Monday, September 20, 2010

Indian Education Revolution...

Some colleagues at work were discussing the new marks system in Indian schools. They were discussing how bad it has become and how poorly their kids would react to it. After digging in some more I realized that the new education system states that the kids would be evaluated on a 30-70 percent ratio. Here 30% marks will come from the terminal written examinations/tests and the remaining 70% will be given to comprehension, oral recitation, behavior, reaction, participation, co-curricular activities and sports combined.

I personally felt that the Indian evaluation system in schools has finally come to terms with the changing environment and is engaging students in activities which would teach them about handling real life situations rather than making them book worms.
Having said that, coming back to this discussion that I was a mute participant in colleagues seemed to be very upset with this change in evaluation. Their main concern was. If they are not writing exams what are they learning at school… I was really surprised that these guys would be upset at such a positive change. I mean they were upset because now their children don’t have to mug up books and write them as it is… Oh! C’mon. Don’t you understand that Indian education is breaking the stereotype of letting only the children capable of photocopying books earn marks and giving the more intelligent yet not able to memorize and write students an opportunity to get more marks. Don’t these parents understand that just maybe their kids will be better equipped to face the world and tackle real life situations. They will not throw garbage on the road and will be more empathetic towards others. They may just be more eager to help and would be more law abiding rather than just knowing birth and death anniversaries of great heroes. I am not saying that learning all that is not important; however implication of this text book knowledge in day to day life barely matters.

I think children need to have more developed civic sense, need to have more developed independent thinking, need to develop problem solving ability. Memorizing theorems will not help, using them in life is what is more important. I personally think that it is more important for children to write essays, to solve problems, to read books other than course material, to make projects, to express than just mug up what is written in a text book or giving to them as tuition hand-outs.

I pity parents who think that only written tests are a good measure of the child’s intellectual capability. These colleagues of mine were discussing how ‘faltu’ the new structure is. That sports and co-curricular activities are unnecessarily included in the evaluation. And that these activities will no way help their children’s education.  Wow! What world are these guys living in? For them movies like ‘taarein zameen pe’ and ‘3 Idiots’ are made. Do they just watch them as movies and come home and get back on the old track.

Give your child space. What the Indian education system is now heading for is a revolution. It will only make your child smarter and not some robot who can memorize a few lessons. Children who like course books will still like it none the less. But this new system will give opportunities to those who will be future scientists, researchers, writers, entrepreneurs, artists, painters, singers, dancers, sports-persons and the world. Let them experience a whole new world of opportunities. Let your kids look beyond lessons and chapters… let them experience.

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