Thursday, June 25, 2009

Coming soon - Reforms in our education system!

I was very excited today! Finally we get to talk seriously about education reforms! My full support to Kapil Sibal who has taken it upon himself to start ushering in some changes. Going by the recommendations of the Yash Pal committee ( which was officially named as the "Committee to Renovate and Rujuvenate Universities), the central government is now suggesting that the 10th class board exams be made optional; that we introduce grading system instead of the marks system; that we need to invest more in research in higher education; and that we work towards de-traumatizing ( I loved this word when Kapil Sibal used it) our education system.

The idea behind the 10th exam is that if the student is just going from 10th to 11th in the same school, then what is the point in taking that exam? These changes are presently being mooted for CBSE board schools. It is an undisputable fact that the 10th class exams have become a major source of tension for both the children and parents. A totally unnecessary hype has been created around these exams, and thereby the chldren become more susceptible to stress. When I wrote this exam in 1996, I did feel a little tension but there was not so much pressure on me, or for that matter my friends. We felt more pressure during our Intermediate exams though (12th standard). Intermediate education in AP is something that needs drastic alterations, otherwise it is just going to kill the apepitite in students to learn freely. I once wrote about Teacher-Student relationship in The Hindu. ( Click here for feedback that was published too :) )

Anyways, coming back to the point, our education system, especially in recent times does not encourage creativity; does not encourage free thinking; and advocates punishment as a mean to enforce discipline. I think what Kapil Sibal is now proposing will surely help in children getting more involved with learning than just mugging up. It is totally unfair to subject 13-15 year olds to such intense pressure and then admonish them as fit for nothing even if they get 75% !!

I haven't read the committee report fully yet, will post another blog when I get to read it. But was too excited today, and hence posting this blog!

Ohh, by the way, our media is at it again! "X board exam to be scrapped?" is what the "Breaking News" all about. Kapil Sibal was at pains to explain that he is proposing an optional system, and no decision has been taken yet. He is also explaining very clearly on TV why some of the recommendations are being considered, and I must say he sounded very convincing. Unfortunately, our media is looking for sound bytes even while discussing this issue too! Randomly interviewing students and not allowing them to complete what they are saying, ubruptly interrupting the panel members, and what not! Come on media, atleast while discussing such issues, let's try to be a little bit more practical and little less rhetorical!

By the way, this cartoon in The Hindu last week says it all !


7 comments:

Deshabhakta said...

Reform in education system is an absolute necessity. The system should look more towards creating scientists, professionals and responsible citizens and not just a degree certificate holders. Also, though I know a Congress government will not do it, History content should be made more factual than fictional as it is today. All citizen's of this Nation have a right to know its true history and not just a concealed one.

Arun said...

An excellent article on this subject:

http://www.organiser.org/dynamic/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=302&page=4

This is the third occasion in ten years that the Parliament debated the need to make education a fundamental right. The exercise was first initiated by Rajiv Gandhi, though it is a constitutional guarantee. It was taken out of limbo under the NDA government and the revolutionary amendment to provide free and compulsory education to all children in the age group of six to 14 was enacted by the Vajpayee government. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the largest-ever education programme with an outlay of Rs 16,000 crore, was launched in 2000 with the goal of universalisation of elementary education. The same bill and mission was relaunched by Manmohan Singh government during its first term. The same is being again projected as the fresh initiative of the new minister. Who is being fooled? The children? The parents? The schools? The country? Or the world?

I, Me, Myself ! said...

Wow! That is an excellent point. I thought the bill will talk about board exams and reforms in the system, but it again talked about 6-14 year old etc!

If this promise is also shelved, then I definetely agree that we are all being taken for a ride.

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