ensure that the fees are displayed by schools and institutes at least 6 months in advance of admissions (preferred time period is July to October for next educational year).
Government of Maharashtra has taken a decision for admission of backward students in private schools. The class in which they should be admitted is not clear but it appears that the government wants them to be admitted in primary school first standard. It is said that backward children also must get good education. However, government failed to ensure financial help. Apart from tuition fees there are many other fees and students from that category may not be in a position to pay. More important is private schools show no interest in admitting these children. Obviously they loose huge money otherwise they charge while admitting children in the school. Hence it is but natural and govt. needs to force it on them through suitable method. Aadhar Card would play an efficient role in ensuring this. A system should be developed to register all children through Aadhar card and a specific table be prepared for school admission and linked to Aadhar card. Specific criteria must be worked out for admission and the govt. should prepare school wise list of students and direct schools to admit all children in the list. This way the govt. need not control fees and ensure that all backward class students get admission as per 25% quota.
Experience is the tool to learn: There is a need to go back to gurukul era and make experience as the method of assimilation by students. This means all teaching aids available must be used while teaching. Students’ homework must be thoroughly checked and graded/valued correctly. There should be situations where students themselves experience subject in their life.
Government should be responsible for defining and regulating standards. The government must have its schools and colleges as per the finance available and need of pupils. Private institutions should be encouraged to participate in education. The government should control quality of education through various tests and insist on admission of certain percentage of pupils sponsored by the government. These pupils shall not be charged any type of fees, in residential school or college they should accommodate free of cost. In short the government sponsored students shall be given free education and free lodging boarding in residential schools. In return the government must not insist on controlling fees. Education institutes shall be given free hand in charging fees etc. and the government shall not financially support such schools and colleges. There shall be no private university. All private colleges shall be affiliated to the government university. I would recommend 65% pupils/students to be admitted by the respective institution as per its rules and fees. The government should sponsor 35% student with details as follows. 10% on merit without considering caste, 10% on merit but from other backward classes, 9% on merit but from scheduled caste and 6% on merit but from scheduled tribes. Peoples' elected representatives must decide this division.
In my opinion if this solution is tried education would improve both in quality and quantity. The government shall not have to indulge in fixing fees etc. Fees shall get fixed based on popular law of demand and supply. The government must be meticulous in ensuring quality of education and provide schooling & higher education institutes where private parties are not available.